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Named Leini Dress

Nanette Webb

A few weekends ago I took a really quick trip to Charleston with my boyfriend to visit my sister. So obviously I had to make some new clothes before the trip, right? As if traveling isn’t expensive enough (the majority of the trip consisted of eating and drinking, of course). And I had these grand plans to take photos of my new things in front of beautiful houses, or on the beach, or in a forest. None of that happened, mostly because I forgot. The fabric backdrop is lovely, but it’d be nice to change it up, especially when I go somewhere different.

So, here is one piece that I made with warmer weather in mind, the Named Patterns Leini Dress:

I’ve made a Named pattern before, and while I wasn’t thrilled with the drafting or instructions of the pattern, I love the finished result. I also wasn’t too keen on tracing and adding seam allowances to so many pattern pieces. Luckily for this dress, this pattern only has 5 pieces!

I almost always Google a pattern before I make it to see what other people have done, how it looks on them, any alterations they made, etc. Many sewists said that the higher neckline made the dress hard to get over their heads, so I lowered mine by 3″. I probably would have done that anyway, I feel very constricted in high necklines.

This fabric is new! We just got it in early last month. It’s a rayon challis with an abstracted brushstroke print. One of our customers said that rayon challis is very wrinkly, but I haven’t noticed with this dress. I’ve packed it and worn it several times, and the only wrinkling I’ve experienced is under the butt from sitting on it so much. Maybe some rayons are created differently. This rayon has such a beautiful, fluid drape, and it wasn’t difficult at all to sew with.

You may be able to see that I’ve forgone the large tucks, which are kind of the signature design element of this pattern (you can see them in the photo below). I originally wanted to turn them into smaller tucks, but my brain wasn’t going to take it so I just sewed them to the inside, giving the bodice a slight paneled effect.

Before I made the rayon version, I made the dress out of this Art Gallery voile to make sure I actually liked the pattern. You can see the giant tucks here. I like them okay, I just think they look very science-fictiony.

One thing I’m not crazy about with this dress is that the elastic waist rides up and I feel like I’m constantly pulling it down. But that seems to happen with every elastic-waisted dress I’ve ever worn, so I guess that’s my burden to bear. It is a very comfortable dress! You can see the waist doesn’t ride up on Poppy here:

Sewing this dress goes very quickly. The neckline and arm holes are all finished by sewing them to the lining. It may seem confusing, but I actually found that the instructions were pretty clear. Although, to be fair, I’ve used that method before in my Colette Moneta dress. I really like this method, but when sewing with woven fabric you have to carefully clip the seam allowances really close to the stitching. It’s much easier to do in a knit. Oh, and here’s a tutorial on it from the Moneta sewalong, which I find to be very helpful.

The voile dress is completely lined with cotton batiste, and only the bodice of the rayon dress is lined because the fabric is more opaque. Since we’re waiting on more of this batiste to come in, I had to source mine elsewhere.

Now, don’t be scared, but this lining used to be a ghost!

(This dress above is the Deer & Doe Sureau, which I love, in Liberty of London Mitsi C, which I also love).

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