Hello folks. Today I am revealing not one but two recent makes. Wowzer. Hold onto your seats!
As suggested by the title, one of them is a brand new pattern from Named, the Blair batwing top. I have to say that since I first saw the first collection by Named I have been itching to try & buy. But making the choice as to what I would prioritise was the hardest. I mean as well as the Blair top, there’s the Tyler raglan sleeved shirt, and I am smitten with the Jamie jeans (not that I have made jeans ….yet). I could also easily be persuaded to buy the Dakota shawl collar dress, the Fran tie shirt and the Laurie striped tee. And if I were to tot that lot up, well, I’d be on gruel for a month. But the Blair top it was to be as I’d already bought this lush striped jersey for the purposes of a sweatshirt type thing to cosy up in during the winter evenings.
What I have ended up with is a cosy sweathshirt weight top that is not confined to the house as “lounge wear”, but could stand its ground in public as rather a stylish casual top. Now that is Blair for you. It’s the batwings that are not so 1980s that I feel a curly perm coming on. Its the drape caused by some clever oversizing at shoulders that isn’t too boxy & narrows down over the hips.
Hey, I guess I’m describing a “designer sweatshirt” here? Despite all that it is quite the opposite of figure hugging- quite a departure from my usual style, but that’s OK, I was after this loose & comfy look.
So now that I’ve waxed lyrical about the Blair styling, let’s get onto the fabric. We are venturing into navy territory, namely some navy needlecord (for the skirt – more of that later) and some wonderful jersey doubleknit (?) bought from my local fabric shop (doesn’t sell fabric online but thought I’d give Mark a shout out as it’s where I get my sewing machines & they’re so helpful and friendly there ). This fabric is gorgeous – quality quality quality, and it was pretty reasonably priced.
So onto the sewing. Folks, did you expect the Blair to be a complicated make? You’re not idiots, so of course you didn’t & it isn’t. But before we get onto the construction, be aware that these are downloadable patterns. I reckon the folks behind Named have thought long & hard about the relative merits/ downsides for downloadable patterns & unlike any other that I have downloaded, the Blair (& the couple of others – ahem – I downloaded) follow the same principle to reduce printing and I think in total extend over 12 printed pages. But what this means is that the preparation of the pattern before using has the added step of tracing since the different pieces overlay each other. It’s all very nice & clear, but not being a natural tracer, I’m not looking forward to the other patterns I’ve bought that have more pieces that will need tracing. The Blair top thankfully only has three pattern pieces. What this will mean for the other patterns is far less taping all of the sheets together, which can be soooo tedious when you get longer larger patterns. You can tell I just can’t be bothered with preparation & I like to dive in & get sewing!!! I think the fabric cutting stage is my least favorite regardless of how it’s delivered. Necessary of course, but not usually enjoyable. Call me a weirdo.
So now we can get onto the sewing. With three pattern pieces the sewing is a cinch. Even stripe matching. Zoom zoom. The instructions are all very clear, but there was a term I hadn’t come across . Named have this on their glossary to explain:
Framilon band – A thin and translucent rubber band that is used the same way as a regular elastic band but is slightly stiffer and slimmer.
By looking how it is used, I took it to mean a form of stay tape or clear elastic (for sewing in the shoulder seams to prevent saggage). I used clear elastic.
The neckline on tops is always a question. How will it be finished? Well, in the Blair Top the neckline is just a narrow double turned hem. I used my coverstitch machine, but you can see that the size of the head hole is quite large & probably won’t be under any stretching pressure to get it on / off (even with a curly perm).
I’ve found wearing it that in order for it to be snuggly I need to wear something with longer sleeves underneath, as the sleeve length ends just about bracelet length on me. But I’m sold. I love it. Wait till I show you my latest “lounge pants” that it gets worn with in the evenings after work!
So the skirt. This is Vogue 1247. My second incarnation, the first also being in a type of needlecord here. The first skirt I made I lined. I even cut out lining for this version, but to my shame “couldn’t be bothered”.
Remember this skirt has awesome pouch pockets?
And has a large amount of bias binding used. Spot another area with lack of bother? I had to use two different types of bias binding – the patterned is home-made, but that ran out.
What does this say to you? Speed sewing, no time to waste on buying a whole batch of matching bias or making a lining. Yes, it was one of those spontaneous makes with a wearing deadline! And it has been worn quite a bit. It’s a versatile casual skirt.
I love it with striped leggings & chunky boots. And now with my Blair top. Winter seems to be going navy!