We weren’t expecting you- A Named Patterns Reeta Dress

Wow, hello blog pals, it’s been a while. The last time you saw me I was rolling around in front of my Christmas tree in velvet and now here we are in a heatwave.

It’s true, all us Brits are shocked, that this summer has been true to the poems and postcards instead of the half arsed attempts we’ve had the past few years.

This wonderful spell has made me realise I’m actually a better summer dresser, the simplicity of one dress/ jumpsuit makes me feel more put together and also more comfortable.

To add to my collection of one-stop-shop dresses, I decided to make the Named Patterns Reeta. This has been on my sewing list forever, I love shirt dresses and I love Named’s sense of style and detail. I already had fabric in mind too, I got this cheetah print on eBay for a steal and a printing error on the edge of the fabric meant they sent me an extra 2m, so I had plenty to fool around with.
The fabric is a polyester georgette based, somewhere between a crepe and a rayon weight, it had plenty of movement perfect for a dress.The pattern pieces are large for this one so there were quite a lot of huffs and flapping about whilst taping together and pinning to my fabric…and this is where it started to go a bit wrong.
My fabric has a very slight stretch AND is slippery AND is lightweight, so add that the the large pieces, cutting was a struggle and when I came to construction I saw how much had wandered.
For the front and back bodice I wasn’t too worried as the dress has plenty of ease built in and I could adjust by eye. But I checked the collar pieces again, they are a little off and there is some pulling where they aren’t perfect.
When it came to hemming, I could see the inaccuracy in my pieces and it felt a little like cutting my own fringe…a little off this side…a little more here…

There are some really thoughtful construction steps on this pattern especially when attaching the yoke and the drawstring casing- but also an easy place to trip up if you sew on auto pilot (yes, fill admission, some unpicking did occur).

After stalking lots of versions on instagram, I decided to omit the breast pockets. Being busty, I’m keen to have as little extra fuss in that area as possible. However I wasn’t going to let this dress go pocketless, I’m not a monster. Instead I popped in some easy side seam pockets, here’s a tutorial from By Hand London if you want to pocket-ify everything.

Again due to bustiness, I like to decide my own button placement, often adding more to avoid gaping. My machine is OK at button holes but the smaller ones can sometimes get munched up and with 12 ahead of me I wasn’t into it. Luckily I bulk bought about 4-million plastic poppers on eBay so opted to punch those instead.

I tried the dress on before adding the drawstring casing, to ensure it hit at my waist and I ended moving it up a little and then taking a bit off the hem too.

Anyway, here she is. I like the dress much more than my facial expression suggests.


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