Makes - Helmi Trench Blouse from Named Clothing
By Marine Wan. 10th March 2021.
I'd never used Named Clothing patterns before, and I now know that it definitely wasn't the last! The instructions were very straightforward to use without too much detail to get confused with. Illustrations are included to help when you do have a moment of hesitation.
Helmi Trench Blouse (which also includes the Tunic Dress pattern) as I love the trench cape detail and round collar of the shirt. Aptly named the 'Trench Blouse' as the style incorporates elements from the classic trench coat, such as the cape and sleeve straps. However, I chose not to incorporate the straps around the cuffs as I tend to roll my sleeves up a lot and thought they would get in the way of my daily wear. (Customisation - a reason I love making my own clothes!)
Upon reading the instructions first, I decided to make the blouse out of a cotton lawn that was soft enough to drape, but hard enough to hold its shape. In my mind, I felt the fabric wasn't too lightweight for the cape, and so, I chose not to face or line the cape. (Which may I mention wasn't actually an option of the pattern but of a personal judgement call) I chose to finish the edges of the cape using a rolled hem foot on my machine. As expected, there was a slight curl as I hemmed around the curve of the cape, but most of this was ironed out with a good hot press!
On the finishing of the garment, I think the cape could have benefitted from the facing to add a bit of weight to hang and prevent curling, but it still looks good despite so! (This is obviously why the pattern instructs facing!)
I would class myself as an advanced sewer and would usually make up the garment without using the instructions included, but for this blog, I followed the step-by-step instructions to be able to share my thoughts.
I agree with the company's difficulty rating of 3/5 as the whole construction was straightforward but the collar can be tricky to get right, and is generally a fiddly part of a garment make-up. Also, as the cape is layered on top of the shirt, this means there are 3 layers to attach to the sleeves, which can prove difficult if a layer slips whilst you're trying to ease the sleeve head to the armhole. Although this can be helped by basting the layers together first before attaching to the sleeves (as is instructed).
I made the blouse using Atelier Brunette's Sparkle Tangerine Cotton Lawn, which is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, and has a 85gsm weight. The cotton is so easy to sew with; it has a fluid handle and doesn't slip. The sleeve head was easy to ease in due to the softness of the fabric. It is incredibly soft to wear, breathable and thick enough to wear on its own. I love the bright deep colour and pattern which I find both modern but almost has a reference to retro air stewardess' uniforms!
Bliss Buttons in the old Chestnut colour. 11mm in diameter, and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.
I love to wear these shirts and blouses that have a simple extra detail to the standard shirt. I find it makes them look more interesting and the style can change depending on the fabric choice.
This blouse was a delight to make and I hope to make another one soon, in a different pattern. Next time, I will definitely face the cape!
All fabric choices, pattern choices, opinions, photos are all my own.