‘Solina’ is a Finnish word that probably translates best into ‘babble of water’. And babble of water would actually be a very welcome and refreshing sound right now, after a long and cold winter! We can’t quite hear any babbling brooks yet, and it’s still somewhat freezing here, but otherwise it really starts to feel like spring in Helsinki! We do love winter too, but it can be quite a frustrating season style-wise, because you have to wear warm layers and long sleeves all the time, and even the thought of wearing a skirt is enough to give you goosebumps.
A while back Saara made herself this adorable Solina top that looks so fresh and vernal, that it really makes one dream about spring and summer attire! And even though the print on this rayon crepe fabric is presumably representing marble, it kind of looks like it could also be purling spring water, don’t you agree?
If you have been following what’s happening at Named lately, you might have noticed that we have been making some video tutorials! You might even recognize this top from the videos. If you haven’t seen the videos yet, navigate yourself to our video tutorial page or, find them in Vimeo or YouTube. There are three videos of this Solina top, too.
The tie detail, sewn inside the pleats at the waist is probably the most significant design detail of the Solina top and dress, and even though it might look complex, it’s actually not very hard to sew. If you’re interested in learning to sew that lovely bow tie waist, but struggling to comprehend the process by just following the literal and illustrated instructions in the book, we suggest you take a look at the Solina tie video!
Saara didn’t make any alterations to her pattern, but she opted for the short sleeve (same as in the Saraste dress in the book), and a collarless neck. If you’re not familiar with the idea of our book, here it is in a nutshell: you can mix and match elements (such as sleeves, collars etc.) inside one style, or even from a style to another (like the Saraste sleeve on this Solina top), and create garments that are 100% unique! Ergo – Breaking the Pattern.
For more inspo, follow the hashtag #breakingthepattern in Instagram, or simply visit our IG page, where we strive to share as many garments from Breaking the Pattern as we can! Also if you’re sharing your make in instagram, make sure to tag us @namedclothing and use the hashtag #breakingthepattern together with an individual hashtag with the project name (for example #solinatop), so we can see your make and possibly share it as an inspiration to other sewists, too!
First things first – did you already see that we have started making sewing tutorial videos? Yes we have, and you can see them here (or here or here)! There are only a few now, but we are slowly working our way through some projects in Breaking the Pattern, and adding videos for general sewing techniques, as well as pattern-specific tutorials using the garments in the book!
We have released five videos for Utu pinafore pattern, and three for Solina by now. You might find them very helpful especially if you’re new to sewing, but also discover some good tips and tricks here and there even if you are an experienced sewist! If you are making – or planning to make – an Utu dress like this here, we can recommend watching at least the lining video, as well as the videos for pattern markings and sewing the double-breasted button-through closure.
Saara is actually the mastermind behind the videos, by both acting in them and editing them, so this time I can’t really take any credit for my new dress. It was mostly Saara who sewed it, I just stood behind the camera and pushed a button. And I really, really love how this Utu turned out, thank you very much Saara!
We used a very lovely denim shirting from Eurokangas, and a FIGO Fabrics rayon for lining (from their Eloise’s Garden collection) – just for a fun, concealed detail. Those cute shiny buttons were in our stash and I can’t remember where, when, or why they were bought in the first place, but they sure suit this garment very well.
My only pattern alterations were shortening the pattern significantly to fit my 160 cm figure, and using a size 36 for the top half and 38 for bottom. I could have done an SBA, but honestly I hardly ever do that, as I like garments that are not too snug, especially at the bust. And zero pattern breaking with this one, how disappointing! The style is straight out the book… But we have some hacked versions of other patterns from our book coming up soon, just wait!
And as I said, I really really REALLY love how this Utu turned out! I think it flatters and contours my body very well, much better than I imagined, making me feel very feminine but still suiting my relaxed style. Also the fabric choices are spot on – the denim makes this dress very light and vernal. I like that the lining has a twist to it, when the visible side of the dress is this simple and casual. And as a cherry on top of the cake, the buttons give this style just a hint of luxury, still being in line with the whole mellow denim-look! I would say that it’s a lovely mixture of casual and sophisticated.
What I also love and only discovered after starting to wear my Utu, is that it’s great worn with jeans as a vest, too! I don’t think I’ve owned a vest since 2005. Neither did I think I’d wear one ever again, or that I’d like wearing one this much (I have only horrible memories from my earlier vest-wearing days, they never suited me that well).
Now I’m planning to make a scrunchie in the leftover lining fabric to match my Utu dress/vest. Just to brush up on my sewing skills after outsourcing almost all of it to my sister, haha!
Well guess who this gorgeous lady in her amazing Maisa jacket is? It’s our mom Jaana, who just happened to have her birthday last weekend! It would be an understatement to say that without mama-Named, there would be no Named at all! Jaana, a.k.a. Mom, has been one of the biggest sources of inspiration for us, and she is actually the reason why we have even started sewing in the first place. She taught and encouraged us to sew and knit when we were just kindergarteners. She has made us tons of clothes when we were kids. She also made the most stylish garments for our dolls and Barbies back then. To top that, she has later sewed numerous Named samples, and always proof-reads our sewing instructions before anyone else! You could say that she is quite an irreplaceable part of the Named team!
Mom is also by far one of the most talented seamstresses we know. Not only is she bewilderingly patient, meticulous and thorough, she’s also one of those people who – without any professional training for pattern making, or madly google searching and flicking through YouTube videos – just knows what alterations she needs to do in order to make her garments fit the way she wants! Maybe that is something that comes from decades of sewing experience?
She is constantly improving her sewing skills, finding out new ways to finish her projects, making them even better. And she amazes us every time! Both of us look up to her hoping that one day we could be even half as skillful as her.
This time Mom sewed up this Maisa jacket in the lovely Nuppu Print Company cotton-linen mix with a beautiful Sydäntalvi print. The word sydäntalvi is Finnish for ‘the heart of the winter’, which is very appropriate at this time of the year, as you can see! We’ve had quite a few centimeters of snow piling up on top of Helsinki during the past few weeks, and the temperature has dropped down to -20 celsius on some days! So what was a little less appropriate, was to be strolling around outside just in a light jacket like this. Kusti – the handsome fellow in these pics – was the first one to give up and kindly asked for the rest of the photo shoot crew to join him inside.
Luckily, this type of a jacket is great for wearing inside as a kind of a relaxed blouse during the wintertime, and then again as a light jacket when the warmer months kick in. The print too is great for any season, being black and white thus very wintery, but still full of floral blossom for spring and summer. Mom shortened the jacket and the sleeves by a bit to fit her height and amended the sleeve cap and armscye to make the sleeves slightly more fitted. She also ended up removing some of the ease to make the overall look less oversize – just to suit her personal style. The original Maisa pattern has a more relaxed fit and slightly dropped shoulders.
Don’t you agree that Jaana looks quite stunning and happy (if a bit frozen) in her new Maisa?
Saara & Laura & Jaana from Named