29.1.2019 - Coats & Jackets , Finished , Inspiration

Maisa in the Heart of the Winter

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?

Happy sewing!
Saara & Laura & Jaana from Named

Pattern: Maisa Denim Jacket
Fabric: Nuppu Print Company cotton-linen

10.1.2019 - Anni , Finished , Housut & Shortsit

New Year, New Pattern!

(… Or at least half a pattern)
Happy 2019! Remember the Anni building block pattern that we released on our 5th birthday last year? And the Wrap Skirt add-on block that was published in October? Now we have yet another add-on pattern for Anni, and it’s a wrap bodice! The Anni Wrap Bodice add-on block will be sold exclusively in our web shop, as of tomorrow the 11th of January 2019!

Technically this new block includes two pattern pieces: a new center front piece and a front facing, which replace the front and front facing patterns of the original Anni pattern to create a brand new wrap neckline. It can be sewn with any Anni bottom variation – jumpsuit, playsuit or skirt, and with a short or a long sleeve, or sleeveless. If you use one of the original Anni bottoms (listed above), the garment will have a zipper fastening in the back, and a faux-wrap front. Or, you can also sew the new wrap bodice to the add-on wrap skirt pattern and make a wrap dress with a tie closure. In that case note that you will still need both the original Anni pattern and the Wrap Skirt add-on, since the Wrap Bodice add-on doesn’t include the back, side and sleeve pieces.

I made an Anni Faux Wrap Jumpsuit to wear for my dear friend Tiia’s wedding last September. I used the jumpsuit bottom with the wrap front, and made my Anni without sleeves. I also added a belt with belt loops, just to emphasize the wrap effect, even though the garment has an invisible zip in the back. I sewed it in this gorgeous light jacquard that we received from a friend Nicoletta – also a pattern designer behind the brand di Nuvole di Cuori – years ago and have been saving for something special. And isn’t the confetti print just the right choice for an event as festive as a wedding? I sure think so! I had just enough of this precious fabric for a jumpsuit, even though I had to make the belt from 3 bits, and the front facings in two parts.

I love the jumpsuit so much, but haven’t been able to wear it even once since the wedding, sadly. It is not quite something that one could wear just for the office or taking out garbage, I will just have to wait for the right occasion. Additionally, I had shoes with a moderate 18-cm heel, so if I wear the jumpsuit with any other footwear, I’m not only considerably shorter, but the jumpsuit legs are also that much too long! (I might have to shorten them later, or alternatively grow longer legs.)

Instead, I have been wearing the heck out of the plaid Anni Jumpsuit sample that we sewed for our photoshoot! The style is not on our site yet, but you can see the samples in our Facebook or on the slideshow of our web site’s front page. In fact, it has been my favorite garment last fall, and has already starred in our new headshots, and in our London book release party! Even though I think jumpsuits are the absolute best thing to wear right now, I’m planning to combine this wrap bodice with the pencil skirt bottom next and create a pinafore-like faux wrap mini dress.

But, what on earth is a building block pattern? Let’s recap quickly! Our Anni has various pieces for different bottoms, necklines and sleeves, so called ”building blocks”, that are all (with a few exceptions) compatible with each other. Most blocks come with the original pattern (PDF only, costs 13 €), and the add-on blocks don’t work alone without it. Having all the blocks means that you get a chance to select details, such as sleeves, necklines and bottoms as you like and create a style that is 100% your own.

The new add on for Anni increases the amount of variations with 9 new styles, and if you top that with the Wrap Skirt add-on, 12 variations! That is 60 variations in total. The new add-on will be available tomorrow!

Happy sewing!

20.12.2018 - Uncategorized

Behind the BTP - Part 4

Have you ever wondered what and where the places in our book’s photos are? Probably not, but let’s take a tour anyway! When the two of us were just starting to plan our sewing book, we already had an idea about the photo shoot. We thought it would be fun to display the garments somewhere in our hometown of Helsinki, together with our good old team – the fantastic photographer Arto Markkanen, and the Make-up artist Jannica Stelander who we can always count on. We have worked with these two  for a couple of years already, and wanted to have them in this photo shoot yet again, so it made sense taking the photos here where most of the team was.

We looked for locations that have character, but aren’t too dominant. They also had to be quite close to each other in order to make our photo shoot day go quick and smooth! Now that we look back, it’s a bit hard to recall why we selected these exact places. Funnily, they are all quite familiar to us in one way or another, and they are also close to our studio shop in Eastern part of the inner city area of Helsinki.

Our first location was the Isoisänsilta bridge, which is a beautiful new white bridge that connects Sompasaari to the Mustikkamaa island. Our FW16 collection photos were taken on the Mustikkamaa island, just a few months before this bridge was opened! The idea to take photos there was Claire’s, the designer of our book from Quadrille. She had seen a photo of the bridge somewhere in the internet and thought it looked like a beautiful place for a photo session – and we definitely agree!

The second location was right next to Isoisänsilta at Suvilahti. Suvilahti is an old power plant zone that has been turned into a cultural area – for example the Flow music festival is held there every August. One might say that it’s a very hipstery place, and Suvilahti is often spotted starring many photos, fashion and other. In fact our FW15 collection was also partly photographed in Suvilahti!

And it’s no wonder why Suvilahti is such a popular place for holding photo shoots – the location is very unique and picturesque with the monstrous gasometers and the beautiful old electric power plant buildings that date back to the early 20th century. We especially fell in love with the wavy surface of the plaster wall of the Kattilahalli building, as well as the colossal gasometer of course.

Our third location was Konepaja at Vallila, which has originally been owned by the VR concern (a state owned railway company) since 1903, but is now an up and coming neighborhood, and the home of many businesses and people. Also, Konepaja is right across the street from our shop.

Konepaja has originally served as a railway carriage repair station and factory, and the old red brick buildings and pipes bear a lot of history!

The last shooting location was in Itä-Pasila, an area in Helsinki which has been built mostly in the 70’s, and was once considered quite an ugly part of the city, with plenty of concrete and lots of soulless office buildings.

Lately Pasila has had quite the facelift, and it has been colored with the works of many street artists! It is now the place to be for Helsinki street art lovers.

A good example of how fast the concrete walls are being colored by art in Pasila, is this big mural by the Canadian street artist Li-Hill, that wasn’t here six months earlier when we were taking photos of the same wall.

We chose Itä-Pasila for its roughness, which creates a nice contrast to the beautiful and graphic Isoisänsilta, and the nostalgic Suvilahti and Konepaja. All these places together create a nice traditional yet contemporary atmosphere for the book. (Or at least we think so.)

Thank you for reading!
Laura & Saara

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