We are more than delighted to be a part of this year’s Refashioners, not only as sponsors but also as bloggers! If you’re not familiar with the concept yet, you can read more about the Refashioners on this web page. The theme (suits!) is also absolutely thrilling this time around! Unfortunately suits, like so many fashion items that we consider timeless classics, are actually often very trend-sensitive (compare the 80’s loose-fitting, mega-shoulder-padded-double-breasted suit to today’s slick and slim-fit suit and you’ll get the point), and to see all that quality fabric go to waist unused at a flea market is such a pity. So upcycling some old suits into something new is not only an inspiring, but also a smart idea.
Well, we begun our trip to the refashioning by touring some local flea markets in Helsinki, since we didn’t have any old suits of our own at hand. Finding used suits at any thrift shop was an easy task, but finding ones with a nice quality, non-stained and completely worn out fabric was a bit harder! Eventually we found a suitable two-piece pinstripe suit, and a separate pair of trousers to match, both in classic gray.
We unpicked the seams of both of the pants, and there was pretty much nothing left of them after we had cut out all of our pieces. From the jacket we only used the sleeves and part of the back, which was a pity since now we have a front of a suit left with no idea what to do with it! A matching hat maybe?
For the pattern we chose the Agate dress from our new collection, since it already has quite small and slim pattern pieces that would be easy to cut out of the legs of the pants. The pattern still required some chopping in order to be cut out of such small pieces, so we slashed the side pieces at the waist, and the front and back pieces diagonally a bit above the waist. Eventually the cut turned out very nice, and playing with the horizontal, vertical and diagonal pinstripes was a lot of fun!
We also took the original buttons from the coat, and used them at the back of the dress (not the most handy closure for a close-fitting garment, but looks pretty and matches well with the vintagy look of the dress!)
The only thing we had to buy new, was the invisible zipper for the vent, and the interfacings.
Please remember to follow the Refashioners all the way until the end of September in instagram with #therefashioners2017 and at http://www.makery.uk
Saara & Laura from Named
Did you know, that our Ninni culottes were named after a character called Ninni in the Muumi books by a Finnish author Tove Jansson? Those books and the TV animation made after them are a big thing here in Finland, and a huge part of our cultural heritage and identity. We’re kind of insanely proud of Muumis here. Anyways, in the book Ninni was a girl, who was so neglected that she started to become invisible, which is sad beyond words! But in the end everything turned out all right and Ninni became visible again. Yay! That Muumi tale has nothing to do with these pants per se, but it’s a beautiful and inspirational story, and definitely makes for a nice anecdote to start a blog post with.
The Ninni Culottes are of course not invisible. They are one of those very basic garments, that are essential for every summer wardrobe, or at least me and Saara seem to think so. Both of us have made a pair of Ninnis for ourselves this summer (both in gray, for some reason) and are loving the heck out of them.
Saara used the same gray rayon-blend jersey from Eurokangas as Varpu in her Ninni/Delphi playsuit, and I opted for a light gray melangue sweater fabric, which we digged out of a remnant bin, also at Eurokangas.
Saara followed the pattern precisely otherwise, except for the side pockets which she omitted, and for the legs that she shortened by a bit. I kept the pockets, but sewed them slightly differently with a topstitching, to emphasize the sweatpant-look that I found inspiring. For the same reason I also added a drawstring inside the waistband. (And I too shortened the legs.)
The pants are both the same size, but since my fabric has a lot more structure than Saara’s flowy jersey, they look quite different, don’t they!
Now, did you know about Indie pattern month, and that it has just started last Sunday? You can read everything about it here, but in a nutshell: it’s a month long celebration of the wonder that is indie pattern labels! Such as Named, By Hand London, Victory Patterns, Waffle Patterns, Sew House Seven and so many more!
You can support indie patterns by purchasing this amazing pick-and-mix pattern bundle here (at a great discount of course!). A portion of the bundle sales is also donated to the Women’s Refuge, so there has never been a better reason to invest in some indie patterns. The Ninni culotte pattern is also part of the bundle.
May we introduce to you our second intern ever – Varpu! Unfortunately her internship at Named has already ended some time ago, but while she was here she proved to be a hard working and talented little lady, with a fantastic attitude and heaps of creativity! She did some great work with us this spring, including this playsuit she designed, which is a combination of our Delphi and Ninni patterns (so I guess we should call it Denni, right?).
The top part of the Denni playsuit is from Delphi, which is a maxi dress pattern originally released in the spring of 2015. The bottom half is Ninni culottes from our newest Playground collection, only shortened into shorts. It’s always fun to combine two patterns, especially when the patterns are from different collections!
To make the top and bottom halves match, Varpu sewed inverted pleats on the front and back of the pants (the Ninni pattern has quite a lot of ease at the waist, compared to the Delphi top).
Varpu also added a snap button closure to the back strap, as the playsuit would otherwise be a bit too hard to put on. She used a cool rayon blend jersey from Eurokangas, which is ideal for the summery weather, but also works well over a turtleneck and pantyhose! (The beginning of summer is really taking its time here in Helsinki this year.)
If you became as excited about Denni as we did, note that for a limited time you can get a 20 % discount on both the Delphi and Ninni pdf patterns! Use the below code at the check out (The code will expire on June 4th):