25.9.2014, 51 comments

Mai oh Mai!


We have been enjoying a weirdly hot summer here in Finland this year – unfortunately it was a very short summer too, and before I had the time to really enjoy it, it was already fall. Time to prepare for wet and cold weather again, no more bare legs and shoulders, boo!

But the beginning of cold season has its positive sides too – it’s refreshing to switch to a new set of clothing and re-discover all that knit, wool and layering! I haven’t been sewing at all this summer, for a couple of reasons; mainly because it’s been simply too hot to do anything. Or actually I did make one Leini Dress (I can tell you more about that later), but it only made me realize that sitting inside stitching is not something you want to do when it’s +35 C and sunny outside. And pressing is definitely not something you want to do when it’s +35 inside, too. So as the weather gets colder, it’s actually nice to return inside, sew a little, and not worry about missing out on a fantastic weather.


I decided to start my fall by making myself a brand new piece of outerwear. If I have to bear the cold, at least I can do it wearing an awesome jacket! I like making jackets and coats perhaps even more than summer clothes. Maybe it’s because wools and other fluffy wintery materials are very forgiving, unlike thin, delicate summer fabrics. So you can be a bit more careless.

I used to be afraid of sewing lined garments for a looong time, until I dared to make one and realized that, when you know what you’re doing, sewing a lined item is not any harder than making an unlined one! And lined garments are just much neater, more comfortable and long-lasting in comparison to many unlined garments – that is of course if you choose a good quality, durable lining fabric.


The other reason for not sewing at all this summer is that we had hired a professional seamstress to make our samples (it’s our mom <3), so I didn’t actually have to sew. But when I finally got to making my jacket, I was so happy to be back in front of the Singer and just sewing away!

I chose the Mai Zip Jacket because I felt that my wardrobe was missing such a cool and casual everyday-jacket. I refused to make anything too wintery since I wanted to start wearing it right away. And may I say (or Mai I say) that this jacket was finished just in time – As soon as I had it done, the weather got much colder.


I made some minor changes to the pattern: First of all, I made the jacket without the zippers at the sleeves. I also left out the in-seam side pockets and merged the contrast panel around the zipper to the bodice. I made the hemline band slightly narrower (-1 cm) too. Most of these changes were made simply because I wanted to make the jacket somewhat quickly, so I stripped it down and removed most of the details. I also wanted it to be slightly simpler and more casual than the original jacket.


The fabrics were bought at Eurokangas, Tammisto. I chose a lovely forest green & black hound’s tooth check buclé for the bodice, and a black Gucci wool blend for the sleeves, shoulder yokes, collar and hemline. The lining is smooth, shiny black, 100% viscose satin.


And I’m very pleased with the result! Have been wearing it every day, like planned! I really think that this is a perfect casual jacket for everyday use – it’s comfortable, easy-to-wear and goes with almost everything. It’s not too fancy for any occasion, but not too ‘sloppy’ either. And even though Mai might be a bit time consuming (It took me approximately a day and a half, but most coats do), it’s not that difficult to make. At least not the stripped down version. What do you think about my Mai jacket?


I’m glad that you have read this post all the way to here! This blog post is actually kind of a tester; we need your help with something. We are trying to bring our blog to life (you know, to actually start writing it), and would like to hear what you’d want to see and read about! Would you like tips and tutorials of special techniques, pattern alterations and specific garments? Which techniques and garments especially? Or style tips and outfit posts, behind the scenes stories? Or would you prefer sew-alongs and giveaways? Or just us rambling on about ourselves like I did with this post (probably not). We would be very happy if you left your comments either here in our blog, or sent them to our mail: info@namedclothing.com!

Out of all commenters we will raffle three lucky winners who will get the Mai Zip Jacket pattern for free! Or, if they don’t fancy Mai or have it already, switch it to any other Named pattern of their choice. The raffle winners will be announced on Monday 6th of October.

Thank you! Warm and fuzzy beginning of fall!



P.S.  My next make of this fall was a wedding outfit for my friend’s wedding. Which was a disaster! The outfit, not the wedding. Would you be interested in hearing more about that…?

Images: Saara Huhta; Locations: Talvipuutarha, Kumpula Botanical Garden.



  1. pigscanflee says:

    HI Laura, personally I would love to hear about your sewing whether it is disastrous or successful. I have to admit I also love the idea of giveaways and competitions as I am on a tight budget and so the chance to win one of your lovely patterns sounds like fun. I also like to read your behind the scenes stories I am so impressed that you and your sister are so innovative to start your own company at such a young age. I love your patterns and your style. I can hardly wait to try one of your patterns they are so beautiful. All the best. Estelle

    1. named says:

      Hi Estelle, and thank you for your comment! It’s all noted, and we will do our best to update our blog with our personal sewing news (successful or not) as much as possible! Thank you so much for all the compliments, that is so sweet of you <3 All the best, Laura

  2. Corina Kostreba says:

    I love your blog. I just started following blogs about 2 months ago and found you. May I say that I love this jacket and your fabric choices. Exquisite shot of shoulder reveals your sewing skills as we’ll as the beauty of the fabrics. My only wish is that your patterns came in my size so I wouldn’t have to make multiple alterations. Exquisite bomber jacket!!!

  3. Eileen says:

    Lovely jacket, this kind of post explaining fabric choices and pattern changes is great to read, really makes a pattern more appealing to see different possibilities.

  4. Mari says:

    I love your patterns! Actually I quite enjoyed reading this blog. What caught my eye was the jacket and the fact that it’s one of your patterns. I don’t care for sew-alongs. Not that they aren’t a great idea, just don’t have the time for them. I would much rather see you modeling one of your patterns come to life. This way I can view it from every angle. For me this is so important than viewing a frontal view of it on a model. EVEN MORE IMPORTANT for me is the fabric suggestions (down to the last details like linings). I need more educating on fabric suggestions and the whys it would be more suitable for a particular piece, but also suggestions on how to spice it up or make it more funky or quirky. Anyways, really enjoyed the blog!!

  5. Kristin says:

    I love the Mai Jacket- I have the pattern and can’t wait to make it! It is great to see one made up (besides the one shown on the pattern pages)- it is always nice to be able to get inspiration from other people’s ideas. I think I may make mine with leather sleeves!

  6. ginger says:

    Awesome jacket. Great fabric choices I love seeing different makes on different bodies. Tutorials for your patterns would be welcome.

  7. charlotte says:

    I have only recently discovered your blog and I enjoy seeing finished projects for inspiration, in different fabrics and enjoying reading you chatting on about yourself, the weather etc! in addition some sewalongs of your own patterns would be great…love the MAi jacket, want to make one but am a little intimidated by the idea of lining….so some sewalongs would get me over that fear!

  8. Mira says:

    I would love to see more finished projects of your patterns, also any tips and tutorials of your patterns would be helpful.

  9. carly says:

    Named is a recent discovery for me an everything I have made so far always gets positive comments from my friends asking where I got the garment from.

    I would love to see more variations made out of your patterns, (different colourways, fabrics etc) more collections of these variations, and submissions from the Named Clothing community.

  10. Linnie says:

    Hi! I really liked this post. I agree with some of the previous people that it allows us to get to know you a little bit better. I would really like to see in the blog some more advanced construction techniques, there are already a lot of tutorials out there for beginners. I would also enjoy very much knowing a little bit more about how such an independent brand works, so I guess behind the scenes posts would be very interesting. Thanks for asking!!

  11. Robyn says:

    Hi Laura,
    Great post! I find reading about alterations and fabric choices really helpful. A tutorial on how to sew a lined vent would be pretty awesome 🙂

  12. Anette says:

    I really enjoyed this post and loved to see more finished projects, pattern alterations, inspirations. I just realized I need a short goes with everything jacket for the fall 🙂

  13. Karène says:

    I really like your jacket and the modifications you made! I love to hear about almost everything on a sewing blog… Except when it’s about easy sewing stuff like sewing knits without a serger, an article that has been wrote a million time on the blogosphere… I am serious about sewing, I love to learn new stuff with the serger, the cover stitch, new techniques, how-to’s…! I have been sewing since I am a kid, I am now 40, and I sew for myself only!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Lovely coat and post. Anything sewing related, I’m likely to read it. I would particularly enjoy posts like this which show alternate fabrics and modifications. No such thing as too much detail. Any additional tips on construction and fit are great. I agree with the previous comment that sew-alongs can be dull for those who aren’t actively participating only because they stretch over multiple posts. I’d much rather read about a garment in one sitting. Do share the story of the wedding outfit!

  15. Abigail says:

    I think posts like this one (lovely fabric, btw) and behind-the-scenes would be great. And as I’m planning to make a Yona coat I would selfishly love a sewalong for that, too!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I love this jacket! I thought it was an interesting read, but I would definitely be interested in pattern alteration tutorials too. You should definitely talk about the wedding outfit though, I’m sure it wasn’t a disaster!

  17. Novita says:

    I love these kind of posts! Seeing the patterns made up in various kinds of fabric and styled in everyday surroundings. I also love to sew more detail and construction photos, pattern alterations and such.
    Looking forward to seeing future posts!

  18. DAwn says:

    I love your style tips and outfit posts and behind the scenes stories. And the “ramblings” as you cal it about yourselves! 🙂

  19. Amy says:

    The jacket is gorgeous, and so wearable! I haven’t tried any Named patterns yet, because I wasn’t sure how they would look on a real person in real life– but not anymore! Your post was exactly what I needed to see, and I’d love more like them!

  20. Nicki says:

    I was really excited to see this pop up on my bog feed. I love seeing things made up! I would love to read a mix of posts about your patterns – seeing them made up, tutorials on any technical bits, pattern variations and sewalongs every now and then. A sew along for this jacket (and/or your shirtdress) would definitely encourage me to go ahead and buy the patterns – which I adore and have been stalking since they were released!

  21. juliette says:

    Lovely jacket ! I’d love to see more posts about what you make with your patterns, and some pattern variations tutorials 🙂

  22. Nilla says:

    I’m sure you’ll get a lot of wear out of this jacket, it’s so cute and versatile 🙂 I would really like reading anything you post, but personally I’m more interested in pattern modifications, different fabric choices etc. than sewalongs. Keep up the good work and I’m looking forward to your next post 🙂

  23. House of Pinheiro says:

    And of course, I wrote everything but forgot to say how awesome is your jacket

  24. House of Pinheiro says:

    I really loved the way this was written because we got to know more about you personally. I would like to see in the blog a mix of subjects. Sew along a are always fun and full of techniques that people will be interested in reading, a mix of everything. Not so much giveaways.. More content so we can either learn or participate. Love xx

  25. Tara says:

    This winter bomber is really cool!
    Taking a look at my blogroll, I found that the bogs I follow regularly are not the ones that mostly offer sewalongs ( when I’m not sewing the pattern, most sewalongs annoy me, although they are very useful when I have the pattern), but rather the ones that provide me with inspiration on how to sew a pattern, fit alterations ideas, fashion tips, or even, as the Coletterie.com does, links to articles worth reading on fashion, ethics, personal development, history of garments etc.
    PS: where’s that beautiful place shown in the pictures?

  26. Michelle Frain says:

    A sew along for the jacket with all the detailing would be super

  27. Michelle Frain says:

    I love your patterns and have my eye on making the jacket and maxi dress shortly As I am in Australia we are heading into summer so the dress will be worn straight away I would like to put a really good effort into the jacket though as my hero piece for next winter so plan to source my cloth with care as we as incorporate all the details

    I believe sew along for the jacket would be great as there are so many details that it could Assist with

    So my vote is for a sew along please

  28. Sue says:

    I love this kind of post that shows the pattern made up with tips on how to alter the pattern to suit your needs. I also like to see how they are styled.

  29. Aimee Elise says:

    I love the jacket, especially the houndstooth. I would love to see you guys make more things, or post about what you’re making. As well as post sew-alongs!

  30. kat says:

    The jacket is lovely! I love the fall patterns, but as I mentioned to you guys before I am in the middle of moving to Sweden and may find myself without a sewing machine for a while so I am in a bit of a sewing limbo unfortunately…

    As for you blog!

    I agree with many others above me: I love sewalongs so much! I think they are a really great way to motivate and support, and you also get to meet new people and encourage each other through the process. Sharing knowledge, and creating little pockets of sewing communities are really fun. Maybe if I get more experience and have my sewing machine handy, I would like to host a sew along! Maybe I can do one with Named, I think that would be a lot of fun 🙂

    My favourite posts are tips and tricks or pattern hacks for the released patterns, when you guys share your own versions, and inspiration for modifications. As we have also discussed before, I love the concept of taking a lot of care and attention with creating your own clothing. You shouldn’t be shy to change it around, modify it, or make one for a friend! Tips and inspiration on how to really get the most out of a pattern is really useful! I don’t like to make the exact same pattern twice, but once I have made one and I am confident with the fit it’s a perfect base to really push yourself and try something new or learn a new skill, because you are already comfortable and confident with the basic fit of the piece. If you want a specific example of what I would find very useful, as I had briefly mentioned in a facebook comment, I would really like to make a pair of jeans. I have never done this before, so I have some questions on this process, not just the process itself but on the material types (stretchiness? material content? material weight?) but also on how to make a muslin for a garment that has negative ease because that would be new for me! I’m really excited to try new things, but when your life gets busy it can easily fall aside for more “comfortable” and “familiar” things. Sometimes we need a little push to try something new, like work with a new material type or a larger project such as a jacket!

    Ultimately, a blog which has frequent posts gets more traffic. I like almost all of the types of posts on sewing blogs! I like personal posts too because it’s a really good way to connect with your readers. It’s so easy to stay shy with the anonymity of the internet, and it can be a bit intimidating for some people to really reach out and connect, but we can form really meaningful relationships with people online and learn a lot from each other if the environment is cultivated to be something supportive and motivating.

    I really like how you guys always want to listen to your readers and include the feedback into your company and products. It’s very refreshing to see 🙂 Sorry if I rambled a bit, I was training all day for circus and I think I used up all of my energy and I should eat a cake or something…. talk to you guys later 🙂 Excited to be seeing more posts from you guys!!

  31. Francesca Amodeo says:

    Great jacket, great post. I would love to see more posts like this – I hate going to FB as people always pop up to chat about rubbish so I very rarely visit you there. I really like the idea of posts with hacks – like this but perhaps a bit more detailed. This pattern is on my list to buy, along with Leotie and a couple of others – already have Koko – but I am trying to get patterns as I need them and not before – it’s a tiny bit of self discipline from a pattern and fabric collector!

    I also like the idea of pattern alterations many of us aren’t standard, so it would be great if you could do some alterations. I’m thinking of speciific alterations – for instance, it’s easy to find a sway back alteration tutorial on line, but I found it really difficult to find one for tops or dresses witth a centre back seam. Or, how to alter a specific pattern so it goes from one size on the bottom to two sizes bigger on top or vice versa – a pattern you know might be difficult to alter thus in the normal way, by grading at the waist. Or – i’m just guessing here – narrow back alterations for raglans….

  32. Signe says:

    I would love to see what you and your readers make from your patterns. I seriously love your patterns and have made a few myself but I’m always curious about the fabric choices others make for the same designs. It might also motivate me to blog what I make, if it might be shown on your blog. 🙂

  33. Amy says:

    Love that jacket, I’m totally inspired to make one myself now! About the blog, I actually really enjoyed this post and would like to see more of them interspersed with sewing techniques/tips,pattern alterations and outfit posts for inspiration would also be super handy.

  34. Miranda says:

    Love your jacket!! I totally agree that its perfect for everyday, not to dressed up not to sloppy. I’d love to see more tips and tutorials on the blog, style tips and outfit posts would be great too. I love seeing how the pattern looks in different fabric and on different people too as it helps get a feel for the garment before you commit to making it eg is it loose or fitted and what does it look like in other colours/fabrics.

  35. Sabrina says:

    Great job, Laura! You look so pretty with that jacket enjoying the sunny weather 🙂 I can’t wait to get a free pattern and make one jacket of my own 😀

  36. Donna says:

    Beautiful jacket! I will have to give lining a go.

  37. Diana says:

    This jacket is lovely!

    Re: bringing the blog to life: I think that pattern hacks and sewalongs are some of the best things that pattern company blogs put out (like what By Hand London or Republique du Chiffon do), especially when the sewalongs have techniques in them that are useful for many patterns.

    In between sewalongs, it’s always great to see what other people are making, why they are making them, etc. I know that you guys are oriented towards sustainable fashion, so perhaps a series on choosing ethical fabric or how to make garments as durable as possible or other things of that nature?

  38. Maiken says:

    Your simple Mai jacket version is amazing. I definitely want to try one myself. I would love to hear more about your own named pattern interpretation.

  39. Joy Friesen says:

    Love your jacket. I love to see and read about projects that you have made good or bad and different ideas to mix up a pattern. I love to see ideas for different fabrics.

  40. emilie94410 says:

    It’s a really nice jacket, I love it! 🙂
    For the blog, what I want to see… I think, present some pattern alterations will be a really good thing, because it’s always good to see all of the possibilities a pattern can offer. Some sew-alongs will be a good idea also. And, because I’m curious and I think I’m not the only one, some “behind the scenes stories” 😉

  41. Sarah says:

    Beautiful jacket 🙂

    I would love to see more posts like this, some tutorials or maybe sew-alongs.

  42. Stacy Schlyer says:

    I love when the weather turns cool so I can wear all my fun jackets! This one is very cute!

  43. Heidi says:

    Making a jacket for myself is on my sewing wish list! This version is very lovely, the colors are perfect!

  44. Aude says:

    Love this one – looks like something very close to what I have been looking for for months. (yet, I would have to make it quite longer for my 1.82 cm) might be Worth a try – always a pain for me to find long patterns

  45. Beatriz says:

    Love the jacket! would love to have photo tutorials explaining techniques and existing named patterns.
    Also would love to see more dresses patterns!

  46. Melania says:

    thanks for the post. as for the blog: all of the above, in particular techniques/tips/tutorials of your patterns. thanks.

  47. Jo says:

    Hi, Lovely jacket and very nice post. I would love to know more about the pattern creation process, tips on techniques and how to sew some difficult fabric and also sew-alongs would be great. And of course let us know about the disastrous wedding outfit ;-). All the best.

  48. Jamie Swarthout says:

    I love the Mai jacket, and would love the opportunity to make one.

  49. Maike says:

    Of course we want to hear about that!:D

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