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Named Clothing Agate Dress by Helen

When the Named Earth Science collection was released I immediately fell in love with the entire collection but my eyes kept returning to the Agate Dress Pattern – it is a semi-fitted kimono sleeve dress. At first sight the sillhoutte looks clean and simple but the contrast panels, belt and invisible zip at the front for adjusting the depth of the vent make this pattern stand out from the rest. I couldnt wait to get started!

I chose two beautiful crepes from Minerva – perfect for making this pattern into smart workwear. The Peach Linen Polyester Crepe Fabric in black has a lovely feel to it but its the texture that makes it stand out from the crowd and gives it a bit of a smarter feel. The grey fabric is a Polyester & Viscose Blend Crepe Fabric and is actually black and grey threads woven together to give a lovely textured colour.

Unusually my measurements put me squarely in a size 12 – no need for me to grade between sizes at the bust, waist and hip! Yippee! However, on further inspection of the finished garment measurements I decided I would be happier with a size 10 given the large amount of positive ease (a size ten still give me 1 inch at waist, 2 inches at hip and 3.5 at the bust – note the kimono sleeve adds a lot of extra room at the bust). Despite the bodice length being just right the skirt was crazily long on me and so I did take 4 inches off the skirt length!

The instructions are realy clear and easy to follow with simple diagrams helping to clarify the more complicated steps. I would, however, say this pattern is not for a beginner sewer but it is definietly achieveable for someone who has some confidence with dress making and wants to try something a bit different. With two invisible zips to insert and lots of seams due to the contrast panels it is not a quick sew but is definietly worth the effort!

The belt is also a nice extra but not essential. I had never made a belt before but the instructions were pretty clear and I had it done in no time (I didnt have eyelets to hand so I made the buttonholes on my machine instead!) but I love the way it makes the outfit feel so finished and professional looking.  

I am really pleased with the finished dress – the fit is just perfect and it is a really flattering shape. The colour blocking is one of my favourite features, especially around the arms. Given the smart look of the dress it is not one I will make over and over again as I wont be wearing it for every day but it will be my go to outfit for days when I have meetings or need to be dressed very smartly. If I was to make another I might even take a bit more off the length – the style is for it to be calf length but as I am quite short this would just make me look shorter and so I think a skirt finishing just on my knee might work a bit better.

I really enjoyed making this dress and I think I am going to love wearing it just as much but now I cant wait to get my hands on the rest of this Sewing Pattern Collection from Named Clothing!

Thanks for reading,

Helen @ H's Handcrafts

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