So, I’ve joined in on the Breaking Ground Blog Tour. The tour is hosted by Melissa from mahlicadesigns. I’m joining almost 20 bloggers to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, with a focus on smaller indie designers.
Last year I discovered the Finnish pattern designer Named Clothing. I was really impressed with their sophisticated looks – the lines are simple and slightly architectural. I bought myself a couple of their patterns when they were on sale, but I had not attempted to sew one of them up until now. This blog tour was the perfect motivation to sew up one of my new patterns.
Introducing the Sointu Kimono Tee by Named Clothing.
This is a kimono style top. I seem to have a thing for kimono sleeves lately, or maybe its just what is the current fashion? This one is different to my previous creations (Gypsy and Akinori) because it is designed for knit fabric!
In comparison to the other kimono style tops that I have made, this one has similar proportions, such as width, bodice length etc. The main difference is in the sleeve, this sleeve is much tighter, with a narrower opening. I like this because I have less gaping, and this makes it much more wearable and versatile – the gaping makes me consider the garment to be more for casual wear only, whereas I would be quite confident at wearing my Sointu for office wear.
I used a medium-weight ponti, which is the recommended fabric. When I was making this, I was really hoping to achieve the look as pictured on the Named website, and I think that I did a reasonable job of it.
The pattern was easy to assemble, the pdf comes with the layers printing option, which always makes things so much easier. This pattern also comes in an English language printed option too, in case you’d prefer that to the pdf version.
The instructions were not overloaded with tutorial pictures, but each step was sufficiently explained to achieve some nice details on what would otherwise be quite a plain top. Firstly, the shoulder seams are reinforced with clear elastic tape – usually I tend to ignore this kind of instruction as I’m not sure if it really does add that much value, but this time I decided to follow the pattern exactly as instructed.
I stitched all my seams with my regular sewing machine, and finished the raw edges afterward with the overlocker using woolly nylon thread in the both of the loopers. I only recently “discovered” woolly nylon, I can’t believe that its such a big secret! It makes the seams so soft, provides greater coverage of the raw edge, creates a stretchy seam, and also gives an extra-special finish for decorative rolled or coverstitch hems. So I use woolly nylon for all my knits now.
I used a strip of self-fabric for the neckline binding. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen ‘knit’ bias binding before, but maybe that’s just because I’ve never gone looking for it. The pattern recommended to use a strip parallel to the selvage, I used the actual selvage because this fabric was quite stretchy along the edge and it meant that I didn’t need to finish the raw edge.
It was tricky to sew around the front of the neckline – it is not a sharp ‘v’, but is slightly rounded. Mine isn’t perfect, although I think its perfectly wearable! I’m happy enough with it, but with a bit of practice I’m sure it could lie a bit flatter than it currently does. The method for attaching the binding was one that I am quite familiar with, so I didn’t have any problems understanding it, I think that I just didn’t ease the binding in enough at the front.
This is a kimono style tee, so the sleeves are one piece with the bodice, however there are bands instead of hems. This is a really nice style feature, particularly as this fabric has a subtle self-stripe, which can be seen here because the bands are cut in a different direction to the raw edge of the sleeve/bodice piece.
The bands didn’t really stand out (to me, at least) in the pattern listing, but they could become quite a feature if made in a contrast fabric, or with a printed fabric that had a definite one-way design. For me, it meant that I didn’t need to do actual hems on the sleeve, which is a real time-saver, in fact, this top was very quick to make up.
By far the fiddliest part of this whole thing was the belt loops. This fabric is a little bit slippery, and the pattern piece just didn’t want to behave! So instead of neat rows of stitching down each side, I ended up with multiple rows of stitching to make sure that I captured all the edges, raw and folded. I probably should have used my coverstitch machine to make them instead, that might have been easier, but I was determined to follow the instructions exactly.
I also followed the instructions exactly for the hem, again I could have used my coverstitch machine, but this fabric worked quite well for this hem treatment, it sits quite well.
Overall, the Sointu has a nicely drafted shape, the neckline is nice and the sleeves are comfortable. But its definitely the belt that makes it a stand out piece. The belt is really long – like really, really, really, really long. The pattern says that it is designed to go around the waist twice – but even though it is so long, I felt that it was too thick and therefore not really flattering when wound around me twice, so I tied it with a longer bow, which I quite like the look that makes.
Just to show you, here are some pics without the belt, you can see that it is pretty much shapeless, although it would lend itself quite well to layering, especially if you like the lagenlook style.
Overall, I was happy with the placement of the belt loops, they sit right on my natural waist and the top is very comfortable to wear, but I would prefer the hem to be just a little longer, I think its just that I prefer this style of top as a tunic rather than a top – probably due to my height, I feel that it visually ‘cuts’ me in half. If I make this again (which is quite likely) I would also add a bit of extra length to the front only, I made a straight size, with no modifications, but I think a small modification – lets call it a part-fba – is needed. Its not so obvious when I’m wearing the belt, but there is a small high-low thing happening with the hemline, which is not supposed to be there. It is more obvious without the belt.
The Blog Tour
As I mentioned above, this amazing blog tour has been organised by Melissa who blogs at mahlicadesigns. Go check out these awesome bloggers:
Thanks for reading!