Sewn: Named Helmi Trench Dress

One of my sewing goals for 2017 was to take things a bit slower. Which I have, largely out of necessity - there are only so many hours in the day, after all! So I've been thinking long and hard about what I'd like to add to my wardrobe, and making what I hope are smart choices.

Which leads me to the Named Helmi Tunic Dress/Trench Blouse. At first, I planned to make the tunic option, keeping things simple. There are a lot of great versions of the tunic out there, and I love the style. But once I had my fabric in hand (and had picked up an extra half yard because only getting 2 yards made me nervous), I decided to cut all the pieces and play around to see what I could come up with. I landed on basically combining all the elements of the two into one, and the Trench Dress was born.

I rashly held the pattern up to myself and decided that I wouldn't do a low/full bust adjustment, which I have done on other Named patterns (and other patterns in general), but these darts seemed to be in a good spot. And after eyeballing the sleeve cap shape, I didn't do my usual forward shoulder adjustment, either. This is a straight out of the box size 44. I'm 5'7, and I think the length is great. Next time I make this pattern, I will add some length to the front bodice, but it's pretty good as is.

The fabric is a lovely soft wool/silk blend from King Textiles here in Toronto, and the brass toned buttons are from Queen Textiles - they don't have a lot of buttons, but they do have some old stock buttons and other finishing bits that they are selling off.

Just for you, the buttons! Hidden, but I just love them.

I ended up loving the buttons so much, I went back for more for Helmi number two, which will be another mash up of the two views for summer. I think this pattern has boat loads of potential for mixing and matching the pieces and coming up with different looks. The tunic has been fairly popular in the world of sewing blogs, but I only came across one blouse version, which is very cool.

Here's the back - the "trench" panel adds some nice visual interest.

The sleeves have a fun trench coat style belt to cinch them in place. No need for sleeve plackets here! And you can see a sneak peek of my lining, a lovely mushroom colour slippery as all get out mystery textile. It was a royal pain to cut out, but worth it for the colour.

The collar & neck fit is spot on.
Now on to sewing for the summer - jumpsuits ahead, as promised!

Happy Sewing!


  1. What a great dress! It has such unusual details, but it really doesn't read as a coat from far away. Very cool!

    1. Thanks Gillian, I feel very fashion forward in it! Also, it was warm during my work event yesterday, in this blasted cold & rain, which was a nice bonus.


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