A new (to me) favourite dress has come in to my life for autumn and it has to be shared! The Lempi button down dress – lempi meaning love, from Named doesn’t seem to get a great deal of attention from the Instagram sewing community, but it is such an unsung hero.
The relaxed fit, pulled together with a self-fabric belt, makes fitting and sewing so straightforward. There are bust darts but other than that the dress is essentially straight up and down. Named designs are subtly quirky, they don’t create ‘out there’ shapes or overtly ‘statement’ garments, but I love the subtle details they put in to their patterns that make them beautifully unique. On the Lempi, this detail is found in the collar. Taking it up a notch from being a standard shirtdress, the open ‘step’ between the collar pieces gives a little twist to a classic shape; it’s almost a little nod to 1950s dresses, but on a totally modern dress.
I cut a size 2 with no alterations and the fit is perfect. The pattern has in-seam pockets and patch pockets which baffled me a bit so I opted to just do the latter. They’re such good pockets, absolutely enormous! They do sit a bit low, probably because they’re meant to fit below the in-seam pockets, so on my next Lempi I’ll sew them a couple of centimetres higher.
As for the fabric, I used this amazing striped cotton I bought from Minerva a couple of years ago. It’s such a beauty, the colourful stripes are actually stitched in, giving it a lovely texture. The only downside I’ve found is it’s really hard to iron – you can see my dress looks a bit creased, I think the iron struggles to reach beyond the stripes! The fabric is non-stretch but because of the stripes it concertinas a little when being handled, so I was cautious not to stretch it out of place at all when sewing and luckily it all came together nicely! Again, this is probably down to the fact the design is so straightforward to sew.
I’ve worn the dress quite a few times already and every time it gets so many compliments. It’s comfortable but looks smart, classic but with a twist, and it just feels great to wear. I’d been saving some insanely beautiful needlecord from Sew Me Sunshine for the perfect project, and it’s fitting that Lempi means love, she is The One!
Bonus Anchorman points to anyone who got the title of this post!