Jess just published a very thoughtful post about sewing and body image, and the siren song of popular patterns. I’ve been sitting on some thoughts along those lines but I think Jess said it better than I could. So I begin with a reading recommendation today.

And instead of a more substantial post about what I’ve been sewing (and thinking about sewing) this summer, I give you a partial update with a trip down memory lane.

Here are all the versions of the Helmi pattern by Named Clothing that I’ve made so far.

I started by making the blouse version:


This version, in a slippery lightweight polyester crepe, was my wearable muslin. I went with the hidden button placket but without the intriguing trench details. (More about the blouse here.)

And then I couldn’t stop, though I ditched the hidden placket on my next versions:

(More about the blue blouse and the black blouse appears in this post.)

I added kimono sleeves on summer versions:

And the dresses:

The first one in a stripy cotton (I later elasticated the back waist on that one),

the second one in a Cotton and Steel cotton print, with a bit more body:


And the latest one, sewn this summer, in a cotton chambray:


On this one, I elasticated both the front and back. And I added this simple belt with D-rings, because I felt like that waist seam needed something more.

All the dress versions have pockets, pinched from a Simplicity pattern, by the way.

I pick up this pattern when I feel stuck, dispirited about fitting, but looking for a meaningful addition to my wardrobe despite those troubles.

So that clearly fits the definition of a tried-and-true pattern, but also says something about the adventure of dressing yourself…

This post will need an addendum because there’s one more blouse I have somehow failed to photograph although it’s a staple of my work wardrobe.

But, for now, I’m sharing this love letter to Helmi as is — maybe it can help someone get out of a sewing rut?…

What’s your go-to pattern?


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

10 thoughts on “Helmirama”

    1. I wish! Well, I certainly wouldn’t mind some sort of an “ambassador” gig for them 😉

      The blue shirt might be my most worn top in the summers, and I’m getting a lot of wear out of the chambray dress for work right now.

      I guess I just need to make more of their patterns. And after altering the Pulmu pencil skirt for my rather shorter height than what they draft for, I think I can tackle such alterations on their other patterns if need be.

      I might preorder their book too…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love their patterns, for two reasons: I really respond to their aesthetic, but also I think I am quite a similar build to their fit model – I just have broader shoulders from what I can work out.

        But I wasn’t in love with their latest offering. I will see about the book.

        But there are a lot of their patterns that I have made multiple times: the Paola Turtleneck Tee, the Inari, the Esme Cardigan. And I think once I make my final adjustment on the Alpi Chinos I will have cracked them too. I have probably about 4 other of their patterns and love the Quinn Shirt (but it’s too ‘designed’ to be a tried&true base for me).

        I have the Helmi sitting there. Perhaps it’s time…


        1. Well, as you can see, I find that pattern absolutely irresistible 😀

          Their last one, the jumpsuit, wasn’t for me (but then jumpsuits never are). But I’m very hopeful about the book and, well, I pre-ordered it, so it had better be good!

          I need to muslin the Agate pencil dress, but I’m feeling a bit too lazy for that right now. And after seeing the stunning version of the Lempi dress sewn up by Kate from The Fold Line, I have that pattern winking at me, too… In short, I’m falling behind in my Named worship, ha ha.


  1. You’ve well and truly nailed the Helmi pattern! I realised I’m currently making my fifth, sixth and seventh versions of the Grainline Hemlock tee (all at once!). It’s just so comfy with the right cut, I couldn’t bring myself to bother messing with any other tee pattern.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I definitely don’t find it easy to try out new patterns. I mean, how big and diverse can my wardrobe get anyway? (For me, the answer is that there is a definite limit there.)

      I finally made the Inari dress and tee this summer — I hope to get that up on the blog soon. That pattern is so simple but it can look so different depending on the fabric used.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think I’ve found a bit of a groove with Named and Burda — Burda especially. I don’t have as much time and patience for fitting as I wish I did, unfortunately. That also means I have my go-to’s — I think it’s buttoned shirts for me, actually. I somehow find making and wearing them… comforting.

      With pants/trousers, I always need to work through a lot of fear about getting an unflattering fit, especially in the crotch region. In spite of that, I’ve had pretty good luck with Burda so far, I’ll keep working on that.

      Liked by 1 person

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