Dressmaking

Reeta Dress by Named

Here in Amsterdam we are on strict lockdown with an evening curfew, everything closed including shops and bars and schools, including my workplace. So let’s just say my #MakeNine2021 is moving MUCH faster than I’d expected!

I bought the Reeta dress last autumn after seeing the fabulous version by Stitch Odyssey. I love Marie’s version and choice of fabric, as well as her use of hardware instead of the buttonholes.

Marie’s Reeta was a big inspiration for me!

I couldn’t shake the notion of a viscose Reeta (and maybe a viscose linen!) and once I can imagine a pattern in more than one variation/fabric that usually closes the deal for me.

I picked up a khaki viscose twill fabric in Boerenbonthal fabrics in Amsterdam which is a treasure trove of gorgeous fabrics. I love the tone of this fabric and I thought with the Reeta pattern it would give a really relaxed vibe.

The Named Reeta Dress

I had read on various reviews that this was a complex construction, particularly the collar. I would 100% agree. Having done the burrito method a few times and even tackled the Libby blouse I felt pretty confident but this construction really had me scratching my head and needing regular coffee breaks. I think the main thing for me was that usually, the final step of a collar is to hand stitch or topstitch the collar down at the back of the neck. On this pattern, that final closure is actually at the shoulder seam, meaning all the collar and facings are fully enclosed.

I won’t go into too much detail about this except to recommend this excellent video tutorial by Sew Sew Like on Youtube which Marie had recommended. I hadn’t seen this channel before and am not usually a fan of video sewalongs but this has really changed my mind – having the reference of the video, instructions and my own experience sped up the process enormously! Saremy is really knowledgeable and I learnt a lot from watching her, including a rolled hem on an overlocked edge.

The choice of fabric twill is also something I’d question when making this dress again. The construction requires a lot of pressing and this particular fabric seemed to burn (going shiny) very easily no matter the temperature and even when using a pressing cloth. I therefore tried to steam and hand press the seams where possible. Next time I would use a viscose print or a viscose linen to still have the drape but not the annoying creasing and burning. That said, once the fabric ordeal was over I do really, really love the dress.

I don’t have a working buttonhole foot at the moment so stitched the buttons on through all layers. However I’m not sure I’ll take the buttons off when I do get my foot back as the dress is loose enough to get on and off without button holes. I will however add buttonholes for the drawstring.

In the meantime I can wear it with a belt and further try to prove the “cost per wear” rationale to my boyfriend….

Overall I am really pleased with this dress. It was made at a stressful time; watching the riots and looting in the Netherlands in protest of the lockdown measures has got me feeling so far from the UK and that the chance of seeing my mum any time soon keeps getting further away. Sewing is definitely my happy place and I was able to pour a lot of stress into this project and will always value it for that reason. As a bonus, I think it looks flipping great!

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