Dressmaking

Lahja Gown by Named Clothing

I was provided fabric for this make as part of the Minerva brand ambassador programme. All opinions are my own.

Over the last year my sewing journey has taken me in a few directions, but the one thing I haven’t made? Loungewear. I know. 12 months of sewing through a pandemic and the one thing I haven’t actually made is the clothing I wear on a daily basis.

There’s a couple of reasons I’ve been so resistant to make lounge or sleepwear. I think I was trying to manifest the end of lockdown by sewing for the person I was determined to be again once it ended – lovely floaty dresses, power shirts, cute skirts. Part of me felt like sewing loungewear was admitting that we were stuck in the situation and I didn’t want to do it. Strange I know, but I guess we can’t change how we’ve all reacted individually to the events of the last year.

I’ve also got an irrational fear of sewing jersey which isn’t particularly compatible with loungewear. I like to be super cosy on the couch and couldn’t imagine feeling snug in a woven.

UNTIL. Earlier this year my Patreons had an exclusive discount to Named Clothing and the Lahja gown caught my eye. Also part of the Guthrie & Ghani Sewing Society, the Lahja was suddenly having a moment and I got a bit swept up in the idea of one, and bought it on a whim.

Lauren from Guthrie and Ghani in her Lahja

Fast forward a few months and of course, loungewear still not my priority, the Lahja was languishing in my pattern collection and I decided it was time to give it a go.

As part of the Minerva ambassador programme I can pick a fabric each month to work with. This viscose challis had just enough Hugh Hefner vibes to give off the filthy rich heiress look I was going for, and having sewn with Minerva challis before I knew it would be comfy. So let’s get into the details of this make!

The Lahja has two views – I went with the short view (using the longer sleeves) and made a medium based on my measurements.

The Lahja gown and its two views

This was a really nice make – with no darts and sleeves set on the flat it was quite straightforward. Feeling fancy, I decided to do french seams (if you do this, might be worth adding to the seam allowance as I personally prefer doing them on a 1.5cm SA over the 1cm Named uses). I also invisibly slip stitched the collar where the pattern recommended stitching in the ditch, as I can never get this as neatly as I’d like.

The fabric worked really well for this make. Most of the Lahjas I’ve seen on instagram have used either waffle cotton, towelling or linen so I wasn’t sure how it would take to a viscose. However it was a perfect pairing and the drape of the fabric works really nicely for the big sleeves and collar. I interfaced the collar pieces but forgot to do the belt – this didn’t cause any major issues.

I do think there is one error in the Lahja instructions in that the sleeve hem allowance is not mentioned. I used 6cm as the long was very long on my arms and will write to Named to ask about this.

Otherwise there were no confusing parts and I would definitely recommend this pattern. I even managed to squeeze a Maya Cami out of the leftovers of this fabric so that will be my first sleepwear garment to match! I’m a new woman!

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