Sunday, January 28, 2018

Agate Pencil Dress by Named Clothing

I decided to do a blog post about the Agate Pencil Dress from Named Clothing for two reasons. One because I think it's a rather amazing both design and result. But also because I wanted to show you how I modified this pattern to my long upper body and at the same time blended sizes.

The pattern is a semi-fitted pattern. I'm pretty sure I made that word up but that is what it is. It has shapes on the side seams. Plus vertical darts create extra shape both front and back but at the same time it's not meant to be slim fit. Although mine is rather fitting over my hips, but that's just the way I think I look best in these types of clothes and with this type of fabric.

I did regret my fabric choice a little bit. Not in general, the fabric is amazing, but for this dress it's just a bit too stiff.
Both fabrics are from Mood Fabrics and they both have sort of textured stripes. HERE is the light one and HERE is the dark one. The light one has a tad of stretch.

The dress is actually very simple to sew. No set in sleeves and the neckline just has a facing. You do have to sew in two invisible zippers though. One in the side seam and one that works as a slit. Don't forget a strip of interfacing along those seams, m'okay!

The hardest part for me personally was to get the right shape on the side seam. To find the right balance between the waist and the hip. That is always a bit of a struggle when being pear shaped I think because there is a lot of curve. I put it on, inside out, and then add pins, look in the mirror, adjust the pins etc etc, until I think it looks right. Then I sew, press and try it on again. It not unusual that a bit more adjustment is needed after the first initial sew.

When a dress has vertical darts, you need the widest part of the dart to hit your natural waist. If you are tall and/or have a long upper body, then you need to adjust the pattern.
I knew I needed general length but I also knew that the darts would be out of place on me, if I didn't adjust them too. See what I did below.

I cut all pattern pieces at the waistline (which Named luckily has marked), added 5 cm / 2" and then moved the top part of the dart down the same 5 cm / 2". I did the same on the back pieces.

At the same time I blended sizes. Size 40 for the top and kind of size 42 for the bottom. I'm saying 'kind of' because I only blended on the center bodice piece (front and back), not on the more narrow side pieces. Maybe I should do those as well if (when) I sew it up again with all fabrics being non-stretchy, because it fit me exactly on my widest point at my hips at this point.

You can see how super wide the sleeves are. Almost a bit batwing. I love them but again, less stiff fabric would have been (even) better.

Ha, I'm looking at these photos and wish I could reach in and smooth out this dress a bit. Pull down that one sleeve, give the skirt part a little twist so it's placed straight etc etc. OH well! I do try to make my photo sessions fairly quick and fuss free because I've realized it's that or not getting them done.

You can see that zipper slit pretty good on this photo. It can be zipped up further but I feel this is enough to walk unhindered.

Get your Agate Pencil Dress HERE.

Thank you!


  1. I love it. Perfect fit ♡. I know that Agate is designed for woven fabrics - but I bet she will look great in a stable yet soft knit as well. A ponte would be great. On my to do list.

    1. I have definitely been thinking about making it in a stable knit too. Bye bye zippers, hello secret pajamas. ;-)

  2. Wow, you always look so elegant and put together in these "quick and fuss-free" photo shoots! And the fit on the dress is (naturally) perfection! I think it would be wonderful in a knit, too.

  3. I think your fit is amazing - the dress is so pretty on you! I agree with you that something maybe a little lighter/drapier would make this dress just perfect especially around the sleeves :)

  4. The fit is awesome! You look great in it! I could see it in knit. 💙💙

  5. I love the vertical seams on this. very nice.


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