I was drawn to the Lempi dress pattern – by Named clothing – when it was first released. I love dresses that contain a number of design elements. The Sew House Seven Tea House dress is a good example. It has a flattering neckline, pockets, waist ties and sleeves. The Lempi dress ticked all the same boxes.
The experience of the 10×10 challenge led me to think about what items in my wardrobe could be styled in multiple ways. I thought the design of the Lempi dress would be ideal for both a dress and lightweight spring jacket.
Seeing this version of the dress by Kate from The Foldline inspired me to move this pattern up my sewing list. My friend Jess made an incredible version of this pattern in a luscious yellow. I love her changes to the design. It really shows how hackable this pattern is.
The fabric is a deep green cotton twill from Drapers Fabrics. I love wearing cotton twill. It wears well and generally doesn’t need ironing.
I cut out a size 40 in this garment. I should have cut out a 42 or 44 as there is little ease around the hips and bust. The fit issues are quite visible above when done up. I mainly wear this jacket open or partly done-up. I reduced the size of the front button stands to 5cm wide rather than 6cm to give my girls a little more room. The armhole in this dress is cut high – as it’s for a dress. I lowered it by 1cm and recut my sleeves to allow for extra movement both through the bicep and to allow for the extra depth at the underarm. I decided to remove the side seam pockets from the jacket as it added unnecessary bulk to my hips. I might add a single internal patch pocket for my phone if I need to.
I added liberty bias binding – purchased from The Fabric Store – down the internal seams of the button bands. As well as the internal hem of the sleeves. This design detail adds interest to the garment and makes it feel very polished.
The neckline of my dress is slightly different from the pattern as I accidentally cut into the wrong part of the garment. Thankfully I was able to make it work. The darts sit quite high on this pattern, I might lower them on my next version.
I love the finished garment. I will make this pattern again in a twill, denim or linen and in a larger size. At one point I was worried I was making a green lab coat. A pep talk from Gabrielle and Kirsten was what I needed to see this through to the end. Thank goodness for sewing friends and inspiration from the community!