My New Named Patterns' Valo Dress in 'Harlequin' Linen | Silk
This dress had been percolating for some time. I have wanted to make the Valo since it was released last year. For me its beautifully shaped sweet heart neckline harkens the romance of dresses from the late 1980s and early 90s. The Named Patterns' designers have brought creative play to Valo though, with the contemporary front and back yokes providing opportunities for experimentation. The pattern images are ethereal, depicting delicate hues and highlighting the design features.
The Fabric Choices
'Harlequin' Linen | Silk comes in the original green colourway, and 'Natural'. In the end, my heart said green, and the question of what to use for the yoke was solved with a late night dip into the stash. The black and white quilting cotton features white dots that get progressively bigger across the width of the fabric. I had already cut this up (about 8 years ago) ready to make a panelled skirt, so I had to try and place the yoke pieces where they would fit. In the end the front and back yoke feature different sized dots to good effect. It is a lesson in repurposing abandoned Works in Progress 😆 - AWIPS
Like many of you, I am always tweaking designs: it's the beauty of sewing. I never wear knee-length dresses, so it's either of midi or maxi for me. I like the length of this, but I forgot to leave side splits, which always seems to make my midi/maxi dresses a bit more modern (and provide ventilation👌). Even though I hate unpicking, I think I will add these.
I kept the dropped skirt seam, although you can't really notice it with this print. I think it offers a nice design detail. Next time though I will change it to a regular waist seam and add in-seam pockets (anchored at the waist).
At the last moment I decided to omit the elastic casing and opt for a tie instead. I have a few elasticised waist dresses, and they all seem to ride up when I lift my arms, and ties seem to behave for me (especially if I make them extra long so I can wrap them around a couple of times).
Because I was in a fossicking kind of mood, I decided to add some beads to the ties. I took advantage of all the piecing (needed to get the length I wanted) and included a small piece of the black and white spot fabric, to echo the yoke contrast. The beads were attached to loops also made from the contract fabric, and these were sewn into tie seams.
And there you have it: my Valo dress. It's beautifully drafted and is quite straight forward to sew, although the attaching of the yoke was a bit tricky. You need to heed the pattern advice on this (trust me😆). The back neckline is perfectly designed so you can wear a regular bra.
There is so much scope with this design. I think it would be gorgeous in a plain fabric, with some piping in the yoke seam, and of course colour blocking would be striking. If you haven't tried using prints together like this, it might be a way to dip your toes into pattern play.
Until next time,