A Gemma sweater dress hack – Named Clothing

I’m a little late with this post but it’s a great one to be starting off the new year with!

This is for the last #SewMyStyle project of 2017 where we could pick any pattern from the latest Earth Science collection from Named Clothing to be our last piece! I love Named Patterns so I was super excited about this!

I opted to make the Gemma because I loved the 80s throwback style with the panelled colour blocked front and the standing collar.

It comes as 2 versions – one a fitted midi length dress or a loose fit sweater.

I went for the sweater version and made it a bit longer so it could be worn as a dress! (I’m all about the sweater dress. I’ve made loads of Linden sweater dresses for myself and my sisters!).

Now my biggest trouble was deciding on fabrics!

I had a lovely grey loop back jersey from Guthrie & Ghani which I wanted to use as my main fabric. I then had to decide on what would go with it – that was the tricky part! Mostly because I was limiting myself to whatever I already had in my fabric stash!

I ended up sketching out about 10 different colour combinations, each used different coloured fabrics as well as placements. After that I went with was I felt worked best visually.

Which was this…

I used an app to colour in the Gemma line drawing to get a realistic idea on how it would look! (If you want to have a physical copy, Named have a free downloaded sheet to colour your own Gemmas in!). It’s definitely worth doing if you’re not quite sure on colours! I went for quite a plain colourway in the end. I’m not sure if I’ll regret not going for something more fun later on!

I used a white brushed back polycotton jersey for the middle panels and a flecked navy French terry for the lower panel.

The different fabric weights and stretch vary slightly but not enough to affect the overall garment.

I lengthened the back piece and lower front panel by 20cm each to make it dress length.

The panelling is so much fun to sew together. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle! The instructions are very clear and it makes the construction a breeze!

I chose to ignore the instructions for the elastic at the waist and cuffs and instead added a contrast ribbing. Just for fun!

I also added in pockets, though I stupidly made them slightly too low so I’ll be fixing that a little later.

Here’s the final result!

I feel like I’m channeling an 80s/90s après-ski look… I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing! Lol!

I do want to try the fitted dress version of this pattern at some point too. I’ve seen so many lovely velvet versions of it!


  1. So cute! You’re so right that with this type of puzzle/colour blocking it’s best to sketch it out first. That way you can keep track of where everything is going as you’re assembling it too. I’m sure this sweater/dress will get loads of wear this winter 🙂 So cozy.

    1. Thanks! I used an app called sketches on my phone. I imported a screenshot of the line drawing to use as colouring in sheet! Hope that helps!

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