Kielo Wrap Dress

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the ready-to-wear clothes that I like - garments with interesting silhouettes and directional shapes from places like COS and &other stories - and then I wondered why I don't often make things in these styles. The Sea Change Top was a good intro to sewing in a different style, but after making the Kielo Wrap Dress by Named, I think I've really found my feet.

I'm going to go all out and start by saying, I think the Kielo Wrap Dress might possibly be my favourite pattern EVER. If life had to have a uniform, this would be mine - I'm already planning version number 2 (and there'll probably be a version 3, 4...). I originally chose to make the dress because it's very similar to one of my most loved dresses from H&M, which also has a tie waist, but I think the Kielo actually surpasses it.

I bought the pattern as a PDF and was surprised to find that there were very few pages that needed sticking together. Of course, my joy at this was premature, as I then realised that the pattern pieces overlap in a sort of crazy and confusing Burda way. You have to trace half the pattern, then flip it to find the matching letters for the other half, which isn't all as easy as it sounds when you're working with such large and unconventionally shaped pieces.

Once that was out of the way, everything else was really straightforward. It's made up of 3 main pieces and the 2 laces that are used to tie the dress. There are bust darts and shaping darts at the back, and other than that, it's just plain sewing things together. Zig-zagging all the raw edges took the most time.

The fabric is from a huge amount I bought at a 'fill a carrier bag up for £5' stall at the last Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market. I cut a straight size 12, and then had a slight panic about the bust measurement being too small. Luckily it fits just right. The bust darts come from half way up the arm hole opening and point downwards, which gives shape in more fitted arm/neck area of the garment. The waist it completely loose so you can make it as tight as you want to wear it using the ties.

I was a bit worried about hemming the neckline and armholes as the dress only has a 1cm seam allowance. Because of the squeeze on the bust measurement, I really didn't have any extra to play around with, but I managed the narrow, twice folded under hem just fine. The pattern instructions don't suggest it, but I'd probably try to do the same narrow folded under finish on the back vent too, to conceal the raw edge.

I had to do a fair bit of shortening. The pattern is designed for the average height of 5ft8". I'm not far off it at 5ft6" but I was walking all over it! I didn't quite want it to be maxi length, so I cut 7" off before hemming it (quite generously). I purposely did it to a quite awkward length - neither midi or maxi - but I think I like it. After wearing the dress, I found that I also had to open the back vent up by another few inches too so I could take normal sized steps.

I really like the dress, both as a light summer item and a dress for layering with. It's already my go-to dress, so I'll be making another one very soon.

p.s. Thanks to Chloe for taking pictures of me in the garden

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  1. I'm thinking of making this dress and wondering which fabric to go for. I noticed you said that you'd made most if them with a non-stretch but what did you use?

    1. Hiya! This has been my most successful version and I made it in a crepe- style fabric that sits really nicely over the body. Anything that has a good drape and doesn't crease too easily has worked well for me with this pattern. The only real disaster I had was when I tried to make it in a lightweight cotton - I looked like I'd wrapped myself up in a bed sheet haha x


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