C’est Chic

Can you believe that I’ve only made one Kielo dress this year? One. I KNOW. WHO EVEN AM I?

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And it’s a sleeveless one, that I made towards the end of summer and only got to wear like twice before it got too cold to wear it 🤦🏻‍♀️

I do have another (summer) one cut out, which will probably be put off till next year now if I’m honest, and I also have two and a half metres of the most amazing galaxy print jersey set aside that’s either going to be a Kielo or a V1314 depending on how the leopard print one of those that’s currently in progress turns out 🤔

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Before that though, I want to test out the Trudy Turtleneck from Wardrobe By Me that I mentioned in last weeks’ post because if that high neck fits well, you better believe I’m gonna be grafting that onto EVERYTHING. Kielo with a polo neck? YES PLZ.

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Even though it’s proper dark, grey and chilly here in London, I’m gonna squeeze in this summer dress before we really hit winter on the blog – you’ve got handknits, long sleeves, long legs and a wholllllle lot of coats coming your way over the next few months, so how ’bout we get one last warmer-weather make in because let’s be real – I don’t make many of ‘em 😂

You remember last year, I went to NYC and hit up all of the fabric shops? (if you did miss that, go catch up on it here). The fabulously colourful Marcy (also known as Oonaballoona, and one of the very first sewing blogs I read and still read) recommended that I visit Chic Fabrics in the Garment District while I was there. Obvs I did, and came out with three purchases – some jersey, some cotton shirting for the husbeast, and some pink embroidered mesh that the husbeast said he’d make into something for me but still hasn’t 😒

The jersey fabric that I got was destined to become a Kielo from the minute I bought it – there was never any other option, and I specifically bought the two metres that the pattern recommends. It’s a poly jersey of some description, but a more slinky one, not like an athletic knit or anything (which is what I usually associate with poly jerseys). I do prefer cotton jersey to polyester, and as a rule, tend to stay away from synthetic fibres… but the print was just SO awesome that I made an exception. Thankfully, it’s not sweaty or horrible-feeling to wear, because if it was I’d be totally gutted 😫

So – even though I’d bought this fabric in NYC and it was therefore slightly special, I went for some pretty radical alterations with this Kielo 😳😱

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You know I love the style of this dress, so I won’t bleat on about that, but I’m not all that enamoured with the way the armholes and neck are finished. They have a double turn hem, which is damn hard to get looking neat on that armhole because the front and the back meet in such an extreme V. The neckline is also a little too boat-y for me, it shows bra straps and I ain’t cool with that. In fact, it shows bra at the bottom of the armpit too 👀

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This Kielo took a proper beating, in terms of adjustments and hacks. I’ve made a fair few versions of this dress now (and that’s putting it mildly 🤣), with only minor adjustments (like to sleeve length, or width of sleeve, nothing drastic), but I thought if I’m gonna keep on making these dresses, I should at least get the fit and cut spot on – rather than keeping on complaining about the shape of the neckline.

Funnily enough, I didn’t actually adjust the neckline in the end 🤣

So what did I do?

I increased the depth of the back darts by about double (yep, that’s as precise as I’m gonna get with that!) because I seem to have a LOT of excess fabric going on around there (swayback adjustments are probably in order). The blue dot nearest the edge of the fabric is where the dart is intended to be, and the second blue dot by my finger is where I increased the depth to.

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Rather than changing the shape of the neckline, I thought I’d give fold over elastic a bash – in my head I thought it would give a less boat-y neckline, because I’m not turning in the seam allowance. I’m not really sure why I thought this was a good idea, especially as I had such dramas with it on the underwear I made recently. I joined one of the shoulder seams and then went around the neck with the elastic, securing the two open ends in the other shoulder closure. It is BLOODY HARD to overlock those elastic ends and get them level, because the top one always shifts out of place – even if you try compensating for that (which I did). I gave it a few tries and then settled for what I had. Grudgingly.

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When I tried the dress on to see how that neckline looked, I realised it was way too baggy at the back of the neck – it stood away from my neck all ripple-y and looked a right state. Like, bad enough that I’d be properly embarrassed to wear it out in public. I figured it was possibly in part due to not pulling the elastic tight enough, so I made a mental note to pull a lot harder on the armholes.

To correct this shambles, I ended up taking a wedge out of the centre back neck – but that was totes annoying as it gave me another join on the neckline elastic, in addition to the one I had on the shoulder seam. I’m not sure if I’ve changed shape as I’ve not had to do this on other Kielos, but I have noticed a baggy rear neckline on other patterns 🤔

I took a good chunk out of that seam:

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I did instead consider bringing the excess together at centre-back and making a little box pleat dart-type-thing, but I thought that three layers of FOE might be a bit much so I just ran the whole thing through the overlocker and chopped off the excess (and the ends of the elastic were NOT level, much to my annoyance but by this point I didn’t care 🤷🏻‍♀️).

I used the elastic on the armholes as planned (but pulled tighter than on the neck, because we don’t want saggy armholes as well as a saggy neck, do we) and joined the elastic in the round on the back of the shoulder.  I mean, the seam bothers me a little bit because I know it’s there, but you can’t see it unless you’re up close. I just felt it looked a bit… amateur.

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Interfacing the ties is always something I can never make my mind up on. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Will it make them too heavy or stiff? 🤷🏻‍♀️

For the couple of versions that I’ve made in woven fabrics, I definitely did not interface. I only think about doing it because I worry about them going a bit stretchy, with nothing to keep them in check – a bit like Stretch Armstrong arms. In the end, I decided not to interface them, although I possibly should have done as the seam has gone a bit wibbly. I simply overlocked them to start with, then as I was turning the tie the right way out the seam broke under the (very minimal) strain – they never would have survived an actual wrap around the body, so I went back and sewed a stretch stitch on my sewing machine. They seem to be fine with that.

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The hem got the ol’ coverstitch treatment 👌🏻

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After wearing the dress for the first time, I decided that I didn’t like the elastic on the armholes. The seam was a bit tight around my arm and scratchy against the skin. The ‘straps’ of the dress were quite wide as well because I’d not turned in any seam allowance and just put the elastic on the cut edge, and I didn’t really like how they looked (although it definitley was less boat-y). I didn’t take any proper pictures of the dress in this state, only selfies in the mirrors at work so I could document it to you lovely peeps 📸

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I immediately decided that the elastic needed to come off.

So when I got home that evening, I got my fabric scissors and lopped it off ✂️

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I then turned in a small 0.5cm hem, twice, and stitched. I was kind of relieved to get rid of the elastic because of all the joins in it – it looked a bit scrappy and pieced together, to be honest. Deciding to use that wasn’t one of my best ideas, that’s for sure, but at least I’ve tried it and know not to bother doing it again 🤣

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Because I lost a bit of the seam allowance by cutting off the elastic, the straps of the dress became quite narrow after I’d finished the hem – but not too narrow. The sleeve holes were now much more comfy to wear, no scratchy elastic in my armpit – yay!

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But, it’s too cold to wear it now, so it’ll be packed away until next year.

Now that it’s autumn, that means its time for the annual trip to North London – did any of you visit the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace this weekend? We went on Friday, and it was a pretty successful trip.

Planned purchases:

  • Chunky corduroy for another pair of Dawn jeans, although in a deep magenta colour rather than the burnt orange I had hoped for
  • Beads that the husbeast is going to use to embroider the back of a bomber jacket I’m going to make him

 

Unplanned purchases:

  • Turquoise double gauze with gold dots, for a casual comfy shirt for me
  • A Linden sweatshirt kit from Guthrie & Ghani – metallic pink fabric, the Linden pattern plus needles and thread
  • A toiletries bag pattern from Stoff & Stil (which I intend to use as a knitting project bag), along with a gold zip and wadding just because they are gold and sparkly
  • A handful of Christmas bauble kits from Spellbound Bead Company, which are for the husbeast (who is really into beading atm) to make for me, by Christmas obvs. I mean, tell me that this bauble isn’t the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen:

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And there’s also the extremely ambitious peacock bauble which I liked in the purple colourway below but we ended up getting in a red/phoenix colourway as the husbeast preferred that one. I’d already chosen about four baubles (after he’d agreed to make me just one) so I thought it was only fair that he got to choose one 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

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In other news, I was viciously struck down with some sort of cold a couple of weeks back, which I only now feel I’m coming out the other side from. It means that I haven’t been to the gym for a whole two weeks, despite going three times a week – every week – for about the past year. I’m at that point now where I feel like if I don’t drag my ass there on Monday, I’ll never go back – my membership card will just gather dust and I’ll just slowly but consistently put on weight for the rest of my life. So if you have any motivational speeches or mottos – lemme have ’em 💪🏻

I’ll leave you with some pics of my super-bright dress in front of some awesome coordinating artwork that we found in Brick Lane 👀

Happy sewing Sunday guys, and feel free to say hey or talk sewing (or not!) via the comments! ✌🏻

Sarah

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On the blog next week – the Handsome Husbeast in his newest short sleeve Folkwear Shirt 👀 Subscribe below to have it drop straight into your inbox! 🙌🏻

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22 Comments

  1. fifona
    October 13, 2019 / 8:28 am

    How much patience you have! Well done on the tenacity to fix and re-do till things are right.
    I would love it if the Knitting and Stitching Show would come back to Edinburgh. I went down there when it came – once only! – and I had the chance to chat with & buy fabric from the lovely
    Lauren of Guthrie & Ghani, but the show was apparently not profitable enough, and they wrote it off wholesale, which is a bit unfair after only one try, I’d have said. It’s pretty unprofitable for we North-dwelling peeps to travel to London for events, but such is life.
    Thank goodness for blogs like yours.
    Looking forward to your coat-y adventures soon!
    Fiona in Aberdeen

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 5:45 pm

      Hi Fiona!
      I just couldn’t bear to let the fabric down, after I’d brought it all the way home from NYC! So I just had to keep going until it was fixed 🙂
      That’s such a shame that the show wasn’t profitable – do you think it didn’t get enough visitors? I would have thought something like that would have been really popular, especially since the London one is so far away like you say 🙁
      So glad that you enjoy the blog! 💜

  2. October 13, 2019 / 8:30 am

    Ah thanks for attempting FOE on the Kielo, I was tempted and now I won’t 🙂 Looks fab now btw. I’m crying a bit that I didn’t make it to the Knitting and Stitching Show but, you know, I don’t NEED anything. And dang, those shoes!

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 5:47 pm

      Ahhh thanks Debra! Yep, don’t bother with the FOE 🤣
      I didn’t *need* anything either, but I kid myself that I would just go to ‘browse’ 🤪
      Those shoes were a charity shop score, new with their box for £3! It’s always other people that seem to bag the awesome charity shop finds, so I’m proper happy with these!

  3. Nicola
    October 13, 2019 / 8:46 am

    The dress looks fantastic and well done for going back and redoing it . I have a tendency to dump things in the scrap bag when they go wrong. Went to ally pally yesterday with my husband. Fabric for him for a tweed jerkin and sweat shirt fabric for me. Also a Halloween felt kit that I just had to have. Husband considering if he could do cross stitch on planes !

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 5:50 pm

      Thanks Nicola! Glad to hear you came away with some good purchases!
      I have dumped a couple of projects in the past… but only when they’re properly unsalvageable and I won’t miss the fabric.
      And yes you can totally do cross stitch on planes! I’ve taken crafts on board before – you just have to check the length of the blades on your scissors (I think under 5cm is okay) and you should be fine! I think it’s an excellent way to pass the time, especially as I can never sleep on planes 🙁

  4. Lee-Anne Remen Fjeldahl
    October 13, 2019 / 8:55 am

    Wow, the dress is beautiful! I agree that it lookes better without the elastic. And your SHOES, What a pair of beauties!😍😍😍 I live in Norway and dont live near any fabric stores so I buy my fabrics online.( have some favorites thow) I love your colours, and I sew more colourful dresses to my self now that I am older(😝55). Especially in the winter when everybody gets black or dark Grey😂
    Lots of thumbs up from Lee-Anne👍👍👍

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 5:53 pm

      Thank you Lee-Anne! Yeah, the elastic was a mistake 🤣
      YES! I’m so glad that you sew colourful dresses for yourself – I don’t understand why everyone wears black and grey in the winter!
      We have a few fabrics stores in central London (and a big shopping street on the outskirts but it’s over the other side of the city to me) but I rarely visit them. I find that there is more choice online. Which stores do you buy from, which are your favourites?

  5. October 13, 2019 / 10:35 am

    Very nice- and whit-woo at that teeny waistline missus!

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 5:56 pm

      Haha, it ain’t gonna look like that for long if I don’t get my ass back in the gym 🤣🤣🤣

  6. October 13, 2019 / 12:31 pm

    The Kielo dress pattern is so you! You look great in this one! When I get a pattern I love I like to make several as well. Happy Sewing! Love your blog.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:05 pm

      Ahh thanks Susan, so glad that you enjoy the blog! 💜 I’m glad it’s not just me that makes loads of something… I got worried that I’d have a really repetitive wardrobe if I made the same things over and over but you know what? I love it so I don’t care 🤣 I won’t worry anymore!

  7. Terri
    October 13, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Hi Sarah. I think if you raise the shoulders a bit, start w an inch. Pull up shoulder seam and pin. This will adjust pooch at back and bra showing at underarm. Cut neckline deeper in front if it becomes too high. Then I like to cut binding one inch shorter than the length of the new neckline. I make it 1 and three quarters inch wide. Fold in half and press flat. Open and stitch ends together. Divide evenly as you pin to neckline. Sew around it using your small zigzag that you like. Press to inside, flat. Then choose a medium length straight stitch and topstitch your neck binding from the outside using your foot to guide evenly. On finish press again from outside. I think you will love the results. Terri

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:07 pm

      Thanks Terri! This sounds like an excellent plan! Do you use stretch binding?

  8. October 13, 2019 / 3:19 pm

    I went to the Knitting and Stitching show on Thursday with my daughter and a friend. It was manic – tons of school kids everywhere, but at least we’d worn loose clothes as I’d expected it to be hot and cramped. Stoff and Stil took a bit of money from me. I thought their stuff was great and all demo’d nicely by the assistants. Got material for a kimono jacket and a dress. Patterns at £2 were really good value. And they had nice yarn too. I saw the beaded baubles – I wasn’t sure I’d ever have the patience to make one though. Other than that it was sari silk offcuts, some lovely threads and a pizza! Still pining for the Sewing Bee show which I thought was amazing. Wonder if they’ll do another? The Holland and Sherry fabric was fantastic value.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:15 pm

      Ohhh there were loads of school kids? We saw a few, but thankfully not too many. The assistants on the Stoff and Stil stand (eugh, try saying THAT quickly lol) had fabulous dresses on didn’t they! I was eyeing up the bumbags they were wearing too but since I still haven’t sewn the Fennel Fanny Pack that’s on my Make Nine for this year, thought I’d better not 🤣 The baubles are SO pretty aren’t they… the husbeast is going to make mine for me, although they are still sitting in the bag we brought them home in… so maybe next Christmas?!
      YES – the Sewing Bee show! That was the best. It’s a shame they haven’t done another one, I bet it would be so popular. I still have some of the fabric I bought from Holland and Sherry, really should get round to using that!

  9. Bren Holmes
    October 13, 2019 / 3:33 pm

    Your dress looks fabulous, with no evidence of the drama. The baubles are gorgeous. I’m always tempted by them at bead fairs, but since I don’t ‘do’ Christmas, it would be rather a waste. I am about to embroider a silk sampler, a first for me, which will be beaded and have crystals applied. I’m into crystals atm. One of my several money gobbling hobbies, lol. I didn’t get to the Knitting & Stitching Show this year. I’ve not been for a couple of years, but next year for sure.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:17 pm

      Thanks Bren! The baubles are SO pretty aren’t they! We don’t really do Christmas either – I think last year I only got round to putting the tree up on Christmas eve or something because we were so busy with work and orders for the Etsy store 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 But I would make a special effort to put these babies out because they are so beautiful! Ooh the crystals sound amazing… do you sew them on? Or glue/hotfix them on?

  10. Sheila Bradley
    October 15, 2019 / 4:35 pm

    love the baubles its given me food for thought.I have hundreds of beads ! I had my own disaster today I bought a piece of warmer fabric from my local charity shop.So decided to make a sweatshirt from it.I thought it was a sort of jersey.Anyway did my usual thing and copied one I already wear and it came out well apart from a boaty looking neck.So to get around that I cut some leaf shaped bits of fabric and put them around the neck.Mission accomplished ! Today I decided to wash it and it came out shrunken to glory.So if you know any 8 year olds that want a leafy sweatshirt let me know lol.

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:24 pm

      Oh noooo Sheila! Your poor sweatshirt! I bet you were really pleased to find such a good bit of fabric as well 😩 Plus all the effort you put into the neck too… never mind, something really good will come your way to compensate I’m sure 💜
      Ooh are you in to beading? The husbeast has made a couple of bracelets so far so the baubles are going to be new ground for him 👌🏻

  11. Hannah
    October 19, 2019 / 1:15 am

    So I took a tee shirt pattern I like and jammed it on top of the Kielo instead of its top part. That let me have the neckline/sleeves I liked and that fit from the shirt and the wrap part of the kielo. So much less frustrating than faffing about with kielo’s (kinda awful) neckline and arm finishes. Just something else to try in your, you know, totally unlimited free time.

    I am in awe of your patience and dedication to pants fitting and knitting, two things I’ve flung across the room while screaming. I love seeing what you’ve made!

    • Sarah
      Author
      October 24, 2019 / 6:30 pm

      YES Hannah! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve tried it out and it was a success! Do you find that there’s an excess of fabric around the waist? At which point did you cut off the tshirt and use the Kielo pattern? From the armholes down, or at another point? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. Lol 🤣
      Thanks so much for your kind comments… I was doing some reading of pants fitting adjustments just the other day and I think I need to do a front thigh adjustment (for my Hulk-sized quads) and also a shallower front crotch curve because I seem to have a lot of excess fabric going on in the front. I think if those small adjustments give me an even better fit, I won’t ever by a pair of jeans again! And I never, *ever* thought I’d be saying that 😱💁🏻‍♀️
      Knitting is a funny one… I don’t consider myself to be a patient person (the husbeast will confirm, 100% lol) but knitting is something that I do have the patience for. Perhaps it’s soothing… the motion of the needles and the construction of the fabric, stitch by stitch. Or perhaps it reminds me of being cozy and warm in the winter 🤷🏻‍♀️
      (or maybe I just really love sweaters, lol)

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