Can you believe that I’ve only made one Kielo dress this year? One. I KNOW. WHO EVEN AM I?
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 ?
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.
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 ??
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 ?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The hem got the ol’ coverstitch treatment ??
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 ?
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 ✂️
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 ?
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!
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.
- 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
- 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:
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 ??♀️?
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! ✌?
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! ??