Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pattern Review: Named Kielo Wrap Dress

You know this dress, right? Named  Kielo Wrap Dress pattern has been kicking around the traps since it's release in 2014. So many bloggers have busted out Kielos in a variety of fabrics, stretch and woven. It's fun to make, fun to wear and really versatile what with all the wrapping options.

So why are we only just discovering our love for it now? Well, we have no answer for that! In the past month we have made three Kielos between us. And since I just made two in quick succession, one from a light and drapey jersey and the other from washed linen, we thought it might be interesting to compare the pair here.

The Kielo is intended to be made from a fabric with 20-60% of stretch, woven or jersey. I had planned to make mine from a distinctly non-stretchy linen, so muslined a size 42 in a old (clean!) sheet. It fit, but with little wriggle room since I'd forgotten to add the seam allowance (earlier Named patterns require the addition of seam allowance, so check the directions).  

In the meantime, I got waylaid seeing Rachel's lovely version in navy knit on Instagram. I wanted a comfy knit Kielo too! So with some of our Hemp/Organic Cotton jersey I forged ahead and sewed the same size as my muslin, but still without seam allowance instead of sizing down to accommodate the drapey knit. Although this hemp jersey is light, its weight and drape of course made the whole dress head south. The armholes pulled down and gaped, which I "fixed" by sewing the side seams up a further 5cm toward the underarm than the notches on the pattern were marked. The downward pull of the knit also means that the ties hit lower than my waist, limiting the number of ways I can wear this one, so I tend to just tie it loosely at the front instead of going for the full-wrap experience. If you compare the width of the shoulders on both linen and knit versions you can see how much the knit pulls down by the narrower straps on my black version. 

I hope this doesn't sound like laundry list of complaints, because it's definitely not. It's just a natural consequence of having not taken the time to muslin a knit version. Had sensible past-Fiona done so, she may have decided to size down. She also may have chosen a more stable jersey to work with. (Note for future Fiona who hopefully learns from experience… stay away from knits with spandex too). So, live and learn. It only took a couple of small deviations to make this wearable. For me this is the perfect summer dress, and I'm already wearing the heck out of it. 

By now the charm and ease of this pattern had got me under its little wrappy wings. I was on a Kielo high. We were also in the middle of a heat wave, and I couldn't resist the washed linen any longer (this one is "Blue Jean"). Since I was reasonably happy with the fit of my woven muslin, I just cut a generous 2cm seam allowance at the side seams between underarm and where the ties meet the wide wrap section at the waist. Everything else was sewn as per the instructions. It's amazing what a difference fabric choice can make to fit. 

As I was sewing this linen version, Jane tried it on and caught the Kielo bug too. Another washed linen Kielo is born. We love how versatile this pattern is - how great does hers look tied at the back?

Pattern Notes
The Kielo is supposed to be maxi-length to emphasise its interesting cocoon shape, with an added back split. That length just doesn't suit me me so I cut off the hem at the top of the split. I'm 5'5"/167cm for reference. For this length I cut both Kielos from 2.1m of 160/150cm wide fabrics.

On their scale of difficulty Named rate the Kielo as "Simple" - and we'd have to agree. With three main pieces and no closures I think this would be a great pattern for a beginner with a few projects under their belt.

There's also a downloadable sleeve pattern on the Named website if you're keen on a Kielo for cooler days. So, if you need us, we'll be partying like its 2014 right through to next Summer.

- Fiona & Jane xx

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