I was telling you while sharing my Persephone pants that I was always late sewing the latest trendy patterns, and here I am with a new project: the Kielo dress, favorite pattern of the sewing blogosphere since 2014!
I got to say that I wasn’t in love with this pattern when it first came out: the shape of the skirt that tapers at the bottom was far from my fit-and-flare comfort zone. It seems that my tastes have changed, because since I sewed it, of all my dresses this is the one in which I find myself the most beautiful!
When my friend Diane decided to make one after seeing some very nice knit versions during Me-Made-May, I figured I’d do the same since she has great taste. Her version is in a heavier cotton jersey, which gives a more structured drape than mine.
The key here is really in the fabric: looking back at all the Kielo dresses online, I realize that the ones I like are all sewn in fluid knits, giving the dress a drape worthy of a Greek statue. So I opted for a lyocell jersey (this one, found at Joann) with a little elastane, with the hope that the recovery would compensate for the weight of the dress.
I had read a lot of reviews which recommended to either topstitch or interface the neckline and armhole so that they wouldn’t stretch out. So I did both! I cut 2 cm wide strips of stretch interfacing and that width was perfect for the curved edges.
I also stabilized the shoulders with clear elastic and fully interfaced the ties. I particularly like these very wide ties, and with the interfacing they stay flat and do not fold or roll which makes them very comfortable to wear.
The pattern offers two possible finishes for the neckline and armholes: either a bias finish (more suited to woven fabrics) or a simple hem. I opted to do a simple 1 cm hem. Although I’m not a fan of hems on concave curves, these are flat enough that it looks good.
Despite all my precautions, I was worried that the dress would still stretch a lot in this fluid, heavy fabric, but I was pleasantly surprised as the darts ended up exactly at the right place. I still had to shorten the dress by 2 cm, which I did simply by making a double hem, but apparently the dress is very long to begin with. The top of my bra can also be seen a little from the sides, but that doesn’t bother me.
I sewed this dress entirely on my sewing machine because my serger was in the shop but that didn’t pose any problem, on the contrary. The edges are left raw on the inside, which is not an issue with this type of fabric that doesn’t fray, and I generally feel more comfortable sewing by machine instead of on a serger in terms of precision, especially since my Pfaff has the IDT system that gives a perfect finish on knits.
I chose my size based on my bust measurement only (size 38) and it fits me perfectly. I’m really a fan of this dress, it is so so comfortable. I’m not sure I’ll make another one because it is such a specific look that I don’t know if I really need two, but I know I’ll wear this one a lot!