Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Jungle January: Kielo Wrap Dress

Kielo wrap dress?   Certainly.

Jungle print?   Is an Aussie-bush-floral-sort-of print close enough?  With a touch of rope?  The rope part sounds right - but is that going to be enough to swing it?

January?   I finished this dress on the 31st January, and did quite a bit of its sewing in January, but it was started months ago. And it's being blogged in February (only just February though!). Is that January enough? 

Let's have a look at some garment photos, and we'll just assume all the paperwork's in order.

First up, with the ties at the front:

Then with the ties at the back:

And then with the ties as hand entertainment, or <<amuse-mains>>: 

So, as you already know, this is the Kielo wrap dress by Named patterns.   Judging by all the versions of this dress I've seen on other people's blogs, this dress pattern is a bit magical - it works in knits and wovens, full length or cropped, sleeveless or sleeved, and on all body types.

I bought the paper version of this pattern some time last year (or maybe even the year before), traced my size (EUR 38), and then waited to think of the right fabric.  Looking at my traced pattern pieces now, I don't think I added seam allowances - I'd only skimmed the instructions when I traced the pattern, and the snippet about adding seam allowances was in the middle of a paragraph that I didn't read properly - and this is probably why my dress is very fitted around the lower legs. Oops!

Removing about 7 cm from the hemline to bring the dress to a length I prefer to maxi length didn't really help, so if I make another Kielo I'll have to remember to add seam allowances and I might also make the slit in the centre back higher for easier striding.

The fabric is one that I've been holding in the stash for a long time - possibly a few years even.  I bought it from Tessuti fabrics, initially just a small remnant, and then more because I loved it and the remnant didn't look enough for a dress.  It feels soft and drapey and natural, and I vaguely recall it being a silk cotton mix.

My beautiful fabric was too transparent by itself, so under the dress is a 3/4 lining in a medium weight champagne coloured satin lining. The lining was made as another Kielo dress that stops at about knee length, just above the walking slit, then sewn to the dress proper at the neckline and armholes.

If you look closely you can see where the fabric's background colour darkens, below knee length, where the champagne coloured lining ends.

When I was sewing the outer and the lining together my fabrics stretched out in the shoulder straps and neckline, but I took the shoulders up about 3 or 4 cm and that fixed the problems without messing up the design.

My side seams also stretched and moved as I sewed them - I don't sew fine fabric too often, so I was probably being too cavalier with it - and that movement made me decide to skip the back darts. I think their absence is absolutely fine in this light fabric.

The natural rope ties were sewn into the seams, and the points where these ties come through were later hand stitched to the points of the lining.  The ties are wide and made of cotton - I think this a kind of webbing that's sometimes used in bag making, but please correct me if I'm wrong -  and I'm really happy with the way they juxtapose the airy dress.

To save cutting into my second piece of this fabric I pieced the upper back of the dress.  I wasn't able to match the print so I matched the colours instead:

And that's it - an imperfect dress that I'm very happy with!


And now I have a question for you, my clever readers.

I've been invited at short notice to a fancy cocktail party with people I don't know (I'll be going as Mr UpSewLate's plus one), and I'm wondering, would this dress be appropriate, or would it be better to go the traditional route with something knee length and fitted - or something else entirely? What would you wear to a cocktail party?

Happy sewing, and see you soon

- Gabrielle x

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