Kielo Wrap Dress with sleeves

I know I'm not the only one who was THRILLED when Named Clothing released a sleeve pattern for their Kielo Wrap Dress. The dress is one of my favourite patterns (I've made it four times so far - you can see one of them here). I was almost ready to draft my own sleeve pattern, but luckily, Named saved me a job and released one on their website. So here it is, Kielo 2.0, the winter version!


The sleeve pattern is a free download which is available here and Laura and Saara have written a blog post with instructions on how to use it. I'll leave the explanation to them, but all I can say is wow, I'm so impressed with the layered pattern! This might be because I went on an Adobe Illustrator for work last week... but I was totally geeking out over the ability to select which sizes were visible for print and those to hide. I haven't seen this anywhere else - has anyone else? - but this should totally be the future of PDF patterns. I selected the UK 12 and 14 sizes as I couldn't remember what size I cut for previous versions of the dress.

Before and after: the layered pattern
After investigation, I found that I've made up a straight size 12 in the past. To add the sleeves, you have to make some slight adjustments to the shoulder/armhole area of the original pattern, and then it's pretty straightforward from there.

Adjusted armholes and sleeve pattern ready to go
My sewing buddy Erin bought the Kielo recently and it specified that the pattern should be made up in stretch fabric - I'm not sure if this is a new instruction, or something I've previously overlooked as I've never made it in stretch fabric before. Anyway, for the sleeved version, you really need something with a bit of stretch to allow for some movement in the arm/shoulder area. I made it using a quite unusual, textured, stretch fabric I picked up for about £3 at October's Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market. It's pretty see-through, so I'm wearing a slip underneath it in the photos.

New dress and fresh undercut!
Cutting required a bit of care - the stretch and texture of the fabric meant that the darts were a little bit trickier to keep on track. After that, the fabric was much easier to work with than I imagined! The dress comes up slightly bigger than my other versions, but that's fine as you can wrap it just a little bit tighter.

The sleeve pattern came to wrist length, and I was aiming for 3/4 length when I cut them down, but somehow they've ended up much shorter - oh well. I also took an extra 2 inches off the hem of this version compared to my others. This means it's 11 inches shorter than the original pattern - which seems to have been designed with very tall ladies in mind! I also took the back vent/split up a little so it's level with the backs of my knees (I had to do an emergency fix on a previous version after splitting the vent on an energetic walk).

Testing that back split!

I feel very chic in the finished garment - the sleeves put a whole new spin on a much loved pattern. I like the Kielo with and without sleeves, but I think for some people, adding sleeves will make quite an unusual silhouette seem much more wearable.

I've been wearing it out (LOTS) with coloured tights to highlight the fabric. And it's already had the wear and play test with my one of my best friends and her beautiful little boy...

Have you made the Kielo with sleeves? Or are you thinking of giving it a go now?

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Super simple split-side skirt

I picked up some beautiful velvet in Abakhan a couple of weeks back - a good-sized bundle of textured emerald green. I had planned to use it to make a pair of trousers, but I was a bit too optimistic on the meterage. Instead, I managed to squeeze out a skirt of fairly lengthy proportions and it's quickly become my most worn item.

Looking seasonally witchy - lurking in Sheffield basements on Halloween
Feeling the need to 'achieve' something (i.e. finish a garment), I was aiming for the simplest sew - an elasticated waist skirt made up of just 3 pieces. Rather than using a pattern, I improvised with the amount of fabric I had.

Rough sketch of my made up pattern pieces
I cut the waistband a bit longer than my natural waist (to allow room for a little bit of gathering once the elastic was inserted) and made sure this length would match that of the front and back skirt once they were sewn together. All I had to do was sew the front and back skirt pieces (both cut to the same shape/size) together into a tube, and attach the waistband. I constructed the waistband in the same method as The Great British Sewing Bee casual trousers - this Megan Nielsen tutorial also nicely sums up making an elastic waistband.
Split-seam Pinterest inspiration

It wasn't until I'd nearly finished that I realised the skirt was utterly boring - despite the dreamy velvet - and it would be fairly restrictive to walk around in as it was so long and narrow. So I got the seam ripper and went straight for the side seams. I measured my rips, so the splits came just up to my knee, and finished the newly exposed raw edges, reinforcing the tops of the splits.

Post-split shot

For such a spur of the moment make, I'm so pleased with the results. I've seen a few long tops, tunics and dresses (possibly in Zara) with similar side splits. It's pretty hard to catch the splits on camera as I'm wearing tights, but I tried...

Trying to show off the split-seam
The weight of the velvet definitely lends itself to the style and movement of the skirt. I'd like to try something similar in a heavy crepe. And maybe I will get round to making those velvet trousers at some point!

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