I’ve been itching to make a Kielo wrap dress ever since I found out that Named Clothing had a free long sleeve add-on. The original is a beauty but ever since I started sewing clothes for myself, I shy away from sleeveless patterns. I know, I can always wear something underneath or on top to make it hijabi friendly. But to be honest, I’m totally over layering. Which is quite funny since my entire wardrobe used to be made up of cardigans and sleeveless dresses! But unless it’s winter time, I really can’t be bothered with having to find something to match with a top/dress. I also got frustrated that a lot of design features end up being covered up- cute peplum styles/ shoulder details end up covered by cardigans/blazers etc. But mainly…I like to be able to be out of bed, showered, fed and ready in under 40min- which means, the less items of clothing to go on, the better! So a sleeved pattern is an absolute must.

Pattern Review: Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Clothing

Difficulty: Beginner

Sizes:  EUR 32 – 46 (US 0 – 14 / UK 4 – 18)

Type: PDF or Print

Price: €13 (PDF), €19 (print)Fabric: I used this charcoal grey knit sent to me by Girl Charlee. 95% cotton, 5% spandex, £9.95/m. It’s a medium weight knit fabric and it really is a gorgeous quality fabric. I recently bought some cotton jersey from another online store and was so disappointed in the quality in comparison. This knit has a lovely soft feel, good drape and washes well (there’s nothing worse than fabric that bobbles easily, especially after you’ve spent so long making something).

Sizing and fit: I went with the UK size 10. The PDF version of the patten has this nifty little option where rather than printing out all of the sizes, you can select the sizes you want so you don’t have to deal with all those overlapping lines! Helpful if you only want to compare two sizes to blend between. Being on the petite size (5’2″), I had to shorten the pattern. Unfortunately I’ve forgotten how much I shortened it by! Whilst there are waist and hip lines marked on the pattern, there aren’t any ‘lengthen/shorten’ lines. So I ended up creating my own lines below the ‘wings’ and the from around the hip area.

On my second version I also shortened the bust dart by around 2-3cm. So I would double check where these lay on you with a tissue fitting if you’re not planning a toile. Overall it’s a forgiving shape so it fits really well.

Construction and instructions: The construction is actually really simple which is why I think it’s a good beginners pattern for anyone who’s just got their head around stretch fabric. There are bust darts and back darts to add a bit of shape, but otherwise it comes together simply but looks really complicated and sophisticated! In my third version I even omitted the back darts and it still worked. 

Adaptations/hacks: With the free sleeve patten its nice and hijabi friendly, which I love! The only hijabi hack I did was making the neckline a teeny bit smaller, just so I don’t have to faff around with my hijab to cover my neck.

The only gripe I have with this pattern is the instructions for the neckline. They offer two options- bias tape facing or just simply doing a double fold. I’m not a big fan of either finish- if I want a more formal finish I would go for a wider facing but for these casual dresses I went for a normal stretch neckband and top stitched this in place. I think I’ve gone through how to make a neckband for stretch tops before so I won’t bore you again. I don’t think the double fold neckband would give as nice of a finish (unless you were to make it in a fine fabric like the sample on the website which is made from silk chiffon) but will happily be corrected!

Tips ‘n’ tricks: I added a sneaky pocket into the wings. These are quite small, made purely to fit my phone (I literally traced around my phone and added seam allowance!) and get hidden within the wrapping of the wings. These were inserted approx. 10cm from the edge of the wing. I probably wouldn’t make them any larger as they do tend to drag the wing down a bit with the weight of the contents. But like I said, I only put my phone in there and it’s perfect for that (plus the ties keep the wings up and secured a bit). It can also be a little bit of a faff to get to my phone between layers once everything’s been pressed. But on the other hand I’ve had loads of people asking me “did you just pull your phone out of no where?!” which makes me feel a bit like a magician…

Overall: I’ve made two at a maxi length and a midi length and love both. The centre back split makes it easy to walk in either length. The shape is unusual but so simple to put together. I love how different it can look from fabric to fabric. This grey version is the ultimate go-to dress for me. I can dress it up or just throw it on for a run to the shops, boots, heels or flats. It’s totally effortless and I could live in it. It’s been such a versatile part of my wardrobe for the past few months; honestly I could quite happily have a whole wardrobe of Kielos!Love,


27 replies on “Pattern Review: The Kielo Wrap Dress

  1. Loving your dress, it’s gorgeous! Thanks for the tips on Kielo, as I’m hoping to make it soon – those pockets are genius.

  2. Love this pattern too. Have made 2 sleeveless versions, one with a chiffon overlay over a solid ( shorter) sheath under dress which is a lovely floaty summer wear. Have not tried the sleeved version but have just bought some jersey with it in mind

    1. Oooo that sounds amazing! Need a fancier dress post-partum and was tempted to go for another Kielo but thought it might be a bit casual but a chiffon overlay sounds perfect!

  3. How do you think this pattern would cope with a substantial FBA? I noticed the finished bust measurements even on the larger sizes were quite small.

    1. I’m not 100% sure, but I think you would just have to create a new curve for wings which merge into the bust dart and the arm hole. I did this for my maternity adjustment and it worked out fine. But then again, I’ve got the opposite issue and have never had to do a FBA! Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      1. Hi. Sorry to jump on your comment – did you ever do an FBA on this – I need to do one of around 4”… plus… any idea how this dress will suit a 4’11”?? I’m about to cut and adjust my tissue pattern… so any tips. (Ps pomegranate – I LOVE this dress on you! I will also be adding sleeves to a few if I can get the fit right… and it doesn’t look silly on someone of my ‘stature’) thanks again.

      2. Hi Lorraine! I didn’t I’m afraid. Because it’s Jersey I found it has been quite forgiving with the bust area (I’ve gone up 3 cup sizes since the photos of the grey one when I was 12 weeks pregnant). Height wise, I’m 5’2” and shortened it. I think as long as you position the wings and ties nicely according to your shape, it will look great!

  4. What a difference the sleeves make! I wasn’t thrilled by the dress but now I am.
    Thank you! Your dress is just my style.

  5. Thanks for such a wonderful review. You look gorgeous in your Kielo dresses! I’ve been eyeing up this pattern ever since I started sewing a year ago. Have you worn your versions recently in the third trimester of pregnancy? I’m currently 33 weeks’ along with our third baby. Logic tells me to wait until a few months after this baby’s born to try a new dress pattern which I realistically only really need in April 2019 when I return to work. Nevertheless, I’m interested to hear your experience tying and wearing the Kielo over a baby bump. All the very best for your little one’s arrival.

    1. I practically live in them! (And I’m 34 weeks) I made one for work which is a midi length and I raised the wings just a bit higher (maybe by an inch) so it wraps over the bump. But even this grey one works well. Think I’ll be wearing it to the end! Good luck with your pregnancy 🙂

      1. That’s so great to hear! What a versatile pattern and thanks for the tip. If this baby comes as late as our other too, I might squeeze a Kielo in while I’m home on leave. Thanks again and sending you good wishes for the arrival of your little one. Children both change and enrich our lives immeasurably!

  6. Gorgeous! This grey is one of my favourite shades of grey – I had no idea there was a free sleeve add-on. And I’m so stealing the secret pocket concept!!!!

    1. Thank you! The sleeved version sold the pattern for me. Glad you like the grey. My mum thinks I’m incredibly dull 😂

  7. This looks gorgeous on you! I see why it’s a go to! I’ve been considering this pattern for pregnancy and post, but I’m not sure what I’d do about nursing access. Do you have any good ideas for hacking nursing access somewhere into this dress? Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I really had a ponder about this and I think the only way might be a zipper in the wings but that would be a looot of fabric to get through to reach for nursing. If you could create new seamlines near the bust and put an invisible zipper in them that might be better. The other options like the reverse racer back one you see in nursing dresses don’t work so well because you need somewhere to anchor it. Sorry if doesn’t make any sense!

      1. Thanks for the ideas! I love the look of the sleeves on your dresses, but I think I might have to start with a sleeveless version—maybe put snaps at the straps—then after I wear the dress I might have some good ideas for a sleeved nursing version. I like your idea for new seemliness maybe for my second version. 🙂

  8. This is the best version of this dress I’ve seen! Definitely much better for sleeves and the Jersey fabric. Of course pockets are always FTW 😁

  9. What a nice idea with the hidden bags! I‘ve sewed the dress without sleeves three times this summer and I must totally agree: depending on the fabric the dress looks totally different!
    The dress is also perfect if one is pregnant, it kind of grows along with the belly 🙂
    Your grey version looks really nice!

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