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
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,