Sunday, September 18, 2016

Metallic Kielo

Kielo, where have you been all my life?!



Oh yeah, I remember. You've been sitting on my table, printed out for over a year while I hemmed and hawed over what fabric to use. I think I purchased and printed you after being inspired by Tasha's gorgeous floral version and then I fell victim to a year long bout of indecision.


The turning point was suddenly finding myself in need of a dress for my friend's black tie optional wedding. I don't have many fancy dresses or gowns, or even really cocktail dresses, and am honestly not a fancy dress person. I know this is akin to a profane statement in the sewing community, but it's true: I like casual clothes! In choosing a dress to sew,  I wanted something I might have a chance of wearing after the wedding. I also needed something that could be easily shoved in a suitcase since the dress would travel with me from Bangkok to Chicago to Massachusetts to New Orleans before being worn.


Kielo seemed to fit the bill-- in the right fabric it can be a modern, funky cocktail dress, but can also go more casual, too. Well, my first choice before Kielo was a jumpsuit, the Style Arc/House of Pinheiro Eliane, specifically, which I won in Rachel's Instagram giveaway. My friend who is getting married would totally appreciate a stylin' jumpsuit. But 3/4 of the way through the jumpsuit I was not feeling it. It's currently balled up in a corner. Maybe I'll revisit it at some point in the future...


So Kielo it was! In the end, for my Kielo, I went for a stash fabric: a silvery stretch woven fabric from a stall in Hong Kong's Sham Shui Po fabric district about two years ago. You can see me picking it out in the photo below! I had no idea what I was going to make with it.


I'm not sure what it is- it's lightweight, it's very stretchy, but the stretch runs parallel to the selvage, rather than perpendicular. Definitely some poly content, but maybe a blend because it's not that icky feeling? My theory was that even if the Kielo in this fabric didn't work out, I wouldn't be heart broken. I'm pretty sure I paid like $2.50/meter or something for this fabric.


I cut the dress, a size 46 (the largest in this particular pattern) on the cross grain to get the fabric's stretch going around my body. I figured having the stretch in that direction was essential since my measurements put my juuuuuuuuust outside the size chart for the 46. I didn't cut the tie with the stretch, though, because of fabric limitations.


I had to shorten the skirt by 2 inches to get it to fit on the fabric, but that's fine because it was pretty long to begin with (I'm 5'7.5", for reference). It may be a teeny bit short with these giant shoes on, but with flats (the way I'll likely wear it, post-wedding), it's just about the right length. Plus, after the wedding I may cut the bottom off for a midi dress anyway!


I was pretty delighted with the fit through the bust, armscye and shoulders! There's a bit of curve in the upper back seam so it hugs close there, and the bust darts come from the armscye rather than the side seam.


Speaking of the armholes, I raised them just slightly, by 1 inch. I used packaged bias tape on the neckline and the armholes. I had a little bit of trouble because the armholes are not round at the bottom; they're more teardrop shaped. And the neckline sticks up a bit. But it's not the end of the world! Nobody but you guys would notice.


The fit through the back is pretty nice, too! Perhaps I could use a slight swayback adjustment if I make it again, but it's not too bad, so I'm not worrying about it. The back wrinkles seem to be more noticeable when I wrap the ties all the way around.


I love it!!! I haven't yet decided which is my favorite way to tie the dress. Tied in the front in a bow (this is the most comfy)? In the back (I think this is my least favorite)? Wrapped all the way around and knotted in the front (looks nicest, methinks)? I'll definitely make another, hopefully soon, maybe in a striped jersey, maybe with sleeves!


51 comments:

  1. Meg, this is fabulous! It has something of a 1920s vibe about it. Cutting it on the cross also makes the slight pattern stand out... the whole thing is really glamourous. I've often wondered about this pattern, but never quite taken the plunge because of its slightly out there (for me!) shape. Its good to see it on a real person.....its a lovely shape and very flattering.
    Ps. I've also worked out how to comment without having to email!

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    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! I agree- it has both a modern and somewhat vintage vibe to it! I think it's a fun pattern- looks nice in lots of different fabrics. It's a really quick sew, too!

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  2. Great job on this! I'll definitely be adding it to my queue.

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    1. Thanks, Trisha! It's a fun pattern!

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  3. Thank you for making this! I have been dying to see ithe on someone from the Curvy Sewing Collective... and I appreciate the comment on the back (and the view). This will be a great fancy dress go-to, I'm sure.

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    1. Thanks, Heather! This is one of those patterns I wish came in the wider size range, because I think it looks great on curves.

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  4. Thank you for making this! I have been dying to see ithe on someone from the Curvy Sewing Collective... and I appreciate the comment on the back (and the view). This will be a great fancy dress go-to, I'm sure.

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  5. Gooooorgeous! I bought the pattern years ago but haven't tried it yet. That said, if you're the largest size then I'd have to grade up quite a bit which I don't fancy.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny!! Yeah, it's a bummer this doesn't have a wider size range. Only up to US 14!

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  6. You look incredible!! This pattern is so flattering and you made the right choice of fabric. And if you are headed to New Orleans -- sleeveless is perfect as we are still hot and humid!

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    1. Thanks, Annie! Ha, yeah, I searched October weather in New Orleans and figured sleeveless was the way to go. Similar temps to Bangkok!

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  7. zomg so glam, the fabric is amazing and a great match for the pattern! I've been trying to resist buying the Kielo as I have the really similar Style Arc Celine, but I think I need both..! You don't have Celine, do you? I'm wondering how much they really differ...

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    1. Thanks, Katie!! I am so glad I paired this fabric and pattern- it was one of those "Aha!" moments. Hmmm- I don't have Celine, but looking at your post about your hacked Celine, I'm not sure you need both- you've basically made a Kielo already!

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  8. Looks fabulous. This dress is definitely on my to sew list.

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    1. Thanks, Anna! This dress would look great on you!

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    1. Thanks, Karen! That's what I was hoping for!!

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  10. This is such a cool pattern. I might have to try it come Spring. I have my doubts about the long skirt on me, but you never know. The shape of the skirt reminds me of Issey Miyake--kind of that cool lantern shape and geometric quality that a lot of his designs seem to have.

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    1. It's definitely a cool pattern- it's very simple but dramatic! I've seen shortened versions of it that looked great- just below the knee or at the knee.

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  11. Oh oh oh oh oh OH! It looks fabulous! I am so excited to make this dress, and totally frustrated that I have work sewing to do before I can get to it. But thank you for sewing this up, just for me to see of course.... VERY COOL!

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    1. Thanks, Samantha!! I am really happy with how it turned out! Ha ha, may your other projects go quickly so you can get started on your Kielo! I hope you like yours as much as I like mine!

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  12. This is a really gorgeous dress - lovely fabric and it looks stunning on you. Perfect for a fancy wedding! You have definitely sold me this pattern...

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm pretty delighted with how it turned out, especially after all that agonizing about fabric choice. ;-)

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  13. I have not considered making the Kielo before, but I am now - yours is fantastic and thanks for the link to your post about Hong Kong, I'm going in a couple of months and I have plans for fabric shopping!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kate! I think this pattern would look cute on you! Definitely fabric shop in Hong Kong- lots of deals and steals!

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  14. Oh, you look wonderful! The name of the design caught my attention. Kielo is a finnish word that means "lily of the walley" and the shape of the dress sure does remind me of that delicate flower. Greetings from Finland!

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    1. Thanks, Saara! And thanks for sharing the definition of the word- I had no idea! It makes sense, though, both because the shape of the dress and because the pattern designers (Named Clothing) are Finnish!

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  15. Wow, this is spectacular! It looks amazing in the metallic fabric, perfect for a black tie optional wedding I would say. The style is really flattering too, I think this is one of those patterns that seems to look pretty good on almost everyone.

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    1. Thanks, Sam!! It's a lovely and fun pattern- I'm delighted my fabric choice worked out well!

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  16. Looks terrific! You'll be a smash at the wedding! I like the ties at the front knotted for the wedding event!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I think I agree with your suggestion for how to wear it!

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  17. Absolutely gorgeous, Meg! It looks so beautiful on you!

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    1. Thanks, Andie!! Bonus points: super comfy!

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  18. A very interesting dress design, and you rock it! It looks great as a maxi.

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    1. Thanks, Melody!! I am loving it- can't wait to make another!

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  19. Oooooh, this is a great style on you! Very glamorous and yes, a bit 20s/30s? I could see this in a flowy gauze as a beach coverup too.

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    1. Thanks, Inder! It's funny how it's simultaneously modern and vintage-looking!

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  20. That fabric is perfect! It makes the dress look so glamorous, perfect for black tie! I hope you make another one or two!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! It worked out even better than I hoped!! Can't wait to make another!

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  21. You look stunning, the fabric makes it look like a posh frock rather than the jerseys I've seen. It's got a super shape and fits so well. I am so tempted to give this one a go.

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    1. Thanks so much! I was worried the fabric might look cheap, but I think I've achieved glamour with an inexpensive fabric... hooray! Love the pattern- highly recommend it!

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  22. This looks great on you. The fabric choice works very well with this pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Jean! It worked out even better than I hoped!!

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  23. what a great dress, perfect fabric choice for what you described. love the metallic.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! It worked out even better than I hoped! Hooray!

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  24. Thanks for the shoutout! I love this fabric! *heart eyes emoji*

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  25. Awww this looks lovely on you.

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