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!