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Summer Uniform, 2017 Edition: Named Kielo Wrap Dress

June 12, 2017
Kielo Wrap Dress 1

Kielo Wrap Dress Kielo Wrap Dress from Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress from Named PatternsKielo Wrap Dress from Named PatternsKielo Wrap Dress from Named PatternsI would never have considered making the Kielo Wrap Dress until I saw it in person, at Patch Halifax, where I was able to try on the store sample. Sometimes I have a hard time visualizing beyond the models and styling for Named Patterns to how I think the garment would look on me. I shouldn’t have let that dissuade me, because the Kielo is a magical dress that looks amazing on all the different bodies I have seen in it.

I used a black bamboo cotton and made a few fit alterations based on the sample:

  • I cut a chunk out of the centre back seam (2 inches wide tapering down 3 inches)
  • Raised the back slit by 4″
  • Cut 1.5 inches out of the length of the bodice, just above the bust-dart. I wanted to keep the neckline where it was, but raise the arm holes a bit and move the ties to my natural waist.
  • I skipped both the back darts and the interfacing on the ties.

Oddly enough, I didn’t need to shorten the dress at all. I’ve seen it on people taller than I am though and it hits them at the same place. I pull up more of the skirt in the back to create a tucked-in effect, but I’ve left the back long here for the photos. It’s a quick make, but I did get held up on the knit bias binding for the neck and arms. I wish there was a pattern piece for them, since there are optional instructions for them with the pattern.

This dress feels like the sexiest Secret Pyjamas. I could easily wear this to a formal event, but also with a jean jacket and some flip-flops all weekend. If you see me in this dress, I will salute you with my flying-squirrel wings. I hope you will also be wearing a Kielo and can salute me right back!

Project: Keilo Wrap Dress

Total Cost: $62


Fabric: $40.00

Notions: $2

Total Hours: 8

Fit Adjustments: I made a US size 4, but with several adjustments: I took a 2 inch wedge out of the CB seam at the neck, raised the back slit by 4 inches, and took 1.5″ of length out of the top bodice. I also skipped the back darts and interfacing on the ties.

See also: I didn’t think I was going to love my Saunio Cardigan from Named either, but it’s become one of my favourite pieces!


Navy Tea House Dress from Sew House Seven

June 5, 2017

Tea House DressTea House Dress    Tea House Dress Tea House Dress Tea House Dress

Well, hello there. Welcome to the dress of pocket dreams.

I’ve had the pattern for the Tea House Dress (from Sew House Seven) for at least a year, but I held out on making this dress until I found the perfect fabric. When I saw this Robert Kaufmann Indikón Cotton Yarn Dyed Fabric at Patch Halifax, I knew it was exactly what I had been waiting for.

I played with the direction of the stripe and used the wrong side of fabric on the front and back plackets, the centre front skirt, and the sleeve cuffs. I’m glad that I opted for the shorter version, as the longer one is a lot of dress on a 5’2 person, but also because I still used nearly 4 metres of fabric on this one!

The neckline is the perfect depth on me and I didn’t need to do any kind of full-bust-adjustment. The only tricky part of this dress was the front placket. The instructions have you gather the front inside edges ever so slightly and press the pieces until they are totally flat. I’m not entirely sure what purpose that ease serves. I was able to get one the way I wanted, but the other wasn’t quite as good. I found that topstitching the front placket, which connects it to the lining placket, creates a slight puffiness in the front.

It’s a minor quibble though. I am delighted with this dress. The fit is spot-on; it’s very flattering; I love a Dolman sleeve and, of course, those pockets! In fact, this may be my favourite make of this project so far.

Project: Tea House Dress

Total Cost $108.25

Pattern: $24.25 (18 USD)

Fabric: $80

Notions: $4

Fit: Straight size 4

What to work on: That teensy bit of fullness in the front placket

See also: My beloved (and much worn) Toaster Sweater is also from Sew House Seven. I’ve got my eye on the Nehalem Pant pattern too!



A very wearable muslin: True Bias Southport Dress

August 29, 2016
Southport dress 1

Southport dress 2Southport dress 3Southport 8

I’ve got a dress! One that does not make it look like I should be giving a serious conference presentation!

I’ve purchased a few metres of some beautiful Nani Iro double gauze for a Southport Dress, but before I cut into that precious stock, I wanted to make sure the fit of the dress would be spot-on. As this was just a practice version, I didn’t bother with matching the print on this cotton ikat. I’ll save that (and french seams) for the next dress. I like that this pattern is finished with bias tape on the neckline and arms. It’s a nice clean finish inside, without any of the fuss of facings.

For the Southport Dress, I made the mistake of practicing “aspirational cutting”. I cut out the size I wanted to be instead of the size I currently am in that pattern. Good thing I wasn’t using my special Japanese fabric! Luckily, it was just a matter of one size difference and I serged the seams together to save some inches where I could. I cut out a size 2 and put in a 1-inch Full Bust Adjustment and added 1 inch to the skirt pieces to match. The fit is actually pretty great. A little snug through the arm scythes, but that’s all.  Next time, I’ll size up for a more relaxed fit. I can see many versions of this dress in my future!

Project: Southport Dress Muslin

Total cost: $38.00

Fabric: $16.99

Notions: $8

Pattern: $12.99 USD

Time: 6 hours (including cutting and assembling the PDF pattern)

Fit: As above. I’ll go up a size and lengthen the bodice next time.

Skills/Techniques: Full-bust adjustment, Bias binding, buttonholes.