Monday, 10 April 2017

Named Kielo, or a real green dress

(That's cruel.)

I've been talking myself in and out of buying and making the Kielo for ages. I thought that I wasn't cool enough to pull it off and it wouldn't work for my body type, and yet still I wanted it. I bought the pattern in January, talked myself in and out of it a few more times. But I'm interested in experimentation at the moment, and having a) received several assurances that it wasn't just a pattern for skinny bodies and b) realised that I didn't HAVE to make it in beige chiffon like the sample, I decided to go ahead and make myself a toile.

Here is my toile! Except it's not really a toile because I have been wearing the shit out of it since I finished it last week. I love maxi dresses and yet I've somehow only made one up til now, so I pounced on this one as soon as it was out from under the Gnome's presser foot. 

This fabric is a fairly cheap jersey I got from The Textile Centre, and it's not the greatest quality, but what it lacks in quality it makes up for in being an ACTUALLY NICE GREEN. I love green dresses, and when I started sewing I imagined making at least half a dozen of them, but I've never found fabric in a shade I like. It's always slightly too faded, slightly too dull, slightly too musty-looking. This still isn't quite the brilliant deep emerald of my dreams, but it was close enough for a casual maxi dress.

I had a hell of a time sewing this up. Since it's almost impossible to find nice green fabric, I've never needed to buy green thread for a project, so when I sat down to sew this up the only green thread I had was a spool from a rather suspect "BAG OF THREAD MANY COLOUR" that I ordered off the internet when I first started. My machine did not like this thread, and it didn't like the fabric either, but I was determined that the stitching on the back vent (which would be visible) would be done in the right colour, so I had a thoroughly frustrating time until I got the topstitching done, when I threw the thread away and replaced it with the next closest colour I had (dark teal, so really not very close).

I got to the point where the dress was in a state to be tried on (i.e. after sewing the seams, before hemming or binding any edges), looked at myself in the mirror and went "OMG that's kind of amazing". It certainly doesn't make me look any smaller, and this jersey is extra-clingy to any bumpy bits, but it has this beautiful Grecian drapey effect which manages to look regal and casual at the same time. And it has to be said, my stomach is my least favourite body part and this style of dress tucks it away nicely without making it look like I'm deliberately hiding anything. I'll take a bit of lumpiness in the hip in exchange for that.

 Also I LOVE this colour. I've read things in the past which say that someone of my colouring isn't "supposed" to wear green, but I think it looks great. Shrug.

Having decided the dress was potentially really good and not just a disposable toile, I put it to one side until I could get hold of some non-terrible green thread for the finishing. Actual patience and planning for once! Maybe I'm growing as a person.

The one thing I really don't like is the finish on the armholes (I used jersey bands and didn't like the way they looked, so I topstitched them down to the inside). Part of that is my crappy twin needle stitching, but since that's probably not going to be any better next time I make this dress, I need to come up with another method.

I will definitely make more of these. I foresee myself living in them (and maybe one or two other styles of maxi dress) when summer comes. I'm now not so sure that the red fabric will work, but I have some wide stripy jersey that I'd like to try it in. Honestly though, what I want most of all is some better quality bright green jersey to remake this one, because it's not going to last very long. Anyone have any ideas where I might acquire such a thing?

Conclusion: Kielo is not body type dependent. Go forth and be cool, all of you!


  1. Hooray, you made it! And it looks fabulous. 👏👏👏

  2. It's cute and the color is gorgeous and lists of things we "should/shouldn't" wear are stupid. :-p

  3. Beautiful! I thought it would suit you but the green is particularly awesome. It's a real goddess dress.

    For what it's worth, my favourite source for jersey is Tissu Fabrics (online only) as they are good value and have a huge range. It's definitely cotton/poly/viscose types rather than wool or silk but viscose jersey would be great for the Kielo.

  4. If I had a million dollars ...

    ... I still wouldn't be able to buy a dress that looks this fab!! Love it! And whoever said you can't wear green was just jealous and lied to you.