Posted on Saturday the 12th August 2017 by Self Assembly Sewing
The Kielo maxi dress is probably one of my favourite patterns ever. I love the simplicity and ingenuity of the design. It's just so flattering on so many people!
I've only made this pattern once before (you can check it out here
) and I thought it was high time for another!
My first version of the Kielo was made in a cheap yellow jersey which worked really well but I found the whole look somehow turned out too fancy for daywear! I wanted to make a version in a printed fabric to see if that softened the look a little.
I chose a lovely summery Viscose Fabric
in a yellow and lime leaf print. Minerva only have a tiny amount of this fabric left now but this Dressmaking Fabric
is very similar (and offers a cheaper option too). I wanted something light and drapey and this was perfect for that!
Now the instructions recommend a fabric with at least 20% stretch to make the Kielo dress but I opted to ignore that. I'd seen on Instagram and from other bloggers that this pattern does work in non stretch wovens. I did choose to make the dress a size up to accommodate for this just in case though. I didn't want to run into any issues where things might be too tight!
The main thing I wanted to change with this reincarnation of the Kielo was to change the neckline. I wanted something that was a little less covered but still retained the general shape and feel of the dress.
In the end I chose to turn it into a strappy dress!
I lowered the front neckline and cut a deep V into the back. On both the front and the back I marked out the points at which I wanted the straps to attach and redrew the neckline from there. I made sure that I didn't make any changes to the ‘wings’ of the dress as I wanted to limit how much of the design I was altering.
Tip: use a strappy top you already own to help measure out where you want your straps to go. It's easy to make them too narrow/ wide/ high/ low if you're not careful.
The tricky bit now was how to finish the edge of the new neckline. The original instructions uses a binding all the way around but that would have been impossible with the strappy top as the angles were too sharp.
I decided to go with a facing instead of the binding. It really was the only option! It was a bit finicky trying to figure out the best way to stitch it in but in the end I think it worked really well!
I made the straps with a rouleau loop. I love using my loop turner to make these. There's something so satisfying about pulling these tubes of fabric right side out!
In addition to the shoulder straps, I added a short strap between the deep V of the back for a bit of extra interest as well as preventing it from gaping open too much.
Apart from the neckline the only other thing I changed was the length of the hem and the vent! Named patterns are designed for very tall ladies so I needed to shorten the dress by a fair bit to fit (I just took it straight off the hem) and I also had the back leg vent open higher so my legs weren't too constricted as I walked.
Can you love a dress too much? I think I'm there with this dress! It's the perfect mix of summer fun and elegance. I wish the weather was nicer so I could wear it more! It'll definitely a great holiday dress at least!