There is a new love in my life and her name is Kielo!! I saw this pattern by Named ages ago and if I’m honest was completely put off by the picture on pattern sleeve however I kept falling in love with people’s versions and finally plucked up the courage.
The pattern can be used for a woven or jersey but I decided to opt for the jersey to start with as it is generally more forgiving on fit which is ideal for testing a new pattern. On a recent visit to Walthamstow market with the lovely Lucy from Perle Designs. I bought a light weight tropical print which leapt into my hands when searching through the stash and luckily it has been one of those perfect moments of right pattern and right fabric!
The Named patterns are drafted for 5’8 height which is significantly taller than my 5’1 so I knew some adjustment would be in order. I am also a different size on top to my bottom so was going to look at merging sizes but read a helpful blog which explained you only need the bust to fit and then it’s so loose with the wrap that you won’t have any problems. Phew! One less thing to worry about!
For the length, this is one of the few patterns I have seen with a line for bust, waist and hips. I decided as I am lazy to do a quick adjustment on this first draft which I could then refine later. So I measured roughly from my shoulders to each point (I.e bust, waist and hips) and then compared it to the pattern. The bust looked spot on but I needed to take an inch out of the length to the waist and the rest out of the skirt. I did the most basic adjustments by drawing a line across perpendicular to the grain, cutting and moving the pattern pieces so they overlapped. For the skirt part I did a series of them 6 inches apart for each one. I then redrew the side seam line using a ruler to link up the arm hole to the hem.
The dress is easy to sew with few pieces and could definitely be a good beginner dressmaking pattern. The only stumbling block I had was that my jersey fabric was very lightweight and is not a type of jersey I have worked with before, normally I prefer more stable knits like Scuba or Ponte. Being so light it was prone to curling under but heavy pinning and slow and steady sewing meant there was only one unpicking incident.
Having tried it on I decided that due to the style of knit and the level of drape that I would take the level of the armhole up but this literally involved me sewing in the same line as the original stitching just for an extra inch beyond the pattern markings. I also don’t own any knit bias tape and opted to just go for a turn and sew approach (jersey is literally so flexible for decisions like that unlike a firm woven).
Otherwise I made the pattern as is in the instructions. Honestly I am now addicted as the dress looks pretty stylish but feels like secret pj’s and has the flexibility of adjusting after a nice tasty big meal. I have never made a Named pattern before as they are styled for tall skinny women but in this case I would say if your interested…. Go for it! I’m so excited about this pattern and am hoping to make at least one more before heading abroad later in the summer and also want to try a shortened woven version. Now to decide on fabric choice!