Dresses · Indie · Jersey · Summer

Kielo Wrap Dress

I am not really one to follow any fashion/ sewing trends and I do tend to steer clear of pdf patterns, usually because I’m too lazy to put them together. However one Saturday during my half-term holiday (teacher perks!), I decided to stick together a mammoth pile of pdfs. These included:

  • The Kielo Wrap Dress
  • Itch to Stitch Marbella Dress
  • Seamwork York Top
  • Sewaholic Cambie Dress
  • Sew Over It Elsie Dress
  • Sew Over It Penny Dress

As you can probably guess, I did not manage to stick them all together in one day! I did, however, manage to stick together the Kielo Wrap dress as well as cut out the fabric! As it was a death by pdf scenario, I ended up casting the cut out fabric and pattern to one side for a good month or so. 

The Kielo dress has been on and off of my to-do list for quite some time now. Some months I fall in love with it and think its a great pattern, but when I then go to buy the pattern, the version they have on their website just puts me right off. I think it may have something to do with the colour of the fabric they use. For some reason, I cannot see past the choice of material and instantly visualise myself looking a chunky, dumpy mess! However, after some Instagram stalking one evening, I noticed one sewing blogger wearing a short version of the Kielo Wrap Dress out of some gorgeous polka dot fabric. This instantly inspired me to grab for my precut fabric (as it was very similar!) and get sewing. 

The fabric I used for this version, is once again from the Textile Centre (I am a huge fan of the Textile Centre, especially for fabric which I haven’t sewn with before. It is cheap and cheerful which doesn’t put too much pressure on you if you mess it up). It cost £3.99 pm and is now unfortunately out of stock. The fabric is a lightweight jersey and has a lovely slinky feeling to it, it feels like some form of lycra jersey mix.

Disclosure: I am relatively new to sewing jersey, hence why I buy cheap jersey fabric. I have always been put off sewing with jersey as I find it quite hard work! So apologies for some awful binding! I do, however, ensure that I buy sustainably sourced cotton and get most of my cotton from Stoff & Stil.

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I cut out the UK 14 and graded out to a UK size 16. I have to admit this pattern didn’t fill me with a load of body confidence about the size I cut out, especially being an indie pattern. However, I soon stopped caring once I tried on the finished garment. 

 I sewed everything according to the instructions and ended up with teeny tiny armholes! I could barely get my arm through it, let along move comfortably. So I unstitched the side seem by 1.5 cm each side, which made it feel a lot more comfortable. 

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I decided to finish the armhole and neckline off with self-made bias tape. I have sewn bias binding a good few times on woven fabric, and it is actually my favourite way of finishing. However, the same cannot be said for stretch fabrics! I really didn’t enjoy the process and it ended up being a little untidy, to tell the truth. I think I definitely need more practice sewing on stretch fabrics.

Anyone who has any tips sewing bias binding on stretch fabrics please do leave a comment! 

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I am absolutely in love with the shape of the dress! I am very pear shaped and this is great at accentuating my waist, yet covering my chunky thick thighs. 

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The slit also makes the dress hang better over bottom-heavy shapes. If there were no slit, I could definitely envision pulling in all the wrong places.. 

The sewing process was very smooth and enjoyable. As there are only a few pattern pieces and a couple of darts, it only takes a couple of hours to sew up. 

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Pros of the pattern:

The style is such a great idea! It flatters so many shapes and is a very versatile style. I cannot wait to sew some more up in winter fabrics. I’m thinking a shorter grey version! I also love the length of the ties, they wrap around in such a flattering way and can instantly make you feel slimmer when you wear the dress.

Cons of the pattern:

Now, I have already admitted I don’t really like taping pdf patterns together, however, once I have a glass of wine in my hand, the whole process seems to go a bit smoother! I have happily taped up other indie patterns, yet the Kielo dress has got to be the most frustrating pdf I have ever come across! I just couldn’t get any line to match up at all. This has probably more to do with the fact that my taping skills are lacking and the pattern pieces are giant! 

Costs of the pattern: £11.60
Cost of material: £11.90 7
Time to sew: 1.5 hours. 

Happy Sewing, 

Katherine x

cotton drill · Dressmaking Makes · skirt

Burda skirt 6836

I have been trying to “shop my stash” for some time now as my fabric stash is bursting at the seams! However, every time I use some fabric that I already own, I end up going on a big fabric binge! As a result, I have been matching the patterns I already own to my fabric. This Burda pattern has been on my to-do list for some time now, and in typical Katherine style, I couldn’t find any fabric to use! After spending hours trying to find suitable fabric, I decided to refocus on my own hoard  stash and I ended up finding a lovely grey cotton twill fabric. 

The fabric was bought from The Textile Centre and was in the sale at a bargain £1.99 pm! Unfortunately, it is now out of stock however you can still buy the fabric in a different colour here

Like many others, I am not a huge fan of Burda patterns. I find their instructions nigh on impossible to follow and find they always come up large. However, I was really drawn to the shape of the skirt as I thought it would flatter my pear-shaped figure and so I decided to persevere and go for it. I cut out style A as I liked the thicker waistband.

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The pattern is a great stash busting make as it used less than 1.5 meters. It is also great for new sewists as it only consists of 3 pattern pieces, the front, back and the waistband. You will also need a 9″ invisible zipper (however, I used a 7″ inch one). There are no complicated techniques, just a couple of pleats on either side of the skirt. 

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I cut out the size 10 as the finished measurements came up quite large. However once I sewed the pleats on the front and back part of the skirt, I didn’t like the look of how deep they were. I decided to make the pleats at the front and back a little narrower as they accentuated my hips too much. The waistband was obviously then too big for me so I pulled the waistband in a little to ensure it wasn’t too baggy at the waist. 

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As you can see the finished waistband is half the width of the original pattern. Once I cut out the pieces and put my cutting mat away, I realised that the instructions said to fold over 1.5 cm of the waistband and then stitch. I think this looks quite messy as the inside will have the interfacing showing. I was then going to cut out another waistband so I could fully line it, however, once I tried on the skirt I thought it looked better with a thinner waistband. Therefore I then folded over the waistband and “stitched in the ditch” to finish it off. 

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Inside of the skirt, I used my overlocker to finish the seams. You can still see some loose threads where the original pleats were

The instructions for the skirt is to leave the skirt unlined, which I decided to do as the skirt is for the summer months and I wanted it to be as light as possible. The fabric is also pretty thick with a nice amount of stretch to the width, so it wasn’t necessary to line it. However, when I make more for the winter months I will definitely line them. I finished the seams with my overlocker and sewed a 1cm hem at the bottom. 

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I just love the matchstick duck pattern!

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Positives: 

The skirt is extremely comfortable and I can see myself wearing it a lot during the summer. It was also a really quick and easy make and unlike other Burda patterns, the instructions are somewhat easy to follow. However, this may be because I have experience sewing a waistband and sewing pleats. I wouldn’t recommend the skirt pattern for a beginner, purely because the instructions are not as detailed as other easy pattern skirts I have used. However, if you are willing to research techniques then I would say go for it! The skirt only took me a couple of hours to complete, which makes it a lovely evening make!

Negatives: 

The pattern doesn’t really have many negatives. The only thing I would criticise is the sizing, as I am very pear shaped, I didn’t want a tight-fitting pencil skirt. However, I still had to cut out the smallest size, which I found crazy since I have 43″ hips! For much slimmer women out there, they may find the skirt too baggy. 

Overall I will definitely be making more of this pattern, as I have finally found a pencil type skirt pattern which is flattering on!

Hours it took to make: 2
Cost of the pattern: £3.00 from ebay
cost of fabric: £3.00

Katherine x