Saturday, 30 July 2016

Anna Sui Floral Kielo Wrap Dress

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

Next up in my run of projects from Named Clothing is the Kielo Wrap Dress. This pattern was released alongside the Ailakki Jumpsuit (which I posted about last week) as part of the company's second collection and the combination of these two pretty much knocked me off my feet. I was hooked from then on. This simple but unusual design had instant appeal for me. I love a maxi and the wrap style slightly echoed the lines of my favourite RTW maxi dress which I have worn almost every week of the last five summers and still am despite it being on its last legs.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

I'd ordered 2 yards of this stunning rayon crepe from Mood Fabrics a few months ago with the intentions of turning it into a simple summer dress. I'm not usually one for wearing a particularly vivid/bold print but for some reason I saw this online and it was in my basket in a flash. When it arrived I congratulated myself on the impulse order; the colours are vibrant and the crepe spongy yet fine. It's listed as 'Famous NYC Designer' but clearly printed in the selvedge was Anna Sui; how exciting! I was pondering which patterns to pair with the fabrics in my stash one morning when I was suddenly possessed by the idea that this print HAD to be turned into a Kielo, the pattern for which I'd been hoarding for at least a year. It's unusual for me to buy a fabric without a specific pattern in mind and this project is exactly the reason why; my mere two yards were nowhere near enough for the Kielo's maxi lengths. I did love the slim cut and back vent of that maxi skirt but had seen a couple of shorter versions around the blogopshere so opted to hack length off the pattern until my pieces fit! It was still a tight squeeze as despite being 49" wide there's a good couple of inches of unprinted white border by each selvedge and these winged pattern pieces are pretty wide. I didn't have enough fabric to even think about pattern matching that centre back seam which irks me a little.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

As with the jumpsuit I cut the size 38 and made no alterations other than to remove some length. I cut 40cm off the hem at the cutting stage as this is the longest my lack of fabric would allow. Then when it came to hemming the dress I took off an extra 9cm, using 2.5cm for the hem. I wasn't happy with how it looked on me just above the knee so decided to go fairly mini and now I love it! I really like it with my new sandals as pictured but have also been wearing it quite a bit with ankle boots on those typical muggy but wet days of a London summer.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

I'm really pleased with the snug fit across the shoulders, chest and armhole when the dress is tied. I usually have some problems in this area and I was concerned that this fabric would end up really misshapen around those curved edges but there's no unsightly gaping anywhere. The instructions don't suggest stay stitching but I added this in to both the neckline and armhole edges as this crepe is so delicate and prone to stretching on the bias. While I'm on the subject the sewing instructions are brief to say the least at just one side of A4 including illustrations but I can't say that they were lacking any information. There's a thorough glossary included which covers all the basics and this dress is an absolute breeze to sew; 5 pieces of fabric and lots of long seams! I would say that one point that needs careful attention is positioning the ties when sandwiching them into the side seams. You want them to sit right up against that corner when you turn the dress right side out.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

Although it may look like a super simple style and you can't see them in amongst this print there are some clever darts giving just the right amount of flattering shaping to what otherwise might look like a bit of a sack. There are double ended darts in the back which help the dress when tied to skim the curve of your back and the diagonal bust darts are in bang on the right spot for me and I reckon are the main reason behind the lovely upper body fit.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

If I have one complaint about Named patterns it's that the time before you really get started seems so long! I've been using their PDF patterns and although there are only two sizes nested together in each file the pattern pieces are overlapped so once you've taped all the sheets together you've got a fair bit of tracing to do (but seam allowances are included and clearly marked). There is a clear lay plan of the printed sheets included with the instructions so if you really hate tracing you could figure out which sheets are needed for each pattern piece and print each sheet multiple times but I didn't think far enough ahead with this one. Plus I would have had to print each of the twelve sheets at least four times! Couple this tracing time with the length of time it took me to cut this shifty viscose (I pinned the selvedges together in the end to keep things on grain) and it felt like it was about three days before I put needle to fabric! Having said all that, I love the Named designs and drafting so much I'm more than happy to deal with this extra bit of faff.

UPDATE! It appears that some of this faff has been to do with the fact that I am using a very old pattern. Named have since made changes to their layout and their last collection was released with layered PDF files so you only print the size you need and the pieces don't overlap as much.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

Once I had my pattern pieces ready I made this dress from start to finish including cutting in just one afternoon. I started it around midday and wore it out to the ballet that evening! That was almost two months ago and it's seen a fair few washes and wears since. However, my delight with this dress turned into dismay during my little photoshoot for this post. Captured by my camera on timer here is the moment I discovered the disaster...

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

Along the edge of one of the ties the fabric has frayed away and the seam has come apart. I'm pretty sure this is not to do with the quality of the fabric but more me not appreciating just how delicate it is. I'm pretty tough on my clothes and always wash my viscose/rayon on a 30 cycle in the machine. I've not had a problem so far and this survived the pre wash just fine but it seems this particular fabric is quite a loosely woven crepe and needed more specific care. I think my aggressive trimming of the seam allowances inside the ties has exacerbated the problem. Perhaps leaving a wider seam allowance would have prevented the issue. At least it's in an easily fixable area. I'll either make the ties shorter or skinnier.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress in Anna Sui Floral Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics

All in all this is a cracking pattern if you are after a comfortable yet unusual summer frock. It's perhaps not the best solution to really high heat as you've got quite a bit of fabric wrapped around your waist there but for British summer temperatures it's spot on. I think the key to keeping this design from looking too bulky around the waist and therefore perhaps a little unflattering is to use a nice lightweight fabric. I'm thinking about a breezy lawn or voile maxi version now. I love the sheer sample version which is worn over a shorter slip dress. I'm so inspired to sew up some more Named designs now I've have success with a few. Perhaps one day I'll make it onto a garment from the third collection or beyond...I've got Beverley Bikinis to share with you next!
SaveSave

16 comments:

  1. This is the first short Kielo I've seen, it looks great but I think the full length would be amazing on you too. I agree about Named patterns being a faff, that's why I went for a similar Style Arc pattern for my wrap dress - but the drafting and designs are pretty great. Hope you can fix the frayed bit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really liked that Style Arc Pattern on you. I'm definitely going to consider making a winter knit version of this as I loved your fabric. It had a bit of a Cos look about it! Maxi version version coming right up!

      Delete
  2. Loving this! I feel like this pattern has been everywhere recently, but I haven't seen it in such a lightweight, drapey fabric yet. I think you've sold me! It looks so cool and easy. I've got a stash of rayons that I think would work really well...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really has been everywhere this summer hasn't it! A lightweight fabric is a really good choice for it as it reduces the bulk and keeps it breezy. I wish I had a stash of rayons around to use for it!

      Delete
  3. Your dress is so lovely! I really need to make a Kielo soon. By the way, starting with the last collection Named has started doing layered PDF patterns so you only print the size(s) you need, and they don't overlap pieces nearly as often (in fact, they might have stopped entirely). I've done testing for them a few times and I'm always really impressed with how they respond to feedback and improve the quality of their collections over time! (And yes, I'm a total Named fangirl, haha!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thanks Lindsay! That's great news. I thought I had seen a post or two about changes they'd made but couldn't remember what they were. I'll update the post to reflect that as it's obviously because I'm using a very old pattern! I can totally see why you're a Named fan girl...I'm a little bit obsessed!

      Delete
  4. i have seen a picture of a maxi kielo which seems to be a maxi chiffon wrap layer over a short under dress( without wrap) . Is this included in the pattern- or was it a hack? I want to make this dress but haven't bought the pattern yet. I like your short version- looks like you caught the brief moment of UK summer in the photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the one very brief bit of it we got!
      The pattern just includes the wrap dress. Their sample looks like it's sheer with a solid shift underneath but this isn't included in the pattern.

      Delete
  5. Lovely! Interesting that it works well in the crepe; the most recent version of the pattern specifies a fabric with 20-60% stretch. But the copy shop version at least doesn't overlap any pieces so it was quick and easy to cut out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. O that's really good to know Catherine, I might stick to copy shop in future! I think my difficulties might have something to do with the fact that I was using the earliest version of the pattern.
      It absolutely does work in a woven as long as it's fairly lightweight with some drape. The stretch isn't necessary as the shape is provided by the ties

      Delete
  6. I love this! I think this looks especially great short!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kate! I'm really pleased that my lack of fabric sort of forced me into making it short as I love it this length too

      Delete
  7. I too, am really liking the short length of your dress! I'd only seen maxi versions and that isn't very "me" so I'd dismissed this pattern, but a dress this length, and in such a lightweight fabric, I can totally see myself wearing. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lightweight fabric is key I think. Anything too thick and you'll have an uncomfortable amount of bulk around your middle. I love this length but will definitely be trying a maxi too!

      Delete
  8. You look very cute and I love your fabric!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nilla! It's a really fun print isn't it

      Delete

I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!