Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s no secret that I’m a total fangirl of the Named Patterns Kielo dress. (Actually, ‘fangirl’ might be a touch on the light side, ‘addict’ might be a better word). This dress has most definitely become one of my wardrobe staples, and it’s so versatile because you can make it with sleeves for the cooler months (get the free pdf sleeve add-on here), without sleeves for the hotter months, and you can totally layer these sleeveless ones over a leggings/polo neck in the winter for the ultimate comfy ensemble.

Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress

At 19 Euros for the printed pattern, Named’s prices can be a little steep (especially if you live in the US and are used to $1.99 pattern sales) but for me this pattern is the ultimate in value for money because I can literally see myself making 20 of these. So when you look at cost-per-make (yes I work in finance, lolz) it’s *actually* pretty reasonable. This is about my fifth or sixth one, so I’m well on the way to financial happiness! ?

I don’t know about you, but I *hate* restrictive clothing. We all put on a few pounds from time to time (like now ?‍♀️), and there’s nothing worse than wearing jeans where the waistband has become just that little bit too snug and you have to undo your top button after lunch just to make it through the afternoon. (And while you’re stewing in your misery at having to unfasten the button, there’s also the drama of remembering to fasten it again before you get up from your desk). Life’s too short for that. The Kielo is your saviour- it basically just forms around your current shape and you can adjust as necessary – no tightness if you put on a little weight, and no baggy-ness if you lose it. It will always fit. Not that I’m encouraging you to eat a whole tray of Krispy Kremes, but I’m just sayin’ that if you do, the Kielo will still be there for you. Like a faithful doggo ?

The fabric that I’ve used for this version is from FibersToFabric, which is an Etsy store based in India. I really love Indian fabrics, so when they offered me a discount code to use in their store I jumped at the chance. I actually had quite a hard time choosing my fabric, because there were so many prints that I liked, and since I bought my fabric they’ve added loads more to the store so I might have to go back and get some more designs. The cottons are 45″ inches wide, and beautifully soft – my fabric is cotton lawn weight. I’ve used more expensive lawns that felt horrible, but this one is really nice and the print quality is really good. Shipping from India was actually pretty fast and the rates were very reasonable, but it looks like everything in the Etsy store is free shipping now – yay!

This bohemian floral print (which just so happens to match my hair, #winning) reminds me of something you’d wear whilst sauntering about on exotic beaches. In fact, while I was making it, it brought to mind my trip to Thailand a few years ago (back when we were living in Malaysia, and you could hop over to Thailand the way us Brits would go to Spain), and this one picture in particular that I took after we had made our way up a hill to a viewpoint. I can actually picture myself sitting in this very spot, cool drink in hand, wearing this Kielo. Heaven.

Sadly, I don’t have this kind of gorgeous scenery around anymore to photograph against, so the next best thing I could come up with was the greenery of a park in South East London. Soz about that.

Up until now, I’ve only made the Kielo in stretchy knit fabrics. You totally *can* make them from woven fabrics (the pattern even suggests wovens to be used), but you might need to size up a bit as you’ve got no give in the fabric. I usually cut a 10 for knits, but for this one in woven cotton I cut a 12, to give a bit extra room around the boobs based on other people’s experiences. I’m glad I did, the fit is good, but I wish I had also sized up a bit more on the bottom half of the dress. Turns out that with the jersey versions, the ‘skirt’ of the dress has a good amount of stretch to it and I get a nice wrap. With the cotton version, there’s obviously not much stretch, and I don’t get much of a ‘wrap’ around my huge bee-hind.

Next time I’d probably go up another two sizes for the skirt, but then you have to use more yardage if you’re using something that’s only 45″ wide as it’s a bit of a squeeze to get the pieces on. With 60″ wide fabric you’ve (obviously) got more width to play with so you’re able to add on a bit extra to the wrap skirt into the gap in the middle of the fabric (between the two pieces) without using extra yardage. My fabric was only 45″ wide, and even thought I had three yards of it I barely fitted my pieces on to the fabric as it wasn’t wide enough to put them side by side ?

With the wrap being a little thin on the ground, I did also wonder whether I could wear it all loose and untied (in a cool artist-stylee), to which the husbeast simply offered the comment: ‘erm, no’.

Ok so perhaps the straps are a *tad* long to leave hanging, but I don’t think it looks that bad.


One thing that I don’t really like about this pattern (OMG! Did I just find fault with my favourite pattern?! ?) is that they’re not really focused on the nice finishes, and the construction of the dress makes it a bit hard to actually do much about that. You can’t French seam anything, because of the vent at the back and the way the armholes are made, so the best I could think of at the time was to overlock. Not brilliant, and a bit meh. Saki Jane went next-level with the finishing on her Kielo (and OMG she used the most *amazing* fabric) so I’m totally going to copy her methods ?

Previously I had used bias tape for the inside of the armholes, but for this version I followed the pattern instructions of simply turning in the hem twice. I did this for the neckline, too, and it worked out ok.

I did debate on using embroidered ribbon for the dress ties, because I thought that would look *super* awesome, but then I actually considered it sensibly and realised that thick ribbon might not tie so well, and if it’s got sequins and stuff on it then that’s not really ideal either because I’ll probably be scratching my arms on it and/or they will drop off in the wash and the whole thing will look crap within a few wears. And then I’ll have sad face.

I didn’t actually have enough fabric left over to cut the ties out, so I cut them from some burgundy lawn that I had lying around – but when I held them up against the fabric, something didn’t feel quite right I didn’t like the way the ties looked against the colours of the fabric, they didn’t… coordinate. It was because they weren’t *precisely* the same shade of burgundy as there was on the dress fabric (yes, I’m that picky). So I dug out my leftover scraps of fabric – because you should ALWAYS keep these, kids; you never know what you’ll need them for – and sewed a few pieces together to make something big enough to cut the ties from. Sure, that means there’s a join in each of the ties, but it’s really not all that noticeable. I challenge you to spot the join from a distance of more than 1 metre ?

This dress has had a lot of wear since I finished making it – the lightweight cotton is just perfect for when its proper hot and sweaty and you don’t actually want to wear clothes. I’ve got my eye on some other prints in the FibersToFabric store, especially this one which I really love – but I’m unsure whether I can pull it off. What I’m picturing is a loose-fitting, strappy dress (perhaps an elongated Ogden Cami?) to wear over a black polo neck and black tights in the autumn, with Dr Marten shoes. What I may end up with, should I choose to make it, might be an unflattering sack made of curtain fabric. It could go either way ?‍♀️

I’d also like to make the dear husbeast a jacket of some sort out of this woven ikat beauty:

I’m really in love with this dress, despite the fabric being a little different to my usual choices (florals? Who even am I?). It makes my inner hippy very happy. Plus it goes really well with the vintage tooled leather bag I scored off eBay last year, which doesn’t get anywhere near enough use (note to self: use it more).

In true, four-seasons-in-one-day British weather style, the day we took these photos it was warm but crazy windy. In some shots I look like Medusa ?‍♀️

This Kielo dress is also my entry for the #SewTogetherForSummer challenge, and 2018 is the year of the Wrap Dress. (Last year was the year of the Shirt Dress and I made my awesome octopus print Pauline Alice cami dress, which I’m now too fat to get into. This seems to be the case with some other clothes I wore last summer too, so plans are in action to get my ass moving and shift some flubber). If you’re unfamiliar with the Sew Together For Summer challenge, head on over to Sew Sarah Smith’s post to get the lowdown!

I do also have a sneaky second entry into the challenge, in the form of ANOTHER Kielo dress (surprised? Lol) which won’t be on the blog before the closing deadline of 21st June but will be on my Instagram, so keep your eyes peeled ?

Are you entering the Sew Together For Summer Challenge? You’ve still got time! (If you sew fast, lol). If you’ve sewn the Kielo with a woven fabric, how did it turn out? Did you have to size up a lot? Or do I just have a huge bum? ??

Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… the lowdown on some East London fabric shopping ?️ Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out!  

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32 thoughts on “Bohemian Rhapsody

  1. It looks gorgeous in this fabric! I’m actually making my first atm so had to read this post as soon as I saw the title! I know what you mean about the finishing and found a tutorial (poss on Named site?) about drafting a facing, so no stitching visible, might be an idea for next time?! I’m just going to go with coverstitching when I’ve raised the armhole, they’re still way too low for me despite adjusting the pattern first..


    1. Ooh! Thanks for the heads up, I’m gonna have a look for this facing method! Are you using it for your version? Hmm yes coverstitching would be a good method, and those armholes ARE low aren’t they! ?


    1. I hadn’t heard of them but they were mentioned to me a week or so ago and I went to check them out – amazing choice and prices! ?


  2. Very nice- for that drapey totally loose look, BUY VOGUE 1410 I COMMAND THEE! I know you’re addicted to Indie patterns, but c’mon. I’m as addicted to that one as you are to the Kielo. Doughnut friendly, wearable over thick tights and jumpers, lovely as a summer dress, good for any fabric, fab for french seams. Check check check check check. I have SIX.


    1. Hmm, that one *does* have a very interesting shape… only thing I’m a little concerned about is that it seems to fasten just under the bust rather than at the waist? That tends to give the ‘maternity look’ on me ? I’d need to put a belt or something round it at the waist to pull it in a bit I think. But it is interesting… ? haha I’m not *addicted* to indie patterns… Vogue do have some stunners! ??


  3. I love all of your kielos and this one’s no exception! I made one last month and I think I’m hooked. I have two more planned before the summer’s out. One I just cut out today. We’ll see if I can sew it before the 21st. I totally agree with the finishing. It’s so difficult to finish it nicely. I’ve just embraced the raw edged look on mine but I can see how it would be different if you sew it in a woven fabric.


    1. Ahh thank you Joanne! ? The Kielo *is* addictive isn’t it!! I’m working on my finishings, but the pattern really doesn’t make it easy. I’m sort of loosely wondering if there’s any way of eliminating that back seam… ?


  4. WOAH, the fabric in that Etsy shop! Amazing stuff, and the prices are ridiculously good. I want to say thanks for the recommendation, but I also want to smack you because I’m *trying* to cut back on fabric-buying, dammit! 😉

    Your comments about the differences in sewing the same pattern with knit versus woven reminded me of my current quest to find the perfect nonstretch pants pattern – I’m about to go dig through my vintage pattern stash to see if I have an old-school fitted pants pattern that does NOT rely on lycra-spandex content. If I can’t find anything that will work, I am going to try sewing up a “for stretch wovens” pattern using nonstretch and just sizing up as you did with your Kielo. I suppose that sort of substitution is why most patterns have finished garment measurements listed somewhere.

    Also, hurrah for Doc Martens! I have two pairs that I’ve worn and loved for over a decade and they are still as good as new (although I did have a cobbler resole them because I’d ground the treads clean off of the heels). High quality shoes are definitely a good investment.

    – Julia


    1. Hey Julia! Haha I take no responsibility for any fabric purchases you may make as a result of my post ??
      I’m delving into the non-stretch pants world too – even though my first experience has been a pair of RTW jeans. I’ve literally ONLY worn stretch trousers and jeans for as long as I can remember – and I’ve just got my first pair of non-stretch Mom jeans. They are PERFECT. I’d tried on non-stretch jeans before only to find them tight, restrictive and uncomfortable. Turns out they were just not the right cut for my body shape. So now I’m embracing the non-stretch revolution!
      Totally with you on the shoes – definitely a good investment. I’ve just had a favourite pair of leather sneakers resoled, they’ve lasted me ages and now have another lease of life – yay!


  5. Love it! I actually quite like it unfastened…I’ve got to get around to making this dress; I’ve loved all your versions. You are the Kielo Queen!!! (And thanks for the shout out love xxx)


    1. Haha, I thought it had a really cool vibe unfastened! (The husband disagreed, but what does he know). And yes, you MUST make this dress for yourself! Xx


    1. Thanks! ? It is fab to have something that you know suits you and that you can make on autopilot, but sometimes it is nice to make something new and exciting too ? I just want to make ALL THE THINGS lol ??


  6. I have actually gone with the facing, it is on Named site but I stupidly didn’t realise you couldn’t add it retrospectively! (Hadn’t read to the end of the tute…!) After attaching the front facing I realised there was no way I could attach the back, duh! Fudged it in the end and it looks ok but a mess inside!


    1. Ahh yes I found the tutorial! I had a quick read through it, it sounded like a bit of a faff with a lot of drawing/drafting etc… so I’ll wait for your opinion on whether it’s worth it!!


  7. I have extravagant hips, but also pancake bum so when I muslined this in a woven I actually had problems in the top half. It put me off trying to fix it but someday I’ll go back. I love your fabric (and your photo from your past life even more – damn, I’m jealous! Also thirsty for whatever that icy coffee-looking thing is).


    1. Ah, the top (surprisingly) was actually ok for me ? what were the issues you were having? It’s definitely worth trying to figure it out – this dress is a summer staple for me! Sooo comfy to wear ?
      I do drool over that picture from time to time, especially when it’s grey and dull in England ?☁️ from what I remember it was a banana-and-something smoothie ?


    1. Ahh fab! Did you use jersey or woven? I’m already thinking about making some more long sleeve ones for the autumn ???


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