I made my first ever Named Kielo Wrap Dress for a wedding in April...and I've never worn it. I convinced myself that I looked hideous in it from the back, when in fact, it's not quite as bad as I first thought. And now it's too cold to wear it. At least I have a 'new' maxi dress in the bag for summer 2018!




To be clear, my issue with the dress is purely personal relating to my body shape and nothing to do with the pattern itself. Kielo is undoubtedly cool and looks effortlessly elegant on everyone I've seen wearing it, but my issue stems from the fact that it hugs/exposes far too much of my muffin top and wide bum than I'm comfortable with. 

For the record, I'm wearing the BIGGEST control pants EVER in these pictures, which has definitely helped to smooth things out a bit.


Let's just take a minute to appreciate my gorgeous floral jersey from Minerva Crafts though! It's sadly sold out, but there are plenty of other flowery pretties to choose from. 

Back to the pattern, it's super speedy to sew up, so a real winner in that respect. If you're a fan of the design, you could quite easily whip up an entire summer wardrobe of Kielos. The only thing I found frustrating was trying to get a neat finish around the armholes. The interesting side seams make the shape at the underarm tricky to finish with binding, so it's definitely not my neatest work ever. If you have any tips/tricks for perfecting this, please do share in the comments below!

In terms of sizing, I cut out a UK size 12 and shortened the bodice by 4cm (it may have even been 8cm, but I can't remember!?!). Next time I think I'll shorten it by another 2cm or more to better align the ties to the narrowest part of my short waist. I'm sure I also shortened the length, but it's been so long my memory's faded. It's fair to say that Named patterns are drafted with tall girls in mind!



Obligatory unwrapped Kielo pictures with bonus faux-flexing. 



To see you through the cooler months, just add the long sleeves which Named have made available as a free download. This can be quite a versatile number too, if you're inclined to explore different ways of tying your, erm, ties.

What do you think to the Kielo?

Instagram tells me that the idea for this dreamy robe came to fruition in February 2016, so how on earth did it take me so long to sew up?!? Better late than never, I guess!

The pattern is Seamwork's Almada, which feels Japanese-inspired to me so I paired with a Kokka double gauze from Miss Matatabi and I love the combination!




It's a satisfyingly simple make, so there's not an awful lot to say about the construction. I really like the way the ties are made, with the seam running down the middle of the underside and with a very neat finish once they are attached to the front of the robe. I decided to go all out and use French seams throughout for a super polished look, which I'm really pleased with.

The neckline is finished with bias binding, which I decided to carry on to the hem as well, because double gauze can be surprisingly bulky. As well as being bulky, double gauze is also a shifty character, so my walking foot played a crucial role!  




I'm delighted with the result, but there are a couple of things I'd do slightly differently next time. First, I would raise the positioning of the ties to better suit my short torso/higher waist. I would also raise the placement of the snap to better cover my modesty - in the pictures I've just crossed the robe over as high as I could and limited my movement...hahaha!

Finally, I'd suggest stay-stitching the neckline before applying bias binding, because I definitely stretched mine out a bit.  


Has Almada stolen your heart? I'd love to see your version, so please do share a link below...

EDIT: This give-away is now closed and five lucky winners have been picked from comments below and on Instagram, using random.org.

Congratulations @anna_jo_sews@chloelallen@new_vintage_sewing@seamsoddlouise and @vapy99, I'll be in touch on Instagram to ask for your full names and postal/email addresses!


Friends, I have an exciting give-away today, but first, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took part in my #VPJuly fortnight on Instagram. We posted almost 850 fabulous photos between us, fuelled by generous prizes! The year-long vintage stitching inspiration continues of course - you can still join the #VintagePledge and don't forget to check out the competition on Pinterest.

Back to the give-away!

Who here has been lamenting the lack of Great British Sewing Bee (GBSB) action on our tellies this year? Well, GBSB is back with a LIVE show at London's Excel from 21-24 September! It hosts hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, fashion galleries, catwalk shows and drop-in clinics, as well as over 200 exhibitors selling specialist dressmaking and textile supplies.

So, if you're in the UK and fancy spending a day re-stocking your fabric stash and mastering the art of dressmaking with the TV show's judges and contestants, keep reading...


GBSB LIVE TICKET GIVE-AWAY
  • I have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to 5 lucky UK readers only
  • The tickets are only valid for the Thursday and Friday of the show (21-21 September)
  • To enter the give-away tell me what you love about the GBSB in a comment below
  • The give-away is open until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 30 July

Good luck!

Yasss! #VPJuly is (almost) here! Whether you're taking part in the #VintagePledge or not, I hope you can join me for a fortnight of photo fun on Instagram, from Monday 10 July to Sunday 23 July. There are crazy cool prizes up for grabs and everyone's invited, regardless of where you are in the world!


#VPJuly 2017


#VPJuly takes place on Instagram, where I'll be posting daily photo prompts on a vintage theme. To play along, share a related/relevant photo each day and make sure you tag it with #VPJuly (instead of #VintagePledge). On prize days (shown with a * above) make sure you @ mention the relevant sponsor and at the end of the day I'll search the hashtag and pick a lucky winner...whoop!!!

To clarify: Take part in the Instagram challenge this month with #VPJuly. Share finished projects and work in progress this month and throughout the year with #VintagePledge.


#VPJuly Sponsors/Prizes









#VPJuly wouldn't be half as fun without prizes and this year we have both returning sponsors and new ones, all very generous with their offer! Use #VPJuly to be in with a chance of winning and make sure you tag the relevant sponsor in your Instagram posts.

The prizes are: £30 to spend at Til The Sun Goes Down, 5 reproduction patterns of your choice from Simplicity UK, £25 to spend at Sew Essential, £25 to spend at Girl Charlee UK, 3 patterns & 4m of fabric of your choice from Stoff & Stil UK, 4 PDF patterns from Sew Over It, £30 to spend at Beyond Measure, and £100 worth of vintage-inspired dressmaking fabrics from Minerva Crafts.


Don't forget that you can sign up to #VintagePledge at any point during the year. Make the pledge your own and join me for as much or as little of the activity as you like. To check out the competition following our dedicated #VintagePledge Pinterest board, with details of how to become a pinner here.

Happy #VPJuly everyone!