Welcome back to the Summer of Love, where I share what I wore to the weddings and wedding-adjacent events that ate summer 2018! Inevitably, I made a Kielo. But this Kielo has a twist. I don’t actually like it very much!!
Ho-ho, it’s a GRUMPY twist. My feelings about this dress didn’t crystallize until I took these photos, in fact. Normally I forget unpleasant sewing experiences in the satisfaction of a finished garment, but when I jumped headfirst into this stretchy green tent they were waiting inside!
More on that later! First I want to talk about the jacket I sewed to pair with this, since venues are often too cold. Venues AND spaces are too cold. Sometimes areas too. Brr. It’s a Lupin!
Bonne journée, Lupin! Conversely, making this was a madcap ride of pure sewing joy. These were my first welt pockets and my first jacket lining. I had so much fun making this, I spent much of the time thinking of when I could make another. It almost doesn’t matter that I don’t like it very much either?!
I love it as an object, I just don’t love it on me.
The exaggerated lapels, the blousy back – it seems like too much fabric to me. Or maybe it’s the color? In an olive drab or a mossy green, I could see this working. This light blue isn’t as versatile as I expected. My Lupin is a straight size 42 and the fit is fine really but it feels (and I think looks) a smidge long.
With a linen/cotton shell and rayon lining, it’s the perfect weight for weather of about 55° – 65° F, which is a great transitional layer. Again, um, for someone who likes it.
The directions were really clear; my only changes were to skip the topstitching on the lapels and omit the epaulettes. I also used two different lining fabrics, because the solid one had been gifted to me and the other…
WAS THIS MAGNIFICENT ½ YARD OF VERY EXPENSIVE RAYON. It’s gorgeous. That half yard cost me $10 and was absolutely worth it. I should wear this jacket inside out.
And it coordinates so well with this Fearsome Beast pin!
The upside of relying almost exclusively on blue and green for color in my wardrobe is effortless coordination, baby!
I felt very appropriate in this outfit. Picture that remark, in say, a Regency drawing room, and you might get a sense of how withering I’m being. Ms. Poundcake! Fie! It also packed well (an away wedding must) and clearly communicated my desire to be a fancy friend. It also also contains some of my junkiest sewing this side of a seam ripper.
Let’s talk turkey.
As seen here in this photo of me, apparently, playing a small invisible violin, the fit is fine. It’s totally acceptable! I’ve put all my points into fitting pants, so learning how to fit my top half has accidentally gotten nerfed in the meantime. Luckily I had the lead of Erica from Handmade Wardrobe to follow. I shortened the front bodice by 1.5” above the dart, the back bodice by 1” above the armscye notch, and narrowed the top back 2” total (1” from each center back starting at the neck, tapering to nothing about 6” down). I also raised the back split by about 2”.
Bunching at the front armscye/above the bust seemed to be a common issue with the pattern, so I was pleased to have avoided it! But then came…THE SEAM FINISHES.
The pattern instructs you to use bias tape to finish the arm- and neck-holes. Okay, fine, you can bias bind the neck. But the armscye is continuous with the side seam! There’s no division, just a notch marking it!
Ignore the incoming armpit hair and stick with me here. I guess it’s possible to miter the binding for that corner somehow, but I lack confidence with knits, let alone knit bindings, so I just serged the seam allowances separately, pressed them open, and topstitched – effectively turning them under once, which I repeated for the neckline so the topstitching would be consistent. Consistently stretched-out-ish. : P Not to mention the wobbly back seam and the bulgy dart points!
But my worst, worst sewing is at the top of the split. That split, elegant from a distance, is an uneven mess inside. It changes width, there’s some serging that just…trails off, and I had to snip into the seam allowance, which kind of stresses me out even when the fabric won’t ravel. I tried WonderTape for the first time (as in “I wonder if I’m doing this right, because I’m having a crummy time”) and it did not seem to improve my experience.
And in conclusion: PANTY LINES.
I had an un-fun time sewing this slinky knit and now that the un-fun isn’t being actively opposed by cheese boards and Whitney Houston tracks, I feel it. I just don’t trust a dress I can’t press with steam!!
None of this is to say you shouldn’t sew it. Heck, I’m not even saying I’ll never wear it again. Maybe time will massage my yucky feelings to indifference? Or even better, maybe I will Grow As A Person and stop caring? It’s not an A-plot level arc, but growth is growth.
So, no moral to the story. Not yet, anyway. But the dress did its job, and there’s only one way for this post to end…
Previous Summer of Love found here.
Pattern: Named Kielo
Pattern cost: $14.00
Size: US 8, with adjustments, above
Supplies: 2 meters bamboo jersey knit in Spruce, Blackbird Fabrics, $32.50; $4.41, WonderTape, Amazon seller; $4, thread, Michael’s
Total time: 7 hours
Total cost: $54.91
Pattern: Deer & Doe Lupin jacket
Pattern cost: $13
Supplies: 3 yards Essex linen/cotton blend in chambray blue, 1/2 yard Menagerie cotton rayon lawn in Monstera Midnight, Gather Here, $36.40; thread, Gather Here, $3.10; vintage bemberg rayon, gifted
Total time: 9.25 hours
Total cost: $52.50