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Guest blogger – Lucy

I was delighted to be chosen by Caroline and Fliss at Felicity Fabrics to be a guest blogger during 2023, the most difficult part was which fabric to choose! I was given the month of April, which is the start of spring and whilst you can have some very warm days during April, it can also be wet and chilly and as someone who feels the cold more, I wanted to make a transitional garment. I have had the Named Clothing Kielo dress/jumpsuit on my make list for some time and when I saw the gorgeous peacock feather jersey fabric it was the perfect match for the garment and was light enough to give me a dress that I can comfortably wear during spring.

If you think this fabric looks stunning on the website, it’s nothing compared to how vibrant and beautiful it truly is, I was overjoyed when I opened my beautifully packaged parcel.  I prewashed the fabric on a synthetics 30 wash and air dried it flat inside, the fabric washed and dried beautifully without any distortion to the shape. 

I originally opted to make the jumpsuit but the pattern pieces for the jumpsuit have both a front seam and back seam whereas the dress only has the seam on the back pieces as the front is one piece created by using the fold of the fabric and if I’m totally honest I didn’t want to try to pattern match the front seam, so I opted to make the dress.

The dress only has 5 pattern pieces, 4 if you’re not adding sleeves and is really straightforward to cut out. If making the sleeves you do need to ensure that you mark the notches along the arm seams for the dress as the sleeves don’t come to the end of the seam and the notch marks the end of the sleeve and the rest of the seam will make the overlap of the waist tie.  When using jersey, I always use small clips along the folded edge of the fabric instead of pins as I find it keeps it in place but use pins around the cut edges, I also find that laying jersey out on carpet makes it so much easier to cut out as it moves around so much less.

I found this dress quite straightforward to make and the pattern does suggest it’s suitable for a novice, however, I did have an issue with the neckband and had to unpick it twice. Not an excuse, but I work full time and most of my sewing takes place in the evenings so, usually I stop before I get tired but I just wanted to get the neckband in situ. I marked the 4 quarters of the neckband and lined it up to the back seam, shoulder seams and middle of the front but I had to stretch it quite a bit to make it line up so after a bit of frustration and unpicking, I left it to the following evening. The following evening, not only did I work out each quarter on the neckband, I also marked the actual quarter points on the dress and by doing this, I quickly realised that the shoulder seams aren’t the quarter point, I needed to move it an inch further forward and hey presto, then neckband went in like a dream. Throughout this make, I used a narrow zigzag stitch with a jersey needle.

I didn’t have any other issues in sewing up the dress, although I realised that I had cut a size 10 for the front and a 12 for the back, so the pieces didn’t match until I cut off the excess along the back pieces. I have quite skinny arms and whilst the fit is good on me, I feel that a less stretchy jersey might make the arms feel restricted and you may want to size up.

I wore the dress for the first time on Easter Sunday and all my family loved it, it is so comfortable to wear and I’m already planning another. 😊

Thank you for the most gorgeous fabric to make such a stunning garment.