Along with sewing I also enjoy taking part in the sewing challenges that often crop up over on Instagram and when #sewingpatternsandprints announced that March’s challenge was #sewingmetallicmarch I knew that I already had the perfect fabric.
I first spotted this Leopard Glitter Jersey in early February but it was so popular that I missed out on the chance to buy some. Fortunately when I messaged Aga she told me that she was expecting some more in and she was kind enough to let me know when it arrived. I was a bit quicker off the mark this time and logged straight onto the Pin and Sew site to place my order. The fabric arrived very quickly and was well wrapped in recyclable packaging with a thank you note.
I was not disappointed with my purchase – I have been looking at animal print fabrics for a while now; it is a fashion that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. I knew that I wanted to make another Kielo Wrap Dress (I made my first last year so already knew that it was a style I loved) and this fabric worked out perfectly. It is difficult to show in a photo just how gorgeous this material is; the fabric is a very good quality cotton jersey which is perfect for the Kielo; the slate grey base is complimented by the black leopard print perfectly and to make it that extra bit special compared to other animal prints I have looked at the leopard spots are filled in with gold glitter.
It was a really nice fabric to work with – jersey really isn’t as tricky a fabric as some people seem to think; in fact it’s one of my favourite fabrics to work with. The Kielo is a fairly straightforward sew and there aren’t many pattern pieces; it consists of just a front and 2 back pieces and then a long strip for the tie belt. Probably the trickiest part was cutting the pattern pieces out because they are quite long so I had to lay them out on the floor and cut with scissors (I usually like to use a rotary blade but didn’t want to ruin our flooring and didn’t have a cutting mat long enough to accommodate the pattern pieces). I used pattern weights and a few tins from the kitchen cupboard to hold the fabric in place and took my time with the cuttings and all worked out well.
Once cut out you need to add darts to the front and back pieces as per the instructions and then it is simply a case of joining the back pieces together down to the back vent, the remainder of the back seams are folded over and hemmed. Then the back and front pieces are joined together at the shoulder seams and along the side seams making sure that the ties are sandwiched in between – Named Clothing include very good instructions. The neckline and armholes (if not adding sleeves) can be finished off by turning under and hemming – I did this with a twin needle on a regular sewing machine (I don’t own an overlocker). I used a stitch length of 3.5mm, alternatively there are instructions to finish off with bias tape.
I didn’t have to make many alterations to the pattern - I took about 6 inches off the pattern length (I took this length away just under where the ties are added) – the Kielo Dress is designed for a model of about 5 ft 8 inches and I am only 5 ft 2 inches & I also decided to add some flared sleeves. I used the instructions from the Tilly and the Buttons Joni Dress sleeves for guidance and drafted my own sleeves using the measurement around the armholes of the dress. Named Clothing do actually have a free download for a straight sleeve add on if you don’t feel confident drafting your own.
Sometimes a pattern and fabric combination just fit together perfectly and this is definitely one of those occasions; I really don’t think I could have made a better choice of fabric and it could be dressed up or down – I think the denim jacket gives it a more casual day wear styling. All I need now is a little sunshine and I think it will get lots of wear this year. For now though here is a picture of me trying to take off during my very blustery photo session.