Sewing a facing is a good idea whenever you want a clean-cut result, without visible topstitching showing on the outside of your garment. The original Kielo doesn’t come with a facing pattern, but making one yourself is very simple! There’s also much free space in the printed Sprout Kielo pattern, if you want to make the facing of the same fabric as the outside of the dress, just like we did. Here’s a short tutorial for this technique:
First, make the facing pattern: Print out (and assemble, if needed) the top of your Kielo dress pattern, and cut out the front piece’s top part. Cut it into two along the bust dart, and tape back together to close the dart.
Draw the facing on the front and back pieces so that it’s approximately 6 cm wide at the neckline and armhole. Start drawing from the center front / back, 6 cm / 2½” apart from the neckline, and finish approximately 2,5 cm / 1” below the armhole notch. Make sure that the line starts at a 90 degree angle at both ends, and that the line is smooth and natural. Remove the 1 cm / ⅜” seam allowance from the center back edge of the back facing pattern, so that you can cut the pattern on fold. Cut out both facing patterns.
Cut 1 of each facing piece (front facing and back facing), on fold. Make sure to snip the armhole notches on the facing pieces. Cut also an interfacing for both facings. Use a fusible interfacing and choose the color, weight and amount of stretch according to your fabric. We used a light interfacing with a tad of stretch. You can cut off about 8 mm from the interfacings’ seam allowances at the neckline, shoulder seam, armhole and side seam, to avoid them from becoming too thick and bulky. Fuse the interfacings on the facing pieces. Serge the raw bottom edges of the facings.
Make sure you have your dress sewn up to the point that you have sewn all darts, shoulder seams, center back seam, and that the wrap ties are completely sewn and turned right side out. Then sew the shoulder seams of your facing and press open.
With right sides together, pin the facing and the dress together at the neckline and sew. Clip the seam allowances carefully, especially on the tight curve around the shoulder seam. Fold the facing to the wrong side and press carefully. Pull it back out and understitch the seam allowances to the facing.
Now comes the part that is a little fiddly: Place your facing back inside the dress, matching the armholes. Put your hand to the wrong side of the garment, in between the facing and the dress (where Saara’s hand is in the image below).
Grab one front armhole by its seam allowances and pull it carefully to the wrong side in order to place the facing and dress armhole edges right sides together. Pin the front armholes together from the armhole notch, all the way to the shoulder seam, and sew from the armhole notch to the shoulder seam.
Clip seam allowances carefully, and repeat for the other front armhole. Pull the garment right side out again, and repeat the whole thing to the back armholes so that you sew them from the side seam up until the shoulder seam, to the spot where the front armhole seam ends.
Pull the garment right side out again and press the armholes very carefully. Now, understitch the armholes in a similar manner, in four steps: first one front armhole from the side seam to as close to the shoulder seam as possible (the shoulder strap is very narrow, so you probably won’t reach the shoulder seam, but that’s completely ok). Then the other front armhole, and the back armholes, one by one.
Now you have your facing attached, and all you need to do is finish up the rest of your dress! Start by pinning (or basting) the ties to their place on the side seam, marked by notches. Then sew the side seam from the armhole notch (in the pic below) down to the hem and serge the raw seam allowances to neaten them up. Hem the back vent and the bottom edge of the dress.
To finish the facing, fold it to the wrong side, and sew the short side seam closed by hand. Make sure to also attach it to the side seam of the dress. Hand-stitch the facing to the dress also at the center back seam. (We ran a little out of time making our dresses, and that’s why in the last pic Saara is doing all the hand-sewing at our hotel room in Berlin, just before the Sprout fashion show).
So there! Facings seem to divide people into two groups: ones that can’t stand them, and ones that love them. We belong to the latter, mostly because of the simple look you get without visible topstitching (which can be especially annoying on print fabrics when it’s hard to pick a topstitch color that doesn’t pop out too much), and a rather hassle-free sewing method. But if you hate sewing facings or are afraid of them flipping out, you can easily follow the original instructions and sew either a narrow hem, or a bias tape facing!
Remember that the 20% discount on all Named patterns on Sprout is still valid today and tomorrow! Use the code: NAMEDLOVE
x x x Saara & Laura
Our Kielo pattern was originally released in the spring of 2014, and until this fall, me and Saara had both made one Kielo dress each: Saara’s midi-length, striped Kielo, and I my full-length, sleeved version with an added turtleneck. It has been really fun to see so many different variations of this pattern over the two and a half years we have been selling it: a holiday version, a winter version, one in jersey, scuba, linen and chambray, with and without sleeves and in all lengths from mini to maxi, color-blocked to vivid prints and classic black. And it always seems to look just right!
Since last spring Kielo has also been available at Sprout Patterns. If you aren’t familiar with Sprout yet, you can read more about them here. In a nutshell: from Sprout you can order a pattern, with any of the numerous Spoonflower prints, and have it printed directly on the fabric. That means exactly what it sounds like: the pattern pieces are there on the fabric, in full scale, and all you need to do is cut them out and maybe copy some darts etc.! If you ask us, that is pretty revolutionary. So naturally we have been more than excited to have our patterns as a part of Sprout’s selection. We were also pretty happy to get to test the service ourselves, and make us a couple of Sprout Kielos!
The hardest part of the full project was definitely deciding which print to choose. Because there are so (too) many of them! You can see the designs on a 3D model too, which helps in getting an idea of what the finished garment will look like, and the scale and repeat of the print.
We finally chose a ”wax hollandais” -style print with palm leaves and wavy graphic lines from seasonofvictory, and a beautiful watercolor jungle print by demigoutte. The material is poly crepe, which turned out to be a perfect travel fabric, as it doesn’t really wrinkle! We also made our dresses with a neckline- and armhole facing instead of bias tape or hem. There will be a tutorial for making the facing pattern and sewing the facing to the Kielo dress in our blog tomorrow!
We wore our dresses on our trip to Berlin, where we visited the Spoonflower Berlin office, and the Sprout fashion show, of which you can read more about here. And then we also did a little sight-seeing, of course. Berlin was an amazing city in so many ways: lots to see and to do, plenty of good food and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect either! These pictures were taken at the garden of Charlottenburg castle. And like I said, the Kielo in poly crepe was a perfect, easy to wear, wrinkle free dress to take for a trip like this.
Getting back to Helsinki was quite a shock, as the temperature is about 15 celcius lower here. But, on the other hand we have so much to come back to: We have recently opened a studio/shop in Helsinki, on Viipurinkatu 6. The shop is open every Wednesday 9.30 to 4, or by appointment (or basically any time we are in and the door is open). So if you live in Helsinki or are visiting, don’t forget to pop by and say hello to us!
If you’d like to try out a Sprout pattern, you can now get 20% off all Named patterns on Sprout, with the code NAMEDLOVE. The discount is valid 4th thru 6th of October!
Don’t forget to read the facing tutorial in our blog tomorrow!
x x x Laura
p.s. If you want to see more Kielo inspiration, just search for the tag #kielowrapdress in instagarm and you can see plenty! ☺
Here’s a brief tutorial for using the free Kielo sleeve pattern, from printing and putting together the pattern to finishing the sleeve! We are testing a new kind of pattern layout, a layered pattern, where all patterns and both languages are on the same file, and you can choose to print your patterns in the correct language and in the desired size. Here’s how to work with the layered pattern:
- First, open the pattern file in Adobe Acrobat Pro or Arobe Reader. If you don’t have one of these softwares, you can download the Reader for free from here.
- We used Acrobat Pro and a Mac, but the file will open in a similar window whether you use the Reader or Acrobat, Mac or PC. When you open the file, it will look like a mess, because both languages and all sizes are on top of each other. To see only your own size and language, click on the ’layers’ symbol on the left side bar (see image).
- You will see a list of all layers included in the file, in the menu on the left. When a layer is visible, a small eye symbol will appear next to it. To close a layer, simply click on the eye symbol, and the layer will be deactivated and it will disappear.
- Now, choose only the language and size(s) you want to print, and make sure the eye symbol is visible next to those layers, and all other layers are turned off. ’English’, naturally, means the English texts, and ’Suomi’ means Finnish. For example here, I have chosen to print the sizes 38 and 40 in English – see the eye symbols next to those layers.
- Once you have chosen the right layers, click ’File -> Print’. This way only the visible layers will be printed.
- At the print preview, make sure to choose the ’Actual size’, so the pattern will be printed in the correct scale. After this, just print the pattern and continue normally by taping and glueing the sheets together!
Once you have completed the sheet, cut or trace the sleeve off from it. Trace also the Kielo Dress patterns completely from their own sheet and with the original armholes, but don’t cut them out yet (in the image the original Kielo armhole is drawn with blue marker). Place the traced Kielo patterns on top of the armholes in the sleeve pattern sheet. Make sure that the shoulder and side seams of the two patterns are on top of each other and that the bust darts match.
Attach with weights and make sure the patterns stay still and don’t shift. Copy the new armhole shape to the original Kielo pattern – if you want, you can use a different color to tell the two armholes apart (in the image the new armhole is drawn with red). If you have a printed pattern, make sure to align the armhole with the stitching lines of the new armhole (the inner lines).
Remember to also copy the seam allowances and all notches to your Kielo pattern! Then just cut the patterns off and cut your fabric normally.
You can follow the regular Kielo instructions for making the dress, but with these exceptions:
- Use a knit fabric with approximately 50% stretch. You can sew all plain seams with a serger. Remember to also use stretch stitch on your sewing machine.
- After you have sewn the bust darts, contour darts and CB seam with the vent, sew the shoulder seams. Sew a strip of clear elastic to the shoulder seam to prevent it from stretching out of shape.
- Sew the sleeve to the armhole, matching notches. Note that the sleeve will be placed between the two little ’corners’ where the armhole ends and the side seam starts. These are indicated by notches (and Saara’s fingers in this image).
- Sew the sleeve on, easing in the sleeve cap a bit, and press the seam allowances towards the dress.
- Fold the sleeve right sides together and pin the sleeve seam, and the side seam until the ’corner’ in the side seam and sew.
- Fold the 2 cm hem allowance to the wrong side at the sleeve opening, press, pin and stitch using stretch stitch.
- Continue by following the Kielo instructions – make the belt, pin it to the side seam and sew the side seam from the ’corner’ down to the hem. Finish the bottom edge and the neckline and voilá!
Now, we would love to hear some feedback from you regarding the layered pattern and the whole concept of having a free add-on to a pattern. Did you find these easy to work with, and what could we improve? All feedback will be very helpful! <3
Remember that the Kielo discount is still valid today (and only today)! By using this code at the checkout, you’ll get 15% off of the original price of the Kielo Dress, printed or pdf (the sleeve works for both of them):
Laura & Saara
Fabric: Nosh Organics