Winter Kielo


I’m not going to try to save this project and get straight to the point: I don’t like this dress. This is not the first time that I feel this way about a dress that has “all the elements” that I normally love with the end results mehhh. Two main reasons: fabric choice and ‘fit’. I’m drowning in polkadots.


I bought this fabric during the secret sales* as it looked very warm. It sure delivers. I took this pictures on a 6C early morning without shivering. It’s spongy & thick. Honestly the fabric wasn’t right for the pattern. Slight angry with myself for not using this fabric for a dressing gown. I have seen many beautiful versions of the kielo dress. My favourites been the ones in fluid jersey. The desire for ‘warm secret pi’s’ overode my better judgment and experience. It doesn’t help that I don’t like the large polkadot print on me either.

winterkielodress Collagewinterkielodress21

Fit wise: The ‘wings’ are too high. When the dress is closed really emphasise my bust instead of the waist. Just looks odd to me and it’s clear that is just not fitting right.winterkielodress14

The bands should align at my natural waist not at my under bust. It doesn’t make it unwearable just an impromptu maternity modification. That I don’t need at the moment.winterkielodress12

The other issue was caused when I traced it. I bought the physical pattern instead of the PDF. The pattern layout is broken in half, layered it. I may have copied the bottom-half wrong. At least 2 sizes bigger. I ‘took’ 5 cm off each side seam and it stills quite loose. Enough for me to not need the back pleat. The length of the wings+ bands was too long leading me to wrap my waist twice. Bulking the front knot even more. The dress looks ok from the back but that’s about it. I haven’t decided what to do with the dress yet.

Pattern Notes:
Pattern: Named Kielo dress with added free long sleeve download. Full tutorial/ updated pattern instructions.
Alterations: turned the high neckline  into a boatneck.
Size: 38. Lengthen the sleeve by 3 cm.
Fabric: Synthetic Knit similar to fleece. Very warm and thick

*Secret sales is an stock clearance event where fabrics are sold by ‘full bags’. You just fill the bags from different bins and each full bag cost £10. There is no difference on fabric type or length. Neither there are labels of composition etc. There are many bargains with fabrics on the roll and pick and mix haberdashery.

I’m not discarding this pattern for me just yet. With the right fit and fabric the Kielo is amazing. Watch this space.


  • Thank you so much for this. I want to make this soon and will watch out for your discoveries.

    • you are welcome. have fun sewing it

  • Cynthia

    Thanks for this post. I love the pattern and really appreciate your tips on lowering the ‘wings’ and choosing the right fabric.

    • you are welcome. This pattern is designed for 1.76 and since I’m from my 1.81cm that distance made a difference

      • Hi Rachel, great to know about the fit. I think I’m about the same height as you and I find with most patterns and high street clothes that waistlines become underbust lines…

  • well, I’ll be honest here – I don’t like this on you, either. I didn’t think that was possible, because you always look Fantastic in everything!

    It’s OK. This happens to all of us from time to time.

    PS I have your blog in my feed reader and enjoy it so much!
    🙂 Chris

    • Im so glad you enjoy reading. thank you so much for saying what you think.

  • It happens. I think the biggest problem here is that there’s lots of little issues with the dress which all add up. If it was just that the print was a bit much it’d be ok, if it was just that the fabric is slightly heavy it’d be ok, if it was just that the waist tie sits a bit high it’d be ok, but when you combine everything together all those imperfections magnify. It’s easy to ignore or get used to one ‘problem’, but when there’s lots of things it’s harder. But maybe there’s someone for whom that version of the dress would be perfect for.

    • You nail it. Too many wiggly bits in the back of my mind turning into a bit of failure. I love the support xx

  • lisa San Francisco Bay Area

    Can you use it as an underdress? It would be darling with a long red pullover over it.

    • hi Lisa. what a cool idea. I could probably just wear it at home like a house dress.

  • Carol G

    Might look better at tunic length over leggings as well.

    • yes, the current length is odd isn’t it

  • That looks like a very difficult dress pattern to get right and I agree with you about the polka dots. Well done for trying.

    • Thanks Katy. No more large polkadots for me.

  • I say chop it off mid thigh and if it doesn’t redeem itself off to the charity shop!

    • Im a bit deflated to change it. Its either Pjs ( house dress) or give it to someone.

  • Well, I think it looks really nice as a snug winter day dress. I am a fan of polka dots though! However, I know myself that if I’m not happy with the way something has turned out – even if others love it – I won’t wear it. There’s so much fabric there that you should be able to make it into something new and start afresh with the Kielo. And nothing’s wasted is it? It’s all a learning process!

  • I love the dress shape, but I dont know if its the polka dots or colour but I dont think its as flattering as your other pieces (the dark tights also make it a bit dowdy) – especially as generally everything you make is so well executed, and you wear them well.. only you know about the fit, and there is nothing worse that knowing the garment you made is flawed as I know if I do, I spend the whole time wearing it feeling uncomfortable. – I look forward to your next version of the dress

  • Clever pattern and don’t listen to Eimear. You don’t do dowdy and would look fabulous in a hessian bag!

  • Oh no, Rach! It’s very hard to change our feelings towards anything we make if we don’t really like it to start with… I hope you can salvage it into something you’re happier with. I love the polka dots though. xx

  • You wear everything well – everything! We’ve all experienced disappointing results and I’m sure you’ll turn this experience in to a positive. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Lauren

    I think you look great!!

    • Thank you for your kind comment

  • Sarah

    I never comment before but this time I feel like I should. I think you look great in that dress.

    • Hi Sarah, hello and thanks for commenting… It Brightens my day

  • I don’t think it’s that bad and that it does look good on you when it’s wrapped. Maybe you’ll like it better if you shorten the skirt and wear it with coloured tights, like burgundy or mustard coloured? If not you may as well send the dress to me because I really like it 😁

    • Can you believe I actually tried with a burgundy tight and when I when to take pictures the camera battery need charging. Than next morning I grabbed the fist tight I saw.

      • Ps. If it doesn’t work for Katie I will ask her to send it to you. This will suit someone

  • Katie

    Rach, I LOVE this! Sell it to me! (Except it won’t look nearly so good on me…). I really want to make it but I’m a bit scared of Named patterns.

    • I will pop in the post for you on Monday but I won’t take any money for it. I was thinking to wear it at home but if can be better loved it’s best than a glorified pj.

  • I’m sure that you will be able to rescue it! The secret sale sounds amazing! How do I find out where the next one is?!


    • I heard about it on twitter but i think you can sign their newsletter for news

  • I think it looks absolutely lovely on you Rachel! But I agree that Kielo’s can vary massively depending on fabric choice – just in the process of blogging my first sleeved version, which thankfully I love, but I have had one that was a complete fail.
    I find that the ‘wings’ are too low for me rather than two high, but I guess that differs from person to person!

    Hope you manage to make one that you love – both fit and fabric 🙂 x

  • Tua

    Shame this didn’t work out for you, though I don’t think it looks that bad! I often have the same problems with patterns as you – I’m 1,82m – but Kielo is the perfect fit for me. I think it comes down to proportions.
    Anyhow, I have been following your blog for a while now but this is the first time I comment. I have been very inspired by your projects, so thank you for a lovely blog!

  • tinygoldenpins

    I think you are so lovely that you wear everything well. But I know what it’s like when you just don’t feel “yourself.” Maybe a lucky friend will wear it better?

  • Sorry to hear you aren’t in love with your kielo. If it is any consolation I think you look really nice in it. I was so excited when I saw they had added sleeves for the pattern. I can’t wait to make a winter version. I actually need to remake my summer version too as it is now too big for me. I can’t wait to see you make it up again.

  • I hope you try this one again! It’s such a fun style! But I know that if something doesn’t fit me the way I like it to, I’ll never, ever wear it, so I hope it worked out for someone else! 🙂

  • LaW

    I think you did a beautiful job and the fit is brilliant. Maybe all it needs is a plain jacket or wrap to balance out the polka dot field (and sheer tights). I am seeing bright magenta and cropped. Your work is gorgeous!

  • PsychicKathleen

    Ironically this is not a style I would choose for myself because of the emphasis on the waist but when I see it on you it looks terrific. I’ve done the same thing so often – picked a material that was just wrong for the pattern or for wearing inside for that matter 🙂 Haven’t we all? It still looks really nice on you (even the poka dots!) 🙂