You know when you have a fabric in your stash and you can’t remember where or when you got it, but all of a sudden you finally know what it wants to be?
That was this fabric! It is some kind of poly crepe that I think I bought in an Ebay stash sale when I first started sewing. In any case – it worked perfectly for my new favourite Autumn dress!
I was lucky enough to get to test the Designer Stitch KeeLin Top and Dress and it came at just the right time to prevent the ‘oh no, winter’s coming’ blues.
I made mine with full, elastic gathered sleeves, one tier of ruffles and the standard neckline. I really liked that the pattern came with different cup sizes, because it meant I didn’t have to make a FBA. I did need to narrow the shoulders (standard modification on every single top or dress I make – I have REALLY narrow shoulders 😀 ) and shorten it (Designer Stitch drafts for 5’6 and I am 5’2 – you can find out more about their sizing in the fit guide here).
The pattern came together really quickly! I had it mostly finished in about half a day and it probably could have been completed faster but I am terrible at gathering and my husband has not got the hint that all I want for Christmas is a gathering foot!
Although the dress can be worn without a belt, I probably wouldn’t as a petite – though that might be because I’m not a fan of overly loose fitting clothing. I made a matching belt with the pattern piece included and often wear it with other belts I own to change up the look. I wore this dress constantly from Autumn, right up until Winter got a little too cold for a flowy dress and found it was perfect for the office, as well as weekend outings.
I really enjoyed sewing this up as it is exactly the same shape and style as some of the Fabienne Chapot dresses I’d been eyeing. With the loose fit, I think this would be a great confident beginner pattern. I really love that it comes with multiple sleeve options and a wide range of suitable fabrics (the pattern is designed for wovens with drape), because it means I can make tops and dresses using this pattern to get me through every season.
Pattern: KeeLin Top and Dress
Designer: Designer Stitch
Designed for: Woven fabrics with drape
Fabric choice: Poly crepe
Size: 3 (My measurements are – Height: 159cm/5’2, Bust: 88cm, Waist 73cm, Hips 96cm)
Modifications: Made a straight size 3 as the pattern is designed to fit loosely
Difficulties or future changes: Really want a gathering foot 😀 No real difficulties though, just be sure to stay stitch appropriately when using drapey fabrics so they don’t stretch out or distort.
Recommend for: Confident beginners