Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Keely Knit Top Turned Dress.

This fabric gave me stress. It did that because I couldn't decide what to make with it. I love this print and color SO much and I wanted to make something really really good with it. You know the feeling, right?! I had lots of options but what would be the very best solution?

And let me just reveal right away that I'm really really happy with my final decision of turning the Keely Knit Top from StyleArc Patterns into a dress.
Really happy!

Since this fabric is partly sponsored by Nosh Fabrics I want to talk about that first.
It's the same 95% organic cotton / 5% elastane that I made my striped Driftless Cardigan in from THIS post. This one is called PYRY jersey and the color is called Pheasant. It is such a gorgeous burnt coral/orange. I absolutely love that the dots are not totally even. It's such a small thing but it somehow makes a big difference for me.

It is soft, wonderful and such a joy to work with and wear.

And check out that perfectly color coordinated ribbing, gah!
Find that HERE.

As you might recall I have made (and blogged about) the Keely Knit Top before. See the original post HERE.

I really loved that pattern and I guess the only way to add another layer of love, would be to make it into a dress.

The skirt part is just a rectangle but I have managed to find the magic width that gives me exactly the gathered skirt of my dreams.
It is not very wide and absolutely wearable for everyday use without feeling dressed up. And yet at the same time gives enough gathers to not look like puckers, ha, and also enough width to be loose and relaxed over my hips.

I found this width by a lucky coincidence when I turned the Paola Turtleneck Tee into a dress for my sister (it was the width of that fabric and I only had one height left for a skirt haha) and luckily I remembered to write that width down. 

Yes, of course I'm going to tell you what that width is.
125 cm / 49" in total all the way around (plus your preferred SA).
Of course this will vary depending on your size. My hip measurement is 103 cm / 40.5" so you can sort of do your own calculations depending on that.

I made this one size bigger than my first Keely. I thought that last one was fine but I wouldn't mind if it was just a tad looser. And this fabric has less stretch than what my first Keely is made from, so overall one size bigger seemed like a good idea, and it was.
I added a bit of extra width to the sleeves in the biceps area, just like I did with my last Keely. My biceps measurements does not quite follow my bust and waist measurement. I wish it was because of muscles, haha.

I also shortened the top. Don't forget to shorten it more at the center back than at the side and center front. Otherwise it will look like it is dipping down.

My advice is to cut the tee longer than you need and then pin your gathered skirt to the top on the outside. Keep your gathering threads in, you might need to tighten or loosen them for the final seam circumference. 
Do a fitting and take a good look in the mirror from all angles. Especially the side. That way you can see the line all the way around you. Does it look like a straight horizontal line from the side? Transfer your final line (it will have to be a curved line to look straight when you are wearing it) to the paper pattern (which you have traced because you are making big changes and don't want to mess up the original). The next one will be tons easier.

Pinning the skirt to the top will also help you to find the right length for the top. Some body types will look better with a shorter top (maybe even cut all the way up at the true waist) and some maybe lower than what I did here. It's hard to predict beforehand but I think it is easy to see what looks the best when you have the chance to move the skirt up and down on your top and actually see the changes.

And that's how the Keely Dress was born.
I hope you love it as much as I do.

Get your Nosh fabrics HERE and your Keely Knit Top pattern HERE.

Thank you!


  1. The dress looks sooo good on you! Perfect fit! That's truly the perfect amount of gathers! I should remember that, my hip measurements are close to yours. Love the fabric so much! 💙💙💙

  2. What a beautiful, beautiful dress! Especially in that fabric. Ahhhh you make it sound (and look so easy)! I always wondered why the line is curved, but never quite thought it out carefully. It makes so much sense when you put it clearly like that. Maybe one of these days I will be brave enough to try to add a skirt to a favorite top <3

  3. Beautiful dress and fabric! they go together like the "marriage" hehehe. "the marriage" is this dessert from Colombia that has the perfect balance and ingredients. Thank you for the tips to make a dress from a t shirt. I have been wanting too make one but left the idea sleeping because of the excess of gathering around my hips.

  4. It's all sorts of perfect... the dress & the fabric. I can see you'll love wearing this gem.

  5. Oh you did make the wisest choice of a project for this fabulous fabric. The final result is absolutely stunning. The dress can be worn for just about any occasion (I think we both like clothes that). I think this size is perfect! Mental note to self, make size 8 hahaha Thank you for the tips!

  6. This is just the perfect dress! It looks so good on you!

  7. That's so funny that you started this post with "this fabric gave me stress." I was so intrigued - like what fabric could possibly give Mie the queen of sewing stress. I must know! And then I read what you said. That is the best kind of sewing stress!

    I love this dress. I have a store bought dress which is similar to this but without the ruffles. It's a charcoal color and I wear it all the time. It can be causal or a bit more fancy depending on the shoes I wear with it. So it's very versitile and as comfy as wearing pajamas.

  8. Lovely on you! Thanks for sharing the perfect rectangle width!


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Thank you!