| Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman - Blog Post: How to Sew a Midi Kila Dress

How to Sew a Midi Kila Dress

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog. | How to Sew a Midi Kila Dress

Last week, some gorgeous thick rib knits arrived at Indiesew HQ and I knew immediately that they'd be ideal for a fitted fall dress. I've been dreaming of lengthening the Kila Tank into a midi length dress for some time now and these fabrics were the perfect weight for this design.

Kila Dress Hack | Indiesew Blog

Kila Dress | Rib Knit Fabric from Indiesew

You see, I had been looking for a rib knit fabric thick enough to smooth over the body, but not so thick that I'd be sweating while wearing it. I knew I wanted something with a high rayon content so that the fabric would have a heavy, liquid drape.

Midi Racerback Tank Dress | Indiesew


Kila Tank Bindings | Pattern by Allie Olson

I'm super happy with this pattern hack, which took almost no extra time at all. I've been wearing this Kila Dress under my new leather jacket, under button-up shirts, and by itself on warmer days. It's proving to be a workhorse piece in my wardrobe.

Here's how to modify the Kila Tank pattern to achieve the same result:

How to Sew a Midi Kila Dress

To decide how much length I wanted to add to my Kila Dress, I measured from the hem of the tank top (it hits me roughly mid-hip) down to my lower shin. I decided that an adding 22" to the Kila Tank would create the perfect length midi dress.

I also wanted a curved hem for this design, so after measuring down 22" from the center of both front and back bodices, I curved the hem up 4" at the side seams. After making these adjustments, my pattern pieces looked like this:

Indiesew Tutorial | How to Lengthen the Kila Dress

Then I cut out the fabric using these modified pattern pieces and sewed the dress exactly per the pattern instructions.

I do have one tip for sewing a curved him on a thick rib knit like this. I use Heat N Bond Soft Stretch to tack the hem down before sewing and make sure not to stretch the hem at all during the hemming process. This results in a hem that lays flat and is easy to sew.

That's it! Quickest pattern hack ever.


New Rib Knit Fabrics!

UPDATE: Our Black Tencel/Spandex Rib is now on backorder and will be shipped as soon as inventory arrives. The Charcoal Rib Knit shown below is sold out and discontinued.

You might be wondering what sort of rib knit fabric I used for this dress. I used just two yards of our 11.5 oz Charcoal Rib Knit

We also have a 9.5 oz Black Tencel/Spandex Rib Knit that would look equally amazing as a Kila Tank or Dress. This is the first time I've seen Tencel content in a rib knit fabric!

Indiesew Rib Knit Fabrics

Tips for Sewing with Thick Rib Knits

Thicker rib knits like these do tend to stretch out more while sewing. I recommend a few things to set you up for success:

  • You may want to size down in your garment one or two sizes. I wish I had sewn a size smaller than what my measurements put me in for this dress.
  • If you're using a serger, be sure to adjust your serger settings to accommodate this bulky fabric. Crank that differential feed setting to the max!
  • If you're using a sewing machine, use a walking foot to make sure the fabric isn't stretched at all while sewing.

If your fabric does stretch out a bit after sewing, throw it in a hot wash cycle and hot tumble dry cycle. It will likely snap back to its original state.

Happy sewing!

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