Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Monday, 30 November 2015

Floral Kim Dress - By Hand London

After the Great Zipper Debacle of  2015, as outlined in my last post, I actually managed to finish up the dress in time to give it to my sister-in-law before she goes home to Spain. It is a late brthday present/early Christmas present.

I am loving how the dress looks, and i'm really pleased with how it came out in the end, but that's not to say there weren't a few moments during it's construction in which I wanted to burn the dress and never lay eyes on it again. Ever.

The pattern, which is a PDF pattern,was simple and easy to put together. The instructions were clear and precise and the Sew-along on the By Hand London blog was extremely helpful. The sizing is true to size I would say, but it is drafted for a smaller cup. When I get around to making a Kim Dress for myself I will need to do a Full Bust Adjustment to make room for my ladies, but that's no bother, as there's also a hack for that on their blog too! I chose to sew variation 2.

The fabric I chose to make the dress from was from Regency Rags on Ebay, (a great source of fabrics by the way, if you haven't come across them before), it was listed as Crepe de Chine. I'm unsure whether that is an accurate description or not to be honest, it just didn't seem like other crepes that I have worked with before. However, I am no expert. Regardless of what type of fabric it was, I fell in love with the watercolour flower print. It has a charcoal ground and the soft pastel colours of the flowers is right up my street. I love a good floral.  

The fabric, although beautiful, was quite challenging to work with. When I first started to sew, the needle kept creating pulls in the fabric. This was remedied with a new (sharper) needle. I also found that my overlocker would gather up the fabric, even if I mucked around with the differencial feed. It was fixed with a play around with the settings and a good press afterwards. 

I decided to self-line the dress, and in hindsight, it made life a little harder and more confusing, as there was no way of differentiating the front and back of the bodice. If I could go back in time, I would line in a cotton or something similar that is not so slippy.

I hadn't seen my sister-in-law in about 7 months and after working on her feet in a record hot summer in Spain, my brother informed me that she had changed size dramatically. After not getting a lot of help regarding clothes size from my brother, I decided to go ahead and cut a size 12. Once i'd sewn the bodice I was worried that it looked small, (My SIL has big bewbies) so I added on two extra centre back panels. I know, I know, it's sacrilege. I knew that doing this would push the side panels off kilter, and everything else, but it was this, or the dress wouldn't fit. I by no means, suggest that you do this, and it went against every fibre of my being, but I just didn't have time to remake the bodice, so I just crossed my fingers and went with it. 

The rest of the dress came together nicely. Until it came to inserting the invisible zipper that is. When I bought the invisible zipper foot on ebay, I went with a mid-range, unbranded option. Next time, I will not cheap out and just get a brother one as this one was pants. It didn't hold the zipper in place so my stitches kept being too close to the teeth of my zip which then inhibited the zipper pull from going up and closing the teeth on the zip. In the end (after many unpicking and re-sewings) I had to sew the right side from the bottom, which meant that my zipper ended up a little shorter than it would have been, but it still allowed for a big enough opening, lucky enough. 

After the zipper fiasco, All I had to do was hem and then finish the bodice lining. As the fabric was soft and floaty, I decided to go with a hand-rolled hem. Never done this before in my life, but that's what I decided to do. It was actually pretty easy to do and finished the hem off nicely. The hand stitching the bodice was also quite a quick job once I got into the swing of it.

Overall, this dress isn't perfect by any means (the zipper is too short, doesn't quite match at the top and the waist line also doesn't quite match, and it has the weird extra panels on the back) but I really love it. I think it really suits my sister-in-law, and she was really pleased with it which makes it all worth it in the end :)

The sweetheart neckline is so cute and the length is perfect. The Kim Dress pattern I would recommend endlessly. I can't wait to make a few for myself!

front view

ooooh, florals


Sweetheart neckline

Extra back panels, bad zip and un-matching waist!

Still pretty though :D

Neat skirt seams

My Sister-in-Law loves it (pretend you can't see the bra straps!)
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