Blogger Network #20 -New Year By Hand London Kim Dress

by hand london kim dressHappy New Year everybody! I hope you all had a fabulous festive season and are looking forward to what 2016 has in store. I’ve already done a bit of sewing in the lull between Christmas and New Year – the first project I have to show you is a polka dot Kim dress!

This is my 20th project on behalf of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network – 20th! I’m very lucky to be able to blog for the Minerva website and I’m really grateful for all the opportunities it’s given me. Since my 1st project I’ve learnt all sorts of skills – from beadwork and needlework through to princess seams, collars and invisible zips. Without the regular practice I have when making these projects I don’t think I’d have developed as a seamstress quite so fast!

Anyhow, onto the project! For my first make of 2016 I chose a By Hand London Kim dress pattern. I made variation A, which has a scooped neckline, princess seams down the bodice, a wrap-style pencil skirt and a zipper up the back. I love the skirt on this dress – it’s made of 3 ‘petal’ shaped fabric pieces which overlap at the front like a wrap dress. A few little pleats at the waist make it drape beautifully and I love how it moves when you walk and/or sit down!

kim dress by hand london

The fabric I used for my Kim is this navy polka dot cotton with a slight stretch to it. It’s a really lovely material to work with – it’s super soft and silky to the touch and handles really well. I definitely recommend using it for a dress or skirt project because it feels really luxurious and the bit of stretch allows for an extra pudding/cocktail at dinner! It’s win-win really.

by hand london kim skirt bodice

The By Hand London Kim pattern has great instructions that are easy to follow. If you choose to make variation B then there are instructions for how to do a sweetheart neckline too which I’m looking forward to trying next time. The pattern teaches you how to sew a bodice lining as well as darts on the skirt and princess seams on the top. I’d say it was a pattern for intermediate sewists but don’t be afraid to give it a try if you’re a beginner!

barnaby and my kim dress

So how’s the finished dress? Well, I love it, and it fits perfectly around the waist and hips. Even the slightly longer length is great – I can definitely see this being a nice ‘going out for dinner’ dress for me. The problems? The straps are too long for me! I clearly didn’t measure myself accurately enough and could do with taking an inch out of each shoulder so that the neckline isn’t so low (I’ve actually pinned it into place in the photos here!). Unfortunately there’s no easy fix for this because the dress and lining are all self-contained and I can’t easily unpick it! If you’ve got any suggestions please do let me know…

I hope you like my finished Kim dress too! There’s even a couple of bonus pictures of our new kitten Barnaby there for you, although he didn’t really want to hold still for a photo! Tell me, what was your first dressmaking project of the year?


22 thoughts on “Blogger Network #20 -New Year By Hand London Kim Dress

  1. I had the same problem with the Kim bodice when I made it last year; I’ve some fabric lined up for a summer version this year so am planning on some very careful measuring first! But your skirt looks really lovely.


    • hmm, perhaps I should have done more research before I got started cutting out my fabric! It seems we’re not the only ones with bodice problems! A summer version sounds lovely too – good luck with it šŸ™‚


  2. Hi Louise. Love your dress but think I have the answer to your problem. I wrote a post here about lining a dress.
    In it is a link to a utube video by Angela Kane about lining a dress. You may not have constructed your dress and lining in this manner but you could certainly put it back together again at the shoulders using this method.
    Would be a shame not to alter it. It looks perfect everywhere else. X


    • Hmm that looks very interesting! I just watched a snippet of the video and it’s definitely a possibility… I just hope it looks neat enough if I do it that way. I’m a little worried to unpick anything in case I can’t get it back together! Thank you though, this is a great idea x


  3. Lots of sewing but no dressmaking yet this year.
    Navy and white spots are a classic combo. You will get lots of wear out of it. Sadly, this means unpicking and fixing those straps, but it will be worth it. I have owned several navy and white and spotty dresses over the years. They are the ones that wear out instead of just going out of fashion. (I have the perfect hat and shoes too!)


  4. Happy new year! Great to see you’ve started the year with a beauty of a dress. It looks lovely on you and hope you manage to get the long straps sorted. I really want to revisit the Kim dress (I made the sweetheart neckline version last summer) but think I need to do a bit more fitting on the pattern.


  5. I think it could be done. Looking forward to seeing you model this beautiful dress tomorrow and we’ll look at options for a better neckline. Love from Grandma x


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