Happy 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!
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.
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!
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?