By Hand London Kim Dress

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Hello all! This is another pattern test I did for By Hand London, love those gals. For me, they make the best “party dress” patterns. I always want to try a fancy fabric or fun detail with their dress patterns. You can see some of my past makes here: the Holly Jumpsuit, Flora Dress, Anna Dress, Victoria Blazer.

The Pattern: The new Kim Dress. I made the tulip skirt version with the straight across neckline.

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The Fabric: For this first try I used a pretty poly *silky print* from Joann. I’m not exactly sure what type of weave it is. Satin, I guess, but it feels less substantial than true silk satin I’ve worked with.

It’s nothing special fabric-wise but I didn’t want to start with some expensive fabric, you know? This fabric has a vague stripe pattern to the flowers so I did my best to line up my pieces properly. I love the look of this floral but it puckers terribly and won’t take a press unless I get risk burning it.

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The puckers make some bad ripples on the skirt seamlines. The bodice seamlines are better, probably because of the lining. At first I tried hand slip stitching the hemline down but because it the fabric wouldn’t take a press the hem bubbled. I ended up machine stitching over it hoping to wrangle the hem into submission. With some more perilous pressing it managed to flatten it but the whole hemline stitching puckers. Ugh, never using this fabric again!!

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The bodice lining is purple rayon lining. I like it better than the poly kind and it’s less expensive than silk habotai. The bodice didn’t require much fabric so I was able to use leftovers from another project.

The Changes: None, I like to try BHL patterns right out of the envelope because they tend to fit me pretty well. This one’s good but next time I would shorten the shoulder straps (it fits very well in the bodice other than that) and do a sway back adjustment. I need to get better about doing that adjustment. I almost always need it for fitted skirts like this but I’m usually too lazy or don’t think about it until the waist seam is already done and I don’t feel like going back and fixing it.

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The Results: I think it’s a cute dress and if I wear it to a party or a wedding I think I’ll be the only one who notices the puckering.

Just a note: for me, the straps were too wide to wear with most regular bras. I had to photoshop out a couple stray straps. In the future I’d wear it with a strapless bra.

I didn’t have any problems with instructions. I liked the method they use for lining the bodice with no hand sewing at the shoulders.

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The dress was a pretty quick make, actually, so I think I’m going to give this pattern a second go around with those slight adjustments and in a better quality fabric! I might even try it with a stable knit.

  • colesworth

    shame the fabric was a PITA as it is so pretty!, but I think the pattern disguises any puckers or wrinkles (in the pics at least) and it looks like a pretty good fit.

  • lisa g

    Very nice! I love the tulip shape on this pattern, so pretty. I’ve been using this same type of fabric as a blazer lining… obnoxious stuff to work with!

  • I’ve never had any luck while fabric from Joann’s, but I think you did a great job considering it was a poly. No one other than a seamstress would notice the “mistake. “

  • Gail

    So pretty! I didn’t love this pattern when it came out, but it’s really growing on me, in part because of your version!

  • mahlica

    I second Gail on not loving the pattern at first. The model is so busty I thought it looked a bit trashy. Im so glad to see your version. It really looks feminine. Though I’m still going to pass on the dress because if the skirts.

  • This is beautiful on you!!! :)

  • naehfreundin

    Great dress!

    Susan

  • Suzanna Forsythe

    I love this dress – you look FANTASTIC!!

  • You look stunning! No one will notice any puckering.
    I kind of am having fabric envy now, too.

  • Eleanor Krause

    Very pretty dress. Definitely worth sewing up again in better quality fabric (although I really like the print on this one).

  • Angela

    I think you’ve made a nice dress but I wonder why you decided to photoshop out the bra straps and then tell us about it anyway!? If the straps of the dress are too wide then that’s a valid issue with the fitting or design. Why show one thing in the photos and then tell us something different in the text?

  • Roseana Auten

    At first I thought you said the fabric was from Japan. :) I like the colors. Only people who sew know about the problem with sewing polyester. I think your results are nice, however. It’s good you mentioned the wide-set straps problem so potential makers of this pattern can either shop for another bra or pass on this design.

  • DDDiane

    Very pretty on you! You can wear just about anything with your cute figure, I would look like a prostitute in that dress! Unfortunately, I have about 5 yards of this fabric in a different print. I’ve had it for about a year, but I’m scared to start anything for fear of a most frustrating project. If you have trouble with it, then there’s no hope for me!

  • This looks really beautiful! I agree, I highly doubt anyone would ever notice the puckers – and if they did, tell them to get out of your personal space because they are much too close. :) Great party dress!!

  • Bow chicka wow wowwwww! The fit looks awesome!

    Sorry about the fabric sucking, but I really think “normal” people will never notice the puckering. It really is an awesome print, though!

  • I can’t believe you made something so amazing from the ‘silky’ section at Joann’s! I really like the print. It looks awesome. The neckline is really pretty, too.

  • truebias

    this is beautiful. i am working on a full skirt version. hope its as pretty as yours.

  • Carolyn

    This looks fantastic on you! Hope you make another version in a different fabric that won’t give you such a hard time. Love these colors though – gorgeous! :)

  • The fabric looks amazing and the dress looks great on you! I love the tulip skirt!

  • Thanks, Carolyn. I think I’ll try again with a simpler fabric and with enough confidence I might try a really nice silk.

  • thanks, alessa!

  • haha, thanks. the “silky” section can be hit or miss. I’ve mostly only used fabric from there for bag linings where it’s not so obvious if I mess up.

  • ha, thanks nicole. yeah, it’s just me who will see it, still, it’s frustrating.

  • hahaha, i like that advice ;) thanks

  • thanks, Roseana. as an alternative you could widen the straps about half an inch and add some little lingerie strap holders.

  • Ah, maybe I should have been clearer. You could only see the straps in the back so I only edited the one back view pic. They were showing just slightly where the dress straps meet the top back of the dress. but it was still noticeable enough to me. I edited them ’cause I decided that were I to wear this dress out I’d wear a strapless bra so straps wouldn’t be an issue. Had the straps been completely visible I’d have taken all new pictures rather than use photoshop but for one pic it wasn’t worth the time. But you make a good point, thanks.

  • thanks a lot, maddie. this was the first time in years that I tired using this joann-type of fabric for a garment, usually it’s just bag linings.

  • ana