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.