{Pattern Review: By Hand London Kim Dress}

The By Hand London Kim Dress has been around for a while, but it was a “new to me” pattern. I had worked with the skirt portion a few times, adding it onto their Anna Bodice, but I had yet to make a full Kim without any modifications until recently.

While quarantining, I bought some Mind the Maker fabric that I really loved. As per usual, I had no real ideas of what I wanted to do with it yet, so it sat with me at my sister’s house and eventually traveled home with me, and into my stash pile. While trying to determine my next sewing project move, my eyes fell on it and I knew immediately that I wanted to make a Kim.

I set to work right away. I already knew I was going to be making the second view of the pattern (the first view is not really my style) with the sweetheart neckline and the gathered skirt. I knew right away that I had made the right fabric choice when I had the front bodice sewn together.

The bodice construction was child’s play for me – nothing difficult, nothing new, just straightforward seams with a full lining. For the lining I used a plain white cotton lawn as the pattern recommended and it helped give my drapey main fabric some structure. I loved finished bodice so much, and got eager to plow through the skirt so I could try the whole thing on.

However, things got a little dicey when I went to make the skirt. The pattern calls for three tucks. Well… I’ve never really done tucks before. And it was a royal disaster at first.

The first tuck went okay. I went slowly and measured as I went to keep things even. The second tuck was where I ran into a problem. It initially started out nice and even, but then the gap between the tucks got wider and wider, and I didn’t notice until I had sewn it! I had to go back and unpick and redo the second one.

At that point I also considered just unpicking the tucks and not having them at all, but I like the detail of them, so I pushed through. However, once I had gotten the second one pretty close to the first, I decided to omit the third tuck. Two were lovely, and I didn’t want to press my luck my trying to attempt to get another third even tuck on there!

Tucks complete, it was time to put the zipper in and polish the dress off. To make up for my tuck debacle, I put in a near perfect invisible zipper! I’m not a person who shies away from zippers; I actually like putting them in. However, this was a particularly good install, even for me!

I quickly got the hem done, and voila! Another new dress!

It’s so twirly and pretty! And the tucks don’t look half bad, even though pdf I took close up pictures there would be some uneven spots.

I love how fitted the bodice is paired with the gathered skirt.

Also, bonus, it looks great with these random pink shoes I bought at H&M like eight years ago when I was taking costume design classes at FIT (that fact is really neither here nor there, I just have a very distinct memory of finding and buying these shoes while shopping before my class started).

Definitely a new favorite that I look forward to wearing – this one will work great for summer on its own, but paired with tights and a cardigan, transition easily into fall.

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