Pattern Club Review

Kim dress from By Hand London

Blog / 27 March 2015

This week’s pattern review come courtesy of the lovely Rachael and the By Hand London Kim Dress. I think it looks so gorgeous in this Liberty Lawn!

Here is what Rach thought of the pattern……

How would you describe the style of the garment?

A fitted feminine dress with fully lined bodice and options of scooped or vintage sweet heart neckline at the front and a lowish scooped neckline at the back. I choose the wrap style pencil skirt but there is also the option of a 50’s style gathered skirt with a pin-tuck hem.

Size range offered UK 6-20

What type of figure or body shape is it suitable for?

I think all types really. As the bodice is so fitted it will give definition to the waist, especially the gathered skirt option.

What types of fabrics are suitable?

Woven fabrics will work best, something not too heavy other wise it might feel bulky at the waistline seam. Cotton Lawns, medium weight and quilting cottons, voiles and poplins would all be ok too.

What fabric did you choose and why?

I choose this classic floral Liberty Lawn called John (interesting name for a floral print huh?). I’ve never made a full liberty garment before and I though this would be lovely for the style of the dress.

How easy was it to trace the pattern?

Not too tricky. The paper is still quite robust for tissue and the lines were easy to decipher.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Did the difficulty level on the pattern match what you think it should be?

Very easy to follow. Lots of description but not too complicated. The level is 2 out of 3 sewing machines so its not rated as a beginner but there aren’t too many tricky party. A confident beginner who has made a few garments before would be ok.

Where the illustrations/pictures easy to interpret?

Very easy. Well laid out with added arrows for lining things up.

What challenges or difficulties did you find when putting it together?

None at all really. Maybe just turning the lining inside out as the straps are narrow but I squeezed them out in the end. The curved hem might be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before so just make sure you press it really well first. I love this little gathers at the waistline too.

What tips would you recommend to make construction easier?

Just follow the instructions accurately and you will be fine. If you are a bit more advanced just take your time so you don’t rush ahead and go wrong.

How did you find the fit? Was it true to size?

I made the size 10 bodice and graded from a 10-12 in the skirt to add some room for mu hips and it fits perfectly!

What adjustments did you make?

I didn’t make any this time but next time I’d just shorten the shoulder straps a bit and the have been falling off my shoulders. You need to work that out before fully attaching the lining and make the adjustment at that stage so it’s worth taking time to try it on and do the necessaries.

What advice would you give when choosing a size?

It was pretty spot on for my measurements but if your nervous go up a size as you can always take it in a bit at the side seams if needs be.

Are you happy with the finished garment?

Yes! I’ve planned my next one already!

How long did it take to make?

About 3 hours, roughly.

How much fabric did you use? Did this match up with what was recommended on the pattern?

I used 1.4m of fabric and the pattern recommends 1.6m for a 60” wide but the Liberty Lawn isn’t quite that width. It depends on the pattern on your fabric too. My pattern repeat was so small I didn’t have to worry about it too much and could squish them pieces in together a bit more. If your unsure I would recommend prepping your pattern pieces first and then laying them out to work out how much you’d need for the size your making. Or if you don’t mind having a little left over, just go with the recommendations on the pattern.

Thanks Rach! You look lovely in it!