When By Hand London announced they were discontinuing their printed patters (#sadface), I splurged and bought a few, including the Kim Dress, being a sucker for the beautiful sweetheart neckline. I must admit however, the skirt options hadn’t quite won me over. So on the shelf it went until I could decide how I felt. Now, I’m also a sucker for box pleats so when I saw the Zeena Dress, I snapped it up immediately! One thing I adore about BHL patterns is how interchangeable their tops and bottoms are and before long, I knew just what I wanted to do with this stretch cotton I picked up on another trip to London’s Goldhawk Road: a Kim and Zeena frankendress! The waist came up a little big so it’s a little loose there but it’s fine.
There’s also something about the back neckline that I was absolutely crushing on; I think it’s the way it slants towards the zip.
Apparently my new favourite pose: staring down at my feet. The stiffness of the fabric shows off those pleats. This is the first princess seam dress I’ve sewn and I’m a big fan; they’re very flattering.
Other than ensuring a couple of the roses sat along the centre front of the bodice, I didn’t pattern match and I think I’ve gotten away with it in this fabric.
Probably THE best zipper I’ve ever put in! First try, too. Here’s where the eagle-eyed amongst you notice that the back princess seams don’t line up with the pleats. It’s the same story in the front. Changing it was all kinds of thinking! And they are even. So I’m OK with that.
In most of the photos, the shoulder straps are behaving themselves but when I move around a bit, my bra straps poke out and/or the straps fall off my shoulders. In case anyone is wondering, the necklace was a 30th birthday present from a friend from Tatty Devine.
A close-up of this stretch cotton, which I’m calling Pixel Roses because it reminds me of pixels. It also reminds me of cross-stitch which I did a lot of when I was younger. But pixel sounds cooler, amiright?
Let’s see her insides! Which are quite pretty if you ask me. Even if I did attach the lining by stitching-in-the-ditch (I was in a rush! When am I not?!).
Stretch cotton from Goldhawk Road London for ~£4/metre. I’m pretty sure the shop was A-One Fabrics; sadly they don’t have a website but it is one of the first ones on the same side as Shepherd’s Bush Market, and has blue and white signage. For the lining, I used white cotton lawn.
Sizing and cutting
I made a toile of the Kim bodice in a size US6/UK10. For the Zeena skirt, I didn’t make a toile, but cut a size US6/UK10, in the longer skirt length, and omitted the pockets.
Fitting and alterations
The size fit pretty well out of the packet. I made a couple of changes:
- Shoulders: reduced by 1.5cm on Bodice Side Front (C) and Bodice Side Back (E)
- Skirt length: the longer skirt length ended up being way too long for me! So, once I’d sewn everything up and before hemming, I cut it to the length of the mini-skirt version (5″ difference).
If this had been a different style, after sewing I might’ve taken it in at the centre back as the waistline is an inch or so loose but this really wasn’t possible with the box pleats. But actually, I now like that it’s a little roomier. More room for food. 😀
The pattern instructions were great. Not much else to say really. I did follow the instructions for basting the pleats beyond the seam allowance but sadly, my pleats are still a little gapey at the top.
The bodice seams are encased in the lining so I didn’t finish these but skirt seams were overlocked. After removing the excess fabric from the bottom of the skirt, I double-turned the hem as per the pattern instructions but finished with a topstitched hem (again, I was hustling to finish this one!). The cream thread is a little visible but the print is crazy enough you barely even notice.
Who loves this Kim-Zeena fusion? I do, I do, I do-hooooo! I’ve already made another Kim Dress, this time with a half circle skirt. But I’m definitely going to make Kim and Zeena as they were intended… one day!
Still working on my Sewaholic Minoru Jacket. I have cut out the outer pieces (the rain jacket fabric was a nightmare to get my pins into though!) and have sewn a few of the pieces together but think I need a walking foot. Buying one of those is my weekend task.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased all items mentioned myself. All views expressed are my own.