Tuesday, 3 January 2017

By Hand London Kim dress

I suffered with the BHL Elisalex due to fit problems and honestly, the Kim pattern isn't that much different.  Initially I only noticed the purple version with the tulip skirt and so it didn't go on my radar at all.  But I started to see a number of versions this year that had me fixated on it.  Plus I really wanted to do a Kim-Zeena frankendress.  So I started with a Kim.  It was a Kim marathon actually - my last day in Seattle and I spent the evening trying in vain to sew the entire dress.  It was near midnight when I had to stop prior to zipper insertion. 

Putting in zips late at night and tired is never a good idea.  Also I could finally see the dress coming together, and to my total shock, it seemed to fit like magic.  No WAY!! 

The details:
Fabric is from Tessuti in Melbourne. And I have had it for awhile.
Lining is lime green bemberg.  The skirt is not lined.
Size is 6/10 with no changes. Oh yeah except one.  I prepared the pdf pattern in Ukraine, and I think that I cut some length off the skirt prophylactically, since BHL patterns are for very tall ladies.  I think I cut off like 6" or 10 cm.  And then...when I cut out the dress, I forgot I'd done that and again removed about 5"!!  I held it up to myself and neglected to take the little pintucks into consideration.  So I was looking at the need for a hem facing. 

So I moved, and I couldn't bring incomplete Kim with me due to the usual luggage mess, and it was so tantalising because it looked like it might be my dream dress in terms of the fit.  So I concocted another Kim in my head while I waited for my mum to send me my boxes of sewing supplies/unfinished projects.  (Which naturally arrived before I got around to the second Kim, oh well.) I got a grosgrain ribbon in Munich to use as a hem facing and finally got moving on the last, hm, hour of labor on this beautiful dress. 

No problems with the finish, and I think I might continue to use ribbons as hem bindings - I read that it will stick to tights less!  And it means my hem is even!  Hurrah!  However, when I got to pinning the lining down, I realized I would have to sew it by hand or it would make the dress bunch out funny.  Also, although it almost fit perfectly, the straps were too long.  Like, really too long.  So I realized after alllll this work, I was going to have to open the shoulder seam and cut it and then blind stitch it back together.  Blah.  This dress has been lying on my couch for SO long. 

I took a few vacations to gird myself. 
Finally I think I was tired of seeing it sitting there and so I finished it - I hand sewed the lining to the bodice.  To make the shoulder strap shorter I opened the seam...and just overlapped and sewed them down.  Design feature!  Yeah...it's not perfect but at this point enough is enough, right? 

Sorry my photos are blurry, I have discovered that with my remote I can do an endless series of pictures but I haven't gotten the focus to work yet.  This does mean you'll have to bear with endless ridiculous poses but it was so much more fun than the usual photo shoot.

I have already cut the second one out so in order to get around these fit problems, I decided to just cut the straps (about 3 cm), and to cut a sliver off both the front and back bodice piece, tapering down to nothing below the bust.  This would bring the straps closer together and shrink the bust a tiny bit.  We shall see...hopefully it won't take quite as long as the first one.