The Kim Dress in Floral Print….. aka Outfit Along 2017

Adding to my better late than never category- I give you my completed outfit for the 2017 Outfit Along!!


You’ll recall that I finished the sweater portion (a slate blue Miette) of this reasonably close to the deadline…..but never even started on the dress! :-/
Well after finishing this year’s OAL, I decided there was no time like the present to tackle last year’s OAL 😉


I made the suggested pattern- the Kim Dress from By Hand London.  This was my first time using a By Hand London pattern.  The one hitch I discovered was that they ONLY offer pdf patterns 😦  Because I hate printing and taping pdf patterns I did some research and pricing and ultimately paid to have it printed large format….. y’all this is a game changer for me!


I used pdf plotting. They were cheap, much more reasonably priced than the local FedEx print center, but you will may need to have a minimum order (I think I got 3 or 4 printed out at once, but I don’t see anything about minimum orders on their site now).  And they were reasonably fast, not the instant gratification of printing it out right now, but reasonable.  I’ve also noticed they’ve greatly expanded the directions and information on pattern printing since last year- which is awesome!
It does take the price to basically the cost of a printed pattern, but for me it’s worth it…. did I mention I hate taping???


I did a bit of franken patterning and made the bodice from Variation 1 and the full skirt from Variation 2.  I started out by muslining the bodice and cutting this in a straight size 14, and that’s when the FUN began…. and by fun I mean total frustration and swearing!! I got so excited about the pattern, the dress, and the fabric it some how never occurred to me…. By Hand London is drafted for a B cup…. I am a DD (pushing a DDD)!!


I ended up making FOUR muslins!!  I relied heavily on the Kim Dress sewalong, specifically the post on Full Bust Adjustments with princess seams.  I can’t find it now, but after two muslins I read a blog post from another blogger who discussed that if the difference between the Full and High bust is enough you should base the size you cut on your High bust and then adjust accordingly.  This proved the be just the advice I needed to prevent me from throwing EVERYTHING, so thank you nameless blogger!  This post from the Curvy Sewing Collective gives the same advice and provides a very handy reference for which pattern companies draft for what bust- spoiler it’s mostly B cup 😦


At the end of the day, I made a size 10 bodice with a 2″(!) FBA, graded to a size 12 at the waist, with 1/2 inch added to the center.  The skirt stayed a standard size 12, because nobody needs to fit a full skirt!


Although… I did end up making a few adjustments to the skirt…. Firstly, there’s probably about 3 to 4 inches of fullness taken out of the skirt because I didn’t have enough fabric 😦  I also left out the pintucks, because I figured they would get lost in the pattern.  And finally, I added POCKETS!!  Because what’s the point of a full skirt if you don’t have pockets!  Unfortunately, I did forget about them when attaching the skirt so they don’t exactly line up with the side seams…. but… eh…. whose counting 😉

There’s still some minor adjustments I may try for next time…..

  1.  I will probably try for a size 10 waist and skirt, things were surprisingly a bit loose at the mid section (FYI: based on the muslin I was afriad it would be too small!).
  2.  Maybe try to actually do a sway back?  I’m increasingly wondering if this should be an adjustment to try out…
  3.  Add some of those bra strap hold-y things….. Unless I stand exactly just so they start to peak out from behind the straps…. as evidenced in these photos!


The fabric is a really lovely light cotton- maybe cotton lawn?  I fell in love with the pattern- kinda fall colors, but with a springy motif!
As with all my super nice fabrics I got it from Mulberry Silks 🙂 I was nervous at first it would be a bit through at the skirt, I actually bought extra lining fabric (just a light cotton blend from Jo-ann’s) to make a slip, as it turned out it wasn’t necessary!


All in all, I’m really digging this Kim dress!  The fabric is just right and I think with a couple more tweaks to the fit it can become a real staple….. part of me wants to go crazy and try for a sequin party dress!
And with that I not only finished an Outfit Along, but also ticked off my 6th item in the 2018 Make Nine challenge!!