sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

Lemon Kim Dress from 2017!

March 8, 2020

So, hey, here’s a dress that I’ve had for 2.5 years now. Why it never made it to the blog is beyond me, but I realized that it hadn’t so I’m here to show it off now! 

sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

I fell in love with this fabric early on in my sewing journey! It is an Art Gallery Fabrics substrate, designed by the lovely Bari J. whose prints I consistently fall head over heels for. Rachel over at Maker Style made a lovely Closet Case Ebony Dress using the knit version of this fabric long ago, and I couldn’t get over how perfect it was. I loved the knit, but I also loved the pink colorway which was only available on AGF’s woven cotton, so I did as one does and got my hands on a cut of each – the yellow jersey and the pink woven. I wasn’t comfortable sewing knits at all at this point, and didn’t want to cut into the jersey until I was sure I could make something worthy of the fabric. Luckily, though, I was super confident in sewing up woven cotton dresses – specifically By Hand London dresses – so I got down to business with this quilting cotton!

sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

The Kim Dress was one of my go-to patterns at the time. (It is still a well-loved favorite, but I did finally have to dial down the number of cute dresses in my wardrobe in favor of making a few more things I could wear everyday!) This pattern was my first venture into princess seams, and it was love at first make. I was shocked at the fit that I could achieve with this technique! This particular version of the dress was my first time trying the pintuck details on the skirt – and though I still love the look of it from far away, I hope I never encounter a fellow sewist while wearing this make. They are very uneven, and a true testament to the development of new skills!

sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

When I finished this dress, I remember thinking that between the princess seams, pintucks, and pink lemons, I’d ended up with an awfully prissy little number. I am not one to shy away from my girliness, but I felt that this dress needed a little extra something. I rummaged around my sewing room, and looked to Instagram for some ideas. After scrolling around, I remembered my first sewing inspiration who always rides the perfect line of cutesy and cool – Gina from Stitchy Maven. I drew from her flair and decided to add some black buttons to my bodice – they aren’t functional or necessary, but they cut the sweet to just the amount I needed to bring this dress to the perfect level!

sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

I finished my dress the night before my husband and I celebrated our 4th anniversary in August 2017. We decided to celebrate outdoors, and packed up our 3 dogs, some steaks, and a cast iron skillet and headed out to some campgrounds nearby where we made steak on an open fire and watched our pups run and play outside. It was such a beautiful night – simple and sweet. I felt pretty and dressed up but also perfectly at home in the fields and forest around us. 

sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

2 and a half years later, I still hadn’t sewn up that beautiful yellow knit version of this fabric. Back in January of this year, I decided that rather than putting together a Make Nine grid or setting a list of pattern goals for this year, I wanted to focus instead on the fabrics in my stash that had been left too long – many of which I have loved “too much” to cut into! I chose one fabric for each month, promising myself that the first project each month would be the fabric I chose. I put together a couple of little grids on my Instagram and shared my plans, and some lovely people helped me to come up with a hashtag to use so that I (and anyone else interested!) could track my 2020 progress – #monthlymakemystash2020! I realize that I’ve yet to actually share my January and February makes here on the blog, but the garments were made, the photos were taken and the blog posts will be written soon!! My March fabric, however, was my yellow lemon jersey knit… Which I am so excited to be wearing and sharing with you later this week!!!! In the meantime, you can find me talking a little more about how much buttons can change the look of your garment with a little Instagram takeover on the Sewing Bloggers page today! 

sewing the By Hand London Kim Dress

Dress: handmade by me
Fabric: fabric dot com – Art Gallery Fabrics – Sage Yuma Lemons Glare Quilting Cotton by Bari J.
Pattern: By Hand London – Kim Dress

Key Ingredients:
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Schmetz Universal Machine Needles – Size 70/10
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat  

a little peek at our 2017 Anniversary celebration set-up 🙂

Both the fabric and pattern used in this post were purchased by me, and all words and opinions expressed are my own, as always! However, the links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!

  • XX Elizabeth 

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