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Announcing the official Kim Dress Sewalong!

Following the much anticipated release of our latest babe - the Kim Dress - last year (still feels weird saying that so fresh into 2015!), we've been patiently waiting for all the festive shenanigans to subside in order to find the perfect moment to announce her accompanying sewalong. It makes our hearts swell to see that so many of you have already dived right in and paraded your shiny, sparkly and slinky Kim Dresses about town; and indeed her speedy stitchability is one of the things we love most about the Kim. However, if this is your first foray into the world of dressmaking, we haven't forgotten just how daunting attempting an actual garment can be. But fear not friends! That's what we're here for - during the sewalong we'll be covering each step in depth, taking you through by the virtual hand. We'll be answering any questions you have along the way, so please hit us up in the comments below - remember, there is no such thing as a silly question - if you're thinking it, chances are a bunch of others are too! Most of all, we can't wait to see some new faces out there in this wild and wonderful online stitchers paradise! So, who's in??

Hell yeah, I’m in! Tell me more…

The first post will be going up on MONDAY 2nd FEBRUARY, so if you haven’t already, you still have time to get your pattern and supplies. We’ll be publishing three-four posts per week, aiming to have our Kim's finished by the end of February. As well as going over some customisation inspiration and potential Kim pattern hacks, as usual we'll be delving deep into the world of pattern adjustments and alterations, covering everything from full busts to full butts, sway backs and pot bellies, giving you the tools to create a made to measure garment that fits and flatters.

How do I get involved?

Really all you need to do to get involved is just sewalong with us! Obviously, we love nothing more than seeing your By Hand London creations out in the wild, so if you’d like to share your progress with us and the rest of the world – sharing is caring after all – please feel free to post on your blogs, show some love on our Facebook pagetweet us or Instagram @byhandlondon using the hashtags #byhandlondon, #kimsewalong and/or #kimdress or upload your pictures to our Flickr pool.

How will the posts be broken down?

  • #1 – Choosing the right fabrics and notions for your Kim Dress, inspiration and pattern hack ideas
  • #2 – Finding your size, tracing the pattern
  • #3 – Pattern alteration week! We'll be covering FBA's & SBA's (Full & Small Bust Adjustments), FAA's (Full Ass Adjustments), sway backs, gapey necklines, lengthening/shortening the bodice, pot belly alterations, and more!
  • #4 – Cutting, marking and stabilising your fabric
  • #5 – Assembling the bodice
  • #6 – Assembling the skirt - Variation 1
  • #7 – Assembling the skirt - Variation 2
  • #8 – Bonus post - Kim Skirts
  • #9 – Joining the skirt to the bodice; inserting the zipper
  • #10 – Hemming; finishing touches

*If there is anything we haven’t covered here that you would like us to include, please let us know as soon as possible!*

I can't wait. What do I need?

  • The Kim Dress pattern.
  • Fabric. Please check the fabric requirements on the back of your pattern folder or on our product page for advice on how much fabric to buy. A smorgasbord of woven fabrics will be suitable for your Kim: cotton lawn and quilting cottons, cotton voile, cotton poplin, seersucker, cotton silk, brocade, jacquard, taffeta, dupion silk, silk satin, silk crepe, silk habotai, silk noil, wool crepe, wool tweed, eyelet lace, viscose rayon among others. For the bodice lining we recommend 100% cotton lawn.. Please make sure you pre-wash your fabric before cutting! Nothing worse than spending all that time making something beautiful only for it to shrink in the wash… Been there, folks. Never again. 
  • A couple of spools of matching thread – it’s always a good idea to get this when you get your fabric (or bring a swatch of your fabric with you) to get a good colour match. 
  • A 16" invisible zipper and an invisible zipper foot.
  • Various dressmaking supplies: a sewing machine, fabric scissors/rotary cutter, paper scissors, tracing paper, pens & pencils, pins, a hand sewing needle, a tape measure, tailor’s chalk, an iron.

You can jump on board right now and grab the official Kim Dress Sewalong badge to tell the world that you'll be sewing a Kim along with us - simply save the image below to your computer and attach the link to the image in blog layout. Clicking on it will swiftly take you and your readers to all posts in the sewalong.

Comments on this post (6)

  • Jul 12, 2015

    Hi Jo, not to worry! The Kim Dress will soon be available for PDF download – keep an eye on our various social media @byhandlondon as we’ll be posting updates there first! ~Elisalex x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Jul 11, 2015

    I’ve just discovered this sewalong and the fabulous Kim dress – but the pattern is sold out. Will you be getting more in stock?? I’d really love to make this dress and I have the most perfect fabric. I know I’m very late to the party but I’d love to give it a go!

    — Jo

  • Jan 30, 2015


    Will I be able to make the full skirt version with 2m I have in my stash ( just not so full or will it look weird?) Thanks,

    — Clarinda

  • Jan 16, 2015

    Added to my social sewing calendar!

    — Stephanie

  • Jan 15, 2015

    Hi Keren,

    So glad to hear that you’re planning another Kim! I’ve found the same thing, and have taken to either topstitching the wrap down or handstitching it to prevent unwanted flashing!

    We will definitely be covering this during the sewalong ;)


    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Jan 15, 2015

    Hi, I’ve already made one Kim for a Christmas party in crushed raspberry silk. I used the sweetheart neckline and wrap skirt. I love this combination and plan to make another one in some navy crepe that I have in my stash. However I found that I had to put a few stitches in the skirt at the crossover, otherwise I would be flashing for all the world to see!! Will you be covering how to avoid this happening in your sewalong? I’m thinking that the underneath part of the skirt needs to be wider but am unsure how to achieve this. Any help would be greatly appreciated

    — Keren

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