By Hand London – Kim Dress

It seems like a such a long time since I last updated the blog – I was waiting for what felt like years for copy shop patterns to arrive. Three weeks is a long time to not make a new garment – I kept busy making masks for friends and family, so at least I had something to keep the machine in motion.

The Kim dress does not disappoint – every time I make a By Hand London garment, I think ‘this is my favourite pattern to date’. And so, too, is the Kim dress.

Everything about it (at least the variations I chose) is reminiscent of 50’s style – the sweetheart neckline, the princess seams and the gathered skirt. The minute I saw this pattern, I knew there would be a few dresses in my handmade wardrobe.


As per usual, BHL have provided the most clear and concise instructions so you can’t go wrong – if you have a few garments under your belt, you’ll manage this one.


I opted for cotton fabrics to make these dresses, both sourced from Harriet at Sew Me Sunshine;

  1. A cotton poplin floral (see above)
  2. Yarn dyed navy gingham cotton

I love gingham – this is a perfect picnic dress that I’ll be wearing out when I reunite with friends and family after lockdown restrictions end.

The dress bodice has been lined with cotton lawn (which is what the pattern suggests- it’s easy to work with and it feels lovely when wearing). Fabric Inspirations have a good stock of plain coloured lawns which were perfect for the prints I was sewing with but I would definitely go all out with a nice Liberty print if I was sewing a plain colour, which is on my to-do list. I need plain black and red versions of this dress in my wardrobe!


I made no modifications – I was worried about the fit around my bust as most patterns are suited to a C cup but, as a D cup, I find the pattern comfortable as it is and don’t feel the need to stress myself out by trying a bust adjustment.

I personally love the length of this dress and made no adjustments – I purposefully ignored the pleats as I felt as if the patterned print would obscure them anyhow so it is a little longer than intended by the pattern. I would definitely put them in a plain version of the dress as they’re a lovely, subtle design feature.

The only adjustment I would make is to take in the shoulder straps a little.

Sewing time:

You can sew up a Kim dress in half a day: I made both of these in an evening each after work.

Finishing touches:

Sally at Modista Sewing has brought out a new collection of French inspired woven labels and they finished off my dresses perfectly – get yours here.


I love the timeless elegance of this dress and how effortlessly it comes together – given that I am content with the fit not needing any major changes, I know that this is a dress I will come back to again and again.

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