An ode to the Kew dress!

I’ve previously written about my love for the Kew dress from Nina Lee, so this won’t be a hugely long post today, but I wanted to share my latest version and the hacks I made!

Part of the reason I love the Kew pattern is the potential it holds. Straight out of the packet you have two dress versions and a skirt – great value for money. It was only once I’d made a couple of versions of the dress that the real potential occurred to me – this pattern is friggin’ awesome. I’ve made a gathered skirt version, a dress with a tapered skirt, a tie-back dress, and my latest version has a few mods too.

Nina Lee Kew dress

I’ve nailed the alterations to the dress to make it fit me exactly how I want it to; working from the size 8 I’ve lowered the bust darts by 2cm (sad times), lowered the under-arm seam by 1cm and lengthened the bodice by 4cm. I wanted this version to have a slightly more relaxed fit, so I sewed the side seams at 1cm instead of 1.5cm. At first this made it sit a bit strangely on the bust – I really should’ve just altered the pattern itself, lesson learned! Luckily after washing it softened and now it sits fine, but next time I’ll put in the time to adjust the pattern rather than take a shortcut with the seam allowance!

I wanted this dress to feel a bit special, so I lined the bodice, possibly undoing any of the cooling-down potential that the looser fit was intended to give (oops!), but it looks so pretty on the inside.

Nina Lee Kew dress inside

I also attached a gathered skirt as I think it gives more of a casual look, so I’ll be able to wear this as an everyday dress, and the tie straps add an extra little detail.

Nina Lee Kew dress back

I am slightly obsessed with these buttons. They were on a Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt but the waist never quite fitted me right, so I’ve rescued them and repurposed them here!

Nina Lee Kew dress vintage buttons

Also, I’m not sure how I hadn’t done this until now, but I finished the hem with bias binding and it’s quite possibly the prettiest way to finish a hem – definitely worth giving a try!

Nina Lee Kew dress hem

Lastly, I went to town with the pockets! These pockets have their very own how-to blog post, so head over there if you’d like to make your own.

I’ve worn this dress a few times already; my goal was to make a twirly girly dress, and this totally fits the bill. All hail, Kew!

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