I’ve been creepily eyeing up Nerida Hansen Fabrics for far too long than is acceptable. The colours, the prints, the shapes, it is all so so gorgeous. If bold prints and colours are your thing, Nerida is your gal. The ethos of the company seems really cool; Nerida Hansen left her job as a buyer and created this collective of independent artists and designers, all supported by and working under the Hansen name. Mmmbop indeed.
But back to the creepy lurking. Although I LOVE sewing and all the fabric and stuff that comes with it, I am careful with how I spend my money. The fabric I’d been eyeing up was from Fabric Godmother at £20 per metre, and if I’m going to get fabric as amazing as this, I’m going to get 3 metres. That’s £60 in one pop. Before notions. And time. Precious, precious time. I kept going back to the Fabric Godmother site, revisiting the 3 metres in my basket that I never clicked ‘purchase’ on. Then it went out of stock. The regret hit me hard, friends.
However, the fates were on my side. The fabric came back in stock, and Fabric Godmother was offering a discount code, so I swooped in and bought those 3 metres! I wanted to make a statement dress, so I went with one of my favourites: the Kew Dress from Nina Lee. I’ve sewn this quite a few times now and each one has ended up completely different. It’s a bloomin’ brilliant sewing pattern.
For accuracy, I cut the bodice pieces individually rather than folding and cutting two in one go. I carefully lined up the top point of the bust with a specific part of the grid, so they would definitely be symmetrical. However, as you can see, the point at the bust lined up (where the pink squares are meeting in the middle), but as you go down the piece, the grid goes waaaay off. The darts ended up in different parts of the print and the squares at the very bottom are completely wonky:
Needless to say, I was getting worried that the whole thing was going to look off-kilter and a bit shoddy. I carried on, but the grid still worried me. I even got all Patrick Grant about it and whipped out the ruler. There’s a 0.5cm difference in grid size on some of the lines:
One element I did have to sacrifice was the pockets. I love a patch pocket, so I sewed the side seams with French seams (without in-seam pockets) and went to add the pockets on after. It was only once I could see the shape on the skirt that it was clear they weren’t going to look right. That’s right, this is a dress WITHOUT POCKETS.
It’s fair to say this dress had, so far, been something of a mixed bag. However, when I attached the skirt to the bodice, something magical happened. It looked so, so pretty. I hung it up in my sewing (ahem dining) room, and just gazed at it in wonder for a few days. Those wonky lines on the bodice and the lack of pockets just didn’t matter any more.
I finished sewing the dress in time to wear to a wedding party and I felt amazing swooshing about. As you can see in the photos, the lines that looked off on the bodice don’t show at all; I’m so so pleased with this latest addition of another Kew dress to my wardrobe! I guess sewing can make us hyper-critical of the details as there was nothing to worry about with this. If you’re on the fence about treating yourself to some fancy fabric, I’d say go for it (as long as it won’t cause any financial strain, ofc), I’m so glad I got my hands on this beautiful, beautiful fabric!