I found a few pictures over on Pinterest – which, as you know is like a giant tardis or takes you down a rabbit hole of inspiration. Below the image isn’t all the ideas that i pinned and it isn’t my final favourite, because lets face it, I had loads, no surprises there!
I knew i had to pick one so and this kept coming back to me because it reminded me of the Nina Lee Kew Dress. I had already seen fabric that would match the pattern and the Inspiration perfectly. There was no question of not using the pigeon wishes buttons either, so I was all set.
It’s great when you’ve already seen the fabric and you know how it will behave. I’ve been sewing up a few dresses using viscose challis and I am absolutley loving the drape and lightness of this fabric. It has to be said that Stephanie at The Rag Shop has made it very difficult recently not to check the rag shop website as I just know she has a good eye.
Although I had seen a fabric that was closer to the Pinterest image, I just fell in love with the monstera viscose challis. I just couldn’t say no to the playful print.
From the moment I clocked the inspo picture and pinned it, I knew which pattern I was going to use … The Nina Lee Kew Dress. The Kew Dress is now available in 16-28 uk sizes (pdf & paper) and it has the expansion pack (pdf only). I had tested the Kew Dress late 2020 and really enjoyed the construction but as always in true Emma style doesn’t get back to making another for ages because of the constant new things that one gets inspired by, until now!
So I decided to use the version 2 from the original pattern and leave off the cold shoulder straps as there’s no need for them on this occasion. I had rememered that the expansion pack has a gathered skirt and guys, if you don’t know yet, I am a sucker for a gathered skirt! I know a few people that actually hate doing gathers but i’ve grown to love it. Anyways, I was lierally dancing cutting out this pattern and material.
For the bodice, I went with size 20 D-cup and graded out after the bust dart to a size 28 for the waist. i then kept the size 28 for the hips. I am really happy with the fit overall, although I might bring it in at the waist slightly but I’m sitting on the fence for that one at the moment.
The finishing touches were adding those beautiful pigeon wishes buttons, which are called chai latte and come in either shirting size or 25mm, I just love them and think they just pop on the dress. I also added to woven labels, one of which is from Little Rosy Cheeks and the other is from Kylie and The Machine (links are not affiliated but will take you to where i bought them).
To make sure that the raw edges don’t fray, I’ve overlocked all of the edges at the start. Yes, i could’ve sewn french seamed but for this project I left it way too short on time to factor french seams in! Instead of using a creamy white thread i thread matched the green on the monstera leaves. I’ve also used fray check on the button holes as that will preserve my garment around these areas over time.
Here are some of my other plans from the board that I really want sew up.
I hope you enjoyed the finer details of this blog post, please let me know if you have.