Harriet's Kew Dress

​I am and always have been a lover of the autumn months

I'm sure that there's a different feeling in the air, even if everyone else wants to disagree with me! The minute I see the leaves starting to change, all of my summer clothes are taken out of my wardrobe and the jumpers are hauled out from where they're stored under my bed. There are definitely a lot of great aspects of autumn (don't worry, I won't start writing a list, even though I could do so very easily!), but one of my favourites has got to be the colours, which is why I loved the gorgeous burgundy viscose twill included in this month's box.


I decided to make the Nina Lee Kew dress out of the fabric – in England we've been lucky enough to have some lovely warm summer days, so I wanted to have a dress that would be perfect for any of those we might have left! I'll be honest with you though… I did have some fitting issues with the dress, so unfortunately it hasn't been hemmed and is without buttons at the moment but I hope to go back to it and adjust where it's needed. I do really love the gorgeous fabric though, so I think I might dedicate some extra time to making it fit me! I hope you don't mind the dress not being shown on anyone in these photos, but I thought it would be more realistic to show that not every make goes perfectly right away – I promise it'll be finished in the next couple of weeks though, so hopefully you can see the finished finished product up on Hayley's Instagram soon.

If I decide that I want to wear the dress myself, I have a few options as to what I could do to fix the neckline gaping so much at the back. The first choice is to increase the overlap at the button band. This would bring the 'v' of the neckline up slightly and would also bring the fabric at the back of the neck (which is where the main issues are) closer to my back and get rid of the gaping that has occurred – but this wouldn't be the best option as it could distort the shape of the dress as a whole. What I think would better solve the problem, though, is taking the dress in at the shoulder seams – I would do this for both the front and back bodice pieces, so to bring up the neckline and also pull in the fabric along the back bodice. I would need to remove and slightly change the neckline facing, but it wouldn't be too big a job!

The fabric was very easy to cut, although I did find that you really needed to use very sharp, fine pins to avoid any chances of the fabric getting mini ladders – it was never anything drastic, or the sort of thing that would damage the fabric itself too much, but they were visible – so it's just something to be wary of! To be on the safe side, I used very fine pins, a very sharp (and a suitably fine) needle on my machine, and always pinned within the seam allowance so that if any little ladders did occur, they were less likely to be visible. I made version one of the Kew dress – a pattern which was included in the luxury boxes from May this year. I had made the strappy variation before which had fit wonderfully, but the neckline was a little bit too wide for me on version one, so I'll have to remember to adjust that for the next time I make the dress. It came together really quickly up until the fit issue, though, and the shape of the dress is gorgeous! I do know (well, I do now after having a quick Google) that a couple of other people have experienced the same sort of fit issues with the version with sleeves though, so I would recommend making a toile. As always, I loved everything that came in this month's box, and I'm so pleased to finally have a point turner among my ever-growing stash of handy little sewing tools… I'll definitely be getting a lot of use out of that in the future!

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