It's Back and its Hacked - Kew Skirt

 It's been about 2 seconds since I last posted about the Kew pattern from Nina Lee but I thought it deserved another little squeeze onto the blog.... just one more.

The versatility of this pattern is wonderful, as I have previously raved about - sleeve options, skirt options, size inclusion. Mwah :chef kiss:

This project started with the fabric - some wonderful quality rayon from Nerida Hansen. I mean - look at it. There was no way I was passing up on this wonder containing all my favourite things! The design is by The Scenic Route, an Australian illustrator of beautiful things.

I fancied making a button front skirt but came to a massive indecision about the pattern to use as I needed a bit of elastic in the waistband. 

My waistline seems to go in and out with the tides these days so there was a definite need for a bit of 'forgiveness' in that area so there are no makes I can only wear once then not fit into anymore. I had overlooked the Kew skirt at first because of it's fixed waistband - but then I realized those rules don't matter and hacked it. Cos' we can do that.

Boom. Elasticated back waistband. Business at the front, party at the back.

If you want to do this hack - keep the front pieces exactly how they are, they can look all lovely and flat from the front view.

For the back piece - add about 6" to the width of the pattern (about 3" from centre back on fold). Same again for the back waistband piece. That gives you some elastic gathering room for comfy factor!

 (Now let's not pretend it was as easy as that. I initially cut my back piece like a rectangle, the entire width of the hem. When I inserted the elastic into the waistband to bring it in, it was comically huge. I realised I only needed a bit of give that could get over my hips, not an entire blanket of fabric at the back. I chopped out a huge chunk of fabric so this one now has a center back. And I ended up with what should have been a very easy hack to start with.)

 Quite happy to have persevered with this one as the result is really wearable. To attach the elastic I inserted it near the side seam and secured it with a row of stitching. It then got threaded through the back waistband and pinned to the other side seam while I checked the fit. Once happy I just secured that through the waistband too with another stitch line. 

Finishing touches were the buttons that I popped on. These were from Turtlebird. They are functioning button holes but again, I probably should have realized that wasn't necessary as the skirt goes on and off with the elastic! Doh.

Another skirt for the arsenal. It's bringing me out of my anti-skirt mindset as they are a heck of a lot easier to fit that trousers....

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Loving Lois - Tessuti Dress

Today brings a new pattern (for me) and it was such a great find! 

 Whilst I have heard of Tessuti and of course, like many people, tried the free Mandy Boat Tee pattern (which unfortunately doesn't work for me at all), I hadn't really given the patterns on the site much attention.

Enter the Lois Dress which had me intrigued... It's V-neck and floaty and was calling to me. I went for the gamble and bought the pattern. I wasn't convinced it would work well as I had fit issues with the sleeves of the Mandy Boat Tee being too tight for my arms and I fully expected this to be too tight. This was also a concern as my measurements put me in the 16+ range....which doesn't exists. I figured I'd just add a bit of ease.

Before making this I went on an internet deep-dive about the fit and just about every review said it came up really big and to size down. 

I can confirm - this dress comes up big. Size down.

 For the actual size I did start with the 16 to see what happened. The fabric is red poppy viscose from Rainbow Fabrics which I chose for my toile.

What happened is that the 16 fit wonderfully across my back and shoulders. The bit I figured would pull too tight. I did however have to take it in from under the arm to waist so in reality that part is a 14.

This is a hell of a pattern with some very interesting details:

Back Wrap - there are no side seams! The skirt wraps to the back of the dress with some darts that create the shaping at the hips.

Hip Zip - the zip is inserted into the side hip dart. There dress is so roomy, there was absolutely no need for a zip and so my versions, don't have one. 

Beautiful Binding - the method of binding the neckline is amazing. There's some kind of folding and edge stitching magic going on which created a non-gaping, fitted neckline.

Interfacing Insanity - this pattern appears to be sponsored by Vislene as it has you interface just about every edge and seam with stitch and tear - and tear it all off after you have done. I did not do that. I just stay stitched the neckline and the front skirt piece. It was fine. 

Bias Binds - The arm cuff pieces are cut on the bias so ease into the armhole nicely. 

I don't think I've ever worn something so low cut but the fit of the dress is just fantastic at the neckline. I thought it was quite flattering and didn't cause any unwanted flashing when it was worn.


That being said I figured that if I could raise the neckline a bit, the pattern could make a great day dress. I picked some really fun poison dart frog rayon from Soimoi who sell through Amazon. (Takes about 3 weeks to arrive from India to UK).

 I made a few changes to the pattern to make this yellow frog version. 

Cuffs - due to fabric constraints I cut these on the grain not bias. They were absolutely fine. 

Bust darts - my original version had the darts in a bit of an odd place so I moved these about 1.5" across the bodice.

Neckline - Melt Stitches has a great photo of how the neckline is raised so I refer you to her site! She had also popped in a few buttons which I thought was a nice detail and so also did the same for mine. (Buttons from Etsy)

 Skirt flare - unfortunately I had to narrow and shorten the skirt pieces due to fabric constraints as I didn't realize it was a fairly narrow piece I had chosen. Works just fine for a day dress though and minimal waste!

Loving Lois.

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