Pattern Pals // Kew dress

If you follow me on Instagram you already have seen me going on and on about this, but I’m just so excited I can’t stop talking about it. I’m starring in a brand new sewing vlog; the Pattern Pals! It all came about when my friend Louise (@louisevictoriaking) texted me and our mutual friend Lisa (@tinieststitcher) a few months ago asking if we wanted to join her in launching a new YouTube channel. We’re all completely different in size and shape so Louise thought it was a good idea to share how we adjust a dressmaking pattern to fit our own shape and style. Lisa and I both replied with YESSS we’re in! I immediately thought this was a great idea because dressmaking patterns are made according to ”standard’’ body measurements, but the thing is….

Nobody is standard!

Fast-forward to a few months later and we have already released 4 videos! Lisa’s husband Mike has been amazing with setting us up with professional film equipment and he is doing a fantastic job with editing our videos too. We are currently releasing a new video every two weeks, alternating between a ‘project reveal’ video where we talk about the pattern we’ve chosen and the fabric that we are using and a ‘finished project reveal’ video where we show our makes.

Here’s a bit more information on our first project, and the garment that I made:

PATTERN // For our first project we decided that we wanted to make the Kew Dress designed by Nina Lee. This was a dress that we all already wanted to make, so it was the perfect pattern to start us off with. You can see a line drawing of the Kew dress below. The pattern comes with 3 different variations: version 1 (left) is inspired by a 1940’s tea dress and comes with rushed sleeves, version 2 (middle) comes with straps and cold shoulder sleeves and version 3 (right) is a skirt. I made version 2 without the sleeves.

MATERIALS // I used black corduroy which I bought from John Lewis a few years ago. It is a fine needle cord and it has a lovely drape to it, but at the same time it is a medium weight fabric which makes it perfect for the colder months. I used a pretty flowery cotton fabric for the lining and rose gold snaps instead of buttons.

SIZING AND CUTTING // After measuring my bust, waist and hip, I chose to go for a size 10. Cutting this dress out was easy as there aren’t that many pattern pieces and needle cord doesn’t move much when placed flat on the table.

STITCHING // This was a surprisingly quick sew. There were no tricky bits as I replaced the trickiest one (buttonholes!) with something much easier: snaps! Doing buttonholes is one of my least favourite sewing techniques, so when I came across these pretty rose gold snaps it was like everything fell in place. They were so easy to add to my dress, I never want to buttonholes again, haha!

FITTING AND ALTERATIONS // I added 3 cm to the length of the bodice. This is something I often have to do as I’m quite tall. I’m glad I did because the waistline now sits exactly where it should be. I also added pockets, because why not! I didn’t make any other alterations and I’m really glad with the fit.

VERDICT // I’m a little bit in love with this dress! I’ve been wearing it lots since I finished it. It makes me feel all dressed up, but in a very casual way which is just the way I like it. I am now wearing it with cosy turtle necks and jumpers so I really can wear this dress all year round.

NEXT TIME // The only thing that I need to change when I make it again is the placement of the bust darts. It’s a little bit too high for me as the dart doesn’t point directly to my bust apex, but slightly above it. Luckily it isn’t really visible on this version, but it is something I would change to make it fit me even better.

If you want to see all of our pretty dresses in action, you can watch our Kew dress reveal video below. It would be fantastic if you could go to our channel and give our video a thumbs up, but only if you really liked it 😉 You can also follow us by clicking the red subscribe button, and if your’e a superfan you can click on the little bell to the right of the subscribe button to receive a notification every time we post a new video!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time, Barbara X



  1. Catherine O'Hagan
    4th October 2018 / 9:36 AM

    Absolutely lovely dress and one that is on my (very long) to-sew list. The idea of making it in a fine cord and using it to layer up is brilliant. Can I ask where you got the rose gold snaps from? I can see me using them in future!

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