Granny chic Kim dress

Mr King was massively chuffed to be asked to be bestman for his friend Chris’s wedding. Most of our friends are already married or have no intention of being married so this is probably the last wedding for us for a while. It’s also a military wedding which are generally super fancy and an excuse to get properly dressed up.

I decided to use the By Hand London Kim dress pattern as my basis. I won the pattern as part of the monthly stitches Indie pattern month in 2017 but still hadn’t found an excuse to make it up. I’d seen this awesome midi length version by Elisalex that I loved.

For fabric I wanted to use this awesome oriental print gold and bronze fabric that was quite literally my Grandma’s old dining room curtains. I’d been given free reign on soft furnishings when we sold my grandparents house and everyone thought I was a bit mad to take the old curtains down cos they smelt a bit. But after a bit of gentle care first in the bathtub and secondly in the washing machine with a hefty dose of vinegar they came up looking shiny and smelling lovely.

After a bit of detective work we reckon these curtains were c. 1983 from John Lewis in Edinburgh. I was concerned that they’d fall apart during washing but thanks to their lining they’ve largely survived intact from all that Scottish sunshine deteriorating the cotton.

For once I attempted proper pattern matching across the bodice -I still have to pinch myself to remember these are 3 separate pieces of fabric on a princess seam. The pattern matching is just brilliant. It does prove I can do it if I can be bothered.

For the skirt I went off piste from the pattern and went for a flat front with pleats around the hips using the fork technique. Normally I steer clear of pleats but I think the long skirt pulls it down a bit and stops it being too poofy around my middle.

And here is the final result. I teamed it with a little black jacket, my Grandma’s fur coat (v cold snowy day), her 1940s Japanese clutch (my Grandpa was based in Japan with the British army from 1945-1947), my handmade fascinator and I even wore her ruby and garnet ring. Proper granny chic!

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