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Border Print Kew Dress

This dress just makes me want to sing ‘The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music’ – although there are quite clearly no hills in the Netherlands and the last time I went to a tulip field there was a guy that, quite annoyingly, wouldn’t stop whistling……anyway.
Timeless Treasures have an amazing array of Border Print Fabrics at the moment in a really soft 100% cotton poplin. When challenged with making something from one of these, I was instantly drawn to this bright and cheerful ‘Dutch Farm’ print which reminded me of fond memories in Keukenhof for the tulip festival. (If you ever get the chance to go, do it!)
My heart picked out this one, and when it arrived, my brain called my heart a fool. What could be made of this?! I thought it was going to be ‘tea towel’ size or enough for a skirt however the fabric is 44 inches wide and the design spans the entire width, running the length of the fabric and repeated every 24 inches. That’s a big ol’ panel of Dutch to play with. I really didn’t want to go the route of a bag or household item to use the print, but really wanted to use it to its full effect as it was nearly as big as me. I was thinking of making a shirt dress or something similar but realised that would break up the design too much. The Kew Dress by Nina Lee then entered my life and the heart ruled this game once more. 
Knowing my fitting woes, I decided to create a quick toile of the Kew Dress expecting the saga ‘Of Bodice and Broad Back’ to repeat itself as it usually does. But NO! It fit right out of the packet!!!!! I looked at the universe with great suspicion. I used a size 14 with no changes at all and had to double take and even check myself a few times as this kind of miracle rarely happens. But hey, take those treats where you can find them, so I enjoyed that feeling for a little while and poured myself a celebratory G&T. 
High on the wave of the Kew fit success (and potentially the effects of the G&T), I retraced the pattern pieces, folding on the centre line omitting the buttons in favour of a side zip. I also retraced a facing for the bodice top.
I tried to preserve the precious fabric print, I did try to get the bodice and skirt to be one continuous dress piece, however, there just isn’t enough room on the fabric to be able to do that without wasting an absolute ton of it. I had 2.5m to play with so the waistband had to remain, and the print was broken – but not badly.
After a bit of careful pattern placement, I got my pieces sorted, cut and the rest was whizzed up. The greatest gadget I’ve bought this year were these Prym Strap Turners – no more kebab sticks for me!
Just one more little tinker with the pattern was to add…pockets of course. 
Because of the border print, there was very little left of the 2.5 meters of fabric so if you do go for this, definitely order more than the fabric requirements state! I used the scraps for the facings and pockets but after that only tiny pieces remained. Quite satisfying in itself though using up the bits.
Shout out to this pattern as well for perfectly covering bra straps to an amazing degree.
I had an absolute BLAST making this dress. A combo of it fitting, being quite flattering for my figure and the bright cheerful design made for an enjoyable sew. 
Thanks for reading,
Emma @ Crafty Clyde

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