Kwik Sew K4111 - for the office this time

Kwik Sew K4111 pattern reviewI feel like I never have anything to wear to work, and what what I do have is never quite warm enough or cool enough so I've always got my eye out for fabrics that I can use to fill this gap. At the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show I came across just that fabric, then had to wait for a while until inspiration hit, in the form of a previously used pattern that just needed a bit of tweaking. As it happens this dress also survived a major overlocker disaster too!


Fabric


As I said, I picked this up at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia from Montreux Fabrics - I wish I could remember how much it was (probably £10 a metre), but I think I only had 1.5m of it. (How vague is that? sorry). It's a medium weight jersey that has a pattern applied to the top of it instead of woven in which gives it an interesting texture. I found it fine to work with and it's turned out as a good choice for a summer work dress as it's quite breathable too. And it doesn't show creases - yay!

Pattern and Instructions

The pattern I used was Kwik Sew K411. I used it before for #thelittlereddressproject and although I don't wear that dress very often, I knew there was potential in the pattern to get to what I really wanted. The pattern is drafted for both knits and wovens, featuring a zip at the back. The bodice and skirt both have darts which give nice shaping along with a faux wrap in the skirt. There's a post with a detailed review and information about the pattern and instructions here. Most of what I achieved this time around was through alterations.

Kwik Sew K4111 pattern review

Alterations

Now, that's where the bulk of my time went. I knew from my first version that I felt it came up too big, didn't like how the belt sat, and that I felt the facing never sit properly inside where it was meant to. Also I only had 1.5m, so there was not enough for a wrap skirt. What I did instead was to use the back skirt piece to double up for the front skirt, using the same darts as well, instead of the pleats in the original front skirt wrap pattern piece. I cut both of these pieces, and the back bodice on the fold because last time I managed without a zip and didn't see the need for the centre seams if I could avoid them.

This time around I still used the same size, but moved the shoulders down by about 4 inches. I cut it out in the correct size, made up the skirt and bodice, then just tried it on and figured out what looked best with pinning and removing excess at the top. It was quite a lot and you might think that I should have just sized down, but I did like how the rest of it fit (and needed it in the skirt). I often find I need to reduce length at this point anyway - I assume this is drafted for someone a lot taller than my 5ft.

I didn't use the facing, and instead simply turned over the hem at the neckline and armholes and stitched this down. This means it's a slightly different neckline shape to the one in the pattern, but it's how I prefer mine. I decided to insert the waist ties into the waist seam at the left hand side as well, which I think helps them sit much better.

As it happened I also made unintentional alterations because as I was putting the hem through the overlocker, part of the front bodice got caught up and went through as well. This neatly sliced through quite an obvious area at the front. I couldn't believe it. I had already had to play pattern tetris to get all the pieces out of the scant fabric I had; there was no more to replace it with. As it happened, though this was an obvious area, it was also one with a lot of curve, so I bodged the big triangular hole from the overlocker knives closed, just stitching right sides together. It fit with the natural curves so it looked like I had got away with it - all I had to do was intentionally repeat this with the other side! Thank goodness the fabric has a heavy print on it as this masks a lot of the disaster. If it had been plain it would never have worked. It's actually in the fabric photo above, if you want to see if you can find it.

Funnily enough, it's one of those dresses that you wear and everyone comments on. Even with the overlocker disaster it was quite speedy to put together and it's so comfortable too! This year you might know I'm really trying to add wardrobe pieces that I can get lots of wear out of, building on tried and true patterns. I think I've cracked this pattern now to a T& formula that will really work - this dress has been on heavy rotation already.

Kwik Sew K4111 pattern review

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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm a lifelong foodie, so you'll also find some delicious recipes and places to get that foodie fix.
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