The Kew dress by Nina Lee

The Kew dress is the latest release from London based indie pattern designer Nina Lee. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the pattern testers for this dress!

The button fronted dress comes with 2 versions – a 1940s style sleeved version or one with little straps and a cold shoulder sleeve. You can also make it as just the skirt with a waistband. 


I opted to make version 2 with the little straps!

I used a really fun and vibrant striped poly crepe for this make. I got it from the Stitch Fabrics warehouse a few weeks back. The colours make me think of sunny beaches and carnival!

I made a size 10 but I must’ve been having a skinny day when I measured myself for this because I really should’ve made a size 12! (Don’t you just hate it when that happens!)

It was a simple make, basics darts on the bodice and skirt and a facing to finish. I really liked the classic shape of the A line skirt which dips a little at th back. I initially wanted to put the cold shoulder sleeve in as well but my chunky arms didn’t really work with it! (I think that Nina’s made an adjustment to the final pattern to make it easier to fit bigger arms though!)


The bodice and skirt of the dress fitted pretty well straight off the mark. I did do a small sway back adjustment to make it really fit like a glove though. 

The only thing I wasn’t so keen on with the dress was how high the back bodice and underarm goes. I felt a bit constricted but that may be just due to me not being used to that much coverage there. I’ve dipped the top of the back on this version by a little to help but next time I would just drop it by an inch or so.


This is an absolute classic of a dress though. I love how it worked with the vertical stripes – though my pattern matching is painfully off in places!

This simple style is something that’ll work year on year!

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