Today we will be sharing our tips on how to make the Kimberly dress using fabrics with drape. We are also going to show you how to change the sleeves of the Kimberly dress to fluttered sleeves. Ready?
You see, the Kimberly and Lisa are not designed for fabrics with drape. Because of the fitted bodice, we always recommend using a fabric with some structure, like a cotton poplin. But, a dress with fluttered sleeves would look much better in a flowier fabric, so we decided to give it a try!
We chose a Viscose Dobby fabric from Minerva Crafts with the intention of lining the bodice with a white cotton poplin. And it worked like a charm! The cotton poplin underneath is giving the bodice the structure it needs to sit nicely across the bust and it is very easy to make a dress like this, if you don’t mind a bit of hand sewing.
Basically, what you have to do is cut out the front piece and back pieces out of BOTH the main fabric (the viscose) and the lining fabric (the poplin). You will omit the facing pieces of course. Then, you will have to stitch all the darts on all the pieces for both the main and the lining fabrics.
As soon as you are done with that, working separately on the main bodice and the lining bodice, pin the back pieces to the front piece at the shoulder seams and stitch with 1,5 cm (5/8”) seam allowance. Press them open.
Now it’s time to join the two bodices. Lay the main bodice open on the table with the right side of the fabric facing up and place the lining bodice over it, right sides together. Pin all around the neckline and stitch. Clip the seam allowance and also clip on the center of the V to help the neckline sit nice and flat. You will leave the underarm seams unstitched for now, because we will have to insert the sleeves.
Then, sew the side seams of the main bodice and the lining bodice separately, just like you see in the instructions booklet. There is no need to finish the seams, as the bodice will be fully lined.
To draft the fluttered sleeves, please see this very detailed tutorial.
The fluttered sleeves are inserted in the same way as the straight sleeves. So, follow the steps in the booklet to insert the sleeves, working on the MAIN fabric only. Do not finish the seam allowance. Instead, on the lining fabric clip around the armhole being careful not to clip over 1 cm (3/8”). Then, fold the seam allowance of the lining fabric and pin it to the armhole of the main fabric, hiding its seam allowance on the inside. Hand stitch the lining to the main fabric’s seam allowance to hide all the raw edges. Repeat for both sleeves.
Then, construct the skirt and attach it to the bodice, following the instructions. You will be working ONLY with the main bodice, not the lining. We made this Kimberly without the panel at the bottom as we wanted it shorter, but you can attach the panel later on if you want.
To insert the invisible zip, follow the instructions in the booklet and work ONLY on the main fabric. Then, fold the edge of the lining fabric by 1,5 cm (5/8”) and hand stitch it to the zip tape. Also, fold the lining at the waistline by 1,5 cm (5/8”) and hand stitch it to the skirt seam allowance to hide the raw edge.
Leave your dress to hang for at least 24 hours. This will allow the bias cut edges of the skirt to drop. Level the hem as needed and then hem your dress following the instructions.
And that’s pretty much it! We hope you found this tutorial useful and not feel intimidated by the hand stitching bits in the construction. It’s quite a bit, but if you take your time it can be really satisfying as well.
If you do try this hack, don’t forget to tag us on social media! We’d love to see it!