#sewingdares & Me-made May 2015

So apparently the emergency resuscitation the blog received back in February was not sufficient to keep the momentum going. So this time for motivation I’ve turned to Sewing Dares that Gillian is running over at Crafting a Rainbow. I asked for a dare and she very perceptivly dared me to blog about my current instagram feed and what I’ve been up to lately.   What have I come to where I have to be dared to blog! Ha ha!

Anyway, not being one to shirk on a dare here goes. If u follow me on instagram you can’t have failed to notice that I’m taking part in Me-made May again this year. Last year my Me-made wardrobe was considerably smaller than currently so I’ve upped my game this year and pledged to wear at least one me-made a day. I didn’t officially pledge no repeats but I’m aiming to only repeat items with another garment that hasn’t already been worn. So here’s the run down.


1. Colette Patterns Meringue skirt (unblogged but one of my favourites- made from Charity shop wool plaid that cost me £1 and pleather hem facing), Burdastyle Wrap top (unblogged and rarely worn as it’s uncomfortable).

2. Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans in stretch cotton twill from Croft Mill

3. Gertie Sews Vintage casual easy knit pencil skirt in Scuba knit from Minerva crafts.

4. Second pair of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans worn with Cotton Shell top from the third Great British Sewing Bee book

5. Repeat of the cotton shell top from the third Great British Sewing Bee book, black mini skirt version of Gertie Sews Vintage Casual easy knit pencil skirt.
6. Prima magazine easy dress/tunic and Drapey Knit Cardi from the third GBSB book.
7. Dr. Who Emery dress by Christine Haynes.
8. One piece scoop neck tee from Drape Drape 2


9. Drapey Knit Dress from the third GBSB book
10. Ginger Jeans repeat with Cotton version of the silk woven tee from the third GBSB book.
11. Colette patterns Rooibos dress in lovely Batik from Croft Mill.
12. Maxi skirt refashioned from an RTW dress, Drapey cardi from GBSB book three in a stretch lace.


13. Burdastyle cowl neck sleeveless top, skirt hacked from free Garden party dress pattern by Honigdesign.
14. RTW pencil skirt with silk woven tee from second GBSB book.
15.By Hand London Anna hack with midriff panel and gathered skirt in the most amazing cow fabric from Makower
16. Deer and Doe Plantain hack/ mock lady skater dress

There’s a good number of garments there that haven’t been blogged. Gillian also dared me to make a pair of Ginger jeans and blog the fit. You’ll see above that I’ve already made two pairs, I just haven’t got round to taking pictures and writing posts. I will do asap.

The rest of May will be rounded up at the end of the month. This is probably the challenging part as I’ve worked through my recent and favourite makes in the first part of the month. There’s still a few beauties in the wardrobe to pull out though so keep your eyes peeled.

So, take that #sewingdares!

Seamstress Erin: Monsterwear Pattern Testing

I have been following Seamstress Erin  for quite a while now and when I saw that she was starting a line of patterns and needed testers I jumped at the chance.   I love Erin’s quirky sense of style and was sure that whatever patterns she produced would be fun to make and wear.

So I volunteered as a tester and before I knew it the amazing Monsterwear hood and mittens pattern pinged into my inbox How cool are the versions that Erin has made?

The pattern calls for faux fur or fleece material and I knew I had some fleece in the stash that had been passed to me from Tobi’s grandmother, Big Nana, so I immediately cut this out.   Unfortunately I only had the time to make the hood before the feedback deadline, but I do have the mittens cut out waiting for me to stitch up.

The hat is described in the pattern as a lined hood-style Faux fur hat featuring in-seam ears and ribbon ties.   I used the tester version for my version, which I received for free in exchange for testing and feedback*, and I know there have been some changes to the pattern as a result of testing.

The hat is a really quick and fun make and I got lots of smiles from my work colleagues and passersby on the day I wore it to work.


It also goes perfectly with the infinity scarf I made from the same fleece over a year ago.


Unfortunately Maya, my 5 year old daughter, spotted the hat and has completely fallen in love with it and so I am destined to never see it again.   My 4 year old son, Eli, has also asked for one for himself but the only fabric I have that is suitable is more of the same blue spotted fleece.   I think we might look like the Brady bunch if we’re all wearing accessories made of the same fleece. I’ll have to get some fun faux fur.


I wont go into the construction process too much as I used the tester version and there are significant changes, as I said.   But if you want to have a quick fun project to make, that is sure to raise a few smiles, go grab yourself a copy at Erin’s shop.

It’s Alive!!

A harsh fluorescent light flickers into life, illuminating a stark white room.   Mysterious machinery crowds the room.   Beeps and flashing lights threaten to overwhelm the senses and the smell of chemicals and disinfectant fills the nostrils.   In the centre of the room there is a surgical trolley and a swarm of people of undetermined sex, swaddled in green scrubs and surgical hats, surround it.   Their eyes look worried and their motions are frantic, clearly trying to save what could be a lost cause.   The camera angle moves and we’re now seeing the trolley from above and the patient in critical condition lying in its centre.   It’s not the usual patient, it’s a laptop with its screen lit up in the ominous colour blue, the colour of computer death.

“Clear!” calls the leader of the green scrub brigade, rubbing together two metal plates in his hands, with wires spiralling down to the high-tech defibrillator perched on a stainless steel trolley next to him.   The scrub brigade step back, holding their breaths for the jolt they know is coming.

ZZAAAAAPPPP! Beep beep beep…

A flashing cursor appears on the screen with the words “Loading”.   The green scrubs lean forward, taking a collective gasp.   The screen flashes into life…

“Welcome to Sewcial Warrior” it reads.   “it’s alive!” call the green scrubs, high-fiving each other and celebrating a blog saved from oblivion.

I’m alive!!!!   Sorry for the blog hiatus, completely not intended.     Life just gets in the way when you have two small kids and work full-time.   I will always prioritize my sewing time over blogging time, so that’s why I’ve not been about much.   Anyway, my bad blogger status means that I’ve neglected to blog about some of my makes from last year, some of which were my favourite of the year.  I originally drafted this post to include some of the makes I missed blogging about last year then realised I hadn’t actually taken the pictures I was visualising in my head.   I’ll blog about those makes asap but for now I wanted to say I’m still here.

Vintage pattern pledge

Lets start with the bits I need to own up to.   Back at the beginning of 2014 I joined Marie from A Stitching Odyssey’s Vintage Sewing Pattern pledge and pledged to sew 5 of the lovely patterns I have accumulated in my stash.   The confession is… I made one muslin and that was it.   This was partly influence by the fact that most of my vintage patterns are in sizes that are wildly different to my current measurements and I’m not confident enough in pattern grading to get these to fit me.   This experience has also made me realise that, as much as I love following all the weekly/monthly/yearly challenges in the blogosphere, I’m rubbish at achieving them.   I think it’s partially down to my love of selfish sewing- somehow when it’s a challenge with a deadline it takes the fun out of it for me.   So I’m resolved to not officially pledging to any challenges this year and just sewing my own way in a relaxed fashion.   Stress in other areas of my life is sky high at the moment and I don’t need my hobby to be tainted with that too.   I will continue to drool over everyone else’s makes and you may see the odd thing from me this year that ties to a challenge, but don’t hold your breath.

Current work in progress

I have been lost in the depths of trouser fitting for what seems like an eternity.   I’ve been simulataneously working on a pair of Jedediah Pants from Thread theory for Tobi and I bought, with my birthday money, (back at the end of November) the Ginger Jeans pattern from Closet Case files for me.   I’ve been living in one pair of poorly fitting RTW jeans for an eternity and Tobi has lost a lot of weight over the last year or so so none of his trousers fit him either.   We’re both looking forward to having trousers that fit properly.

Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for regular updates on my works in progress.   I find it so much easier to micro-blog on Twitter and Instagram than I do to find the time to sit down and write a whole blog post.

2015 Sewing plans

I don’t really have any sewing plans so far, although there are a few pieces of precious yardage that I’d like to get sewn up this year.   I’ve been finding it really hard to motivate myself to sew in the evenings so the pace of my creations may be a little slower than previously.

Hopefully the next time I post the blog wont need artificial resuscitation again and I’ll actually be able to tell you about those pesky unphotgraphed makes.   What plans do you have for sewing this year?   Are you already planning your Spring wardrobe

My Knight in Adjustable Shining Armour

Once upon a time there was a damsel in distress who was being held captive by the wicked Internal Critic.   Internal Critic punished her for every bit of wonky top-stitching she hastily produced.   He demanded nothing but perfect accuracy in everything the damsel did.   The damsel shrank inside each day as her stitches had a life of their own.   She soon became very friendly with Internal Critic’s archenemies Seam Ripper.

The damsel thought she would never conquer Internal Critic and would be destined for a life of ‘home-ec’ style projects.   Until one day her prayers to the Tailor in the sky were answered and a Knight in adjustable shining armour arrived to save her.   He had come from the Far East via the Amazon and he went by the name Blind Hem Foot.   With his adjustable guide she was able to destroy Internal Critic and create the most beautiful top-stitching in the land.   The garments she produced with the Knight at her side fractured Internal Critic into a thousand pieces and scattered him to the winds.   And she was no longer a damsel in distress; she was Sewcial Warrior.


Do you want to know the serious bit about this make then?


This little top is the Atalie top by the pleasantly named Spit up and Stilettos.   Now, I know there’s been some rumblings regarding copyright infringement and spit up patterns but, to my knowledge, the Atalie top has not been attributed to any other pattern designer so I’m going to go ahead and blog it.   This was a free pattern.   I really don’t want to get into the argument about the morality of this pattern company, but I don’t necessarily want to increase traffic to the site either so if you want a copy of the pattern you’ll just have to go ahead and google it.

The Atalie top is a pop-over blouse with turned up sleeve cuffs, polo style button placket and neckline finished with bias binding.   There’s no bust or waist shaping and it’s quite boxy.   The pattern suggests that it would be ideal for garden work where a loose-fitting, hard-wearing garment is ideal.   It’s cute, but not my usual style.   I’m a curvy lady and rather than smother my curves in fabric I prefer to show them off with more fitted garments.   Otherwise I feel I have no waist and look like a giant sausage.   But, I decided to roll with it and see how it turned out.


For this make I used a printed cotton that I really can’t remember the provenance of.   I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a charity shop find but I can’t remember who gave it to me, think it was a colleague.   Anyway, you may have noticed I usually favour bright jewel colours and I wasn’t sure about this print as it’s so light and I didn’t want it to make me look washed out.   I fell in love with the little blue and pink flowers and the delicate almost egg-shell blue of the ground colour so I decided to step out of my colour comfort zone and go for it.

The pattern calls for a heavy weight canvas or similar and the instructions try to reassure you that it will work well but I wasn’t convinced myself so went with a lighter weight fabric.


The sizing chart on this pattern is really confusing.   The range goes from XS to XL but there are two lots of measurements for each size. How does that work then?   You think they’d put from X” to X” but they don’t.   My bust fits the bigger L measurements but my waist and hips hit the larger XL measurements (very usual for my bust to be two sizes smaller than waist and hips).   As it’s designed to be a loose fit garment I figured a bit of extra ease around the boobage department was no big deal so I cut the XL and didn’t bother with a toile.   I just roughly held the front piece up to my body and decided it looked about right.   I know, really accurate!

The fit’s not bad though.   I think if I make it again I would lengthen it slightly as it feels like an odd length to me.   I was worried about the sleeve width too as I’ve got flying squirrel wings.   My fears were unfounded and there’s plenty of room in the sleeves.   I like the cuff feature too.


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Button plackets!! Eek!   I mainly chose this pattern as this style of button placket is new to me and like to add a new technique to my arsenal with every project.   This is the first step you do, bar stay stitching the neckline, and actually the instructions were ok, although the diagrams leave a lot to be desired.   While we’re talking about stay-stitching, it has you stay stitch at different distances on the front neckline and the back yoke neckline.   The instructions say this is because you trim off the seam allowance later on but I still can’t fathom why they’re at different distances and why they even bothered putting seam allowance on the neckline if they just get you to cut it off later on. Anyway, I was surprisingly successful with the plackets.   I did have to do a tiny bit of hand-stitching on the inside as I hadn’t quite caught the bottom of the left placket when I stitched down the right placket.   Also, the left placket seems to be drafted too long, I had to cut about 5/8” away where it overlapped the neckline.   Although, that conclusion could be due to my inexperience at this technique.   /my new-found best friend, the blind hem foot, helped me get damn near perfect top-stitching.   I can adjust my foot so that the guide is either on the left or the right of the needle, making it really versatile for all sorts of jobs. I was very proud of my nice neat top-stitching.


The shoulder yokes on this are another anomaly that confused me.   The pattern only has you cut one and suggests you interface it if using a lighter weight fabric.   What’s the point of having a lovely yoke if you can’t use it to hide the horrible seam allowances on the inside.   Therefore I completely disregarded that instruction and turned to the instructions from Colette Patterns Negroni shirt, which I made for Tobi a few months ago, to line the yoke using the burrito method (or shirt sausage as I like to call it) and hide all those raw edges.   The extra layer also added some body so the interfacing was unnecessary.

The pattern states that there are 3/8” seam allowances throughout, but halfway through the instructions it starts referring to 5/8” allowances, even on parts where the pattern piece labelled them as 3/8”.   Confusing and inconsistent, I found.   But I did follow the instructions and the fit turned out ok.

I used ½” self fabric bias binding on the neckline.   The pattern calls for 1” but I only have a smaller bias binding maker gadget so I went with that.   I think it maybe looks a little too delicate for the style of the top but oh well, it looks neat because I used my fabby blind hem foot again.


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Not really sure about this make.   I couldn’t decide if it was too casual to wear to work or not but decided to go for it and wore it with a black pencil skirt.   I did get a couple of compliments on it but I can’t make up my mind whether I like it or not.   I was pleased with the finish I achieved though and it’s another technique in the bank.

I don’t think I’d recommend the pattern though for the reasons I’ve mentioned above; inconsistent instructions, confusing sizing, poor diagrams and odd construction decisions. I’ve just read the two reviews on the pattern website and they too comment on the poor instructions and diagrams.   Not just me then.   I might make it again but, to be honest, probably wont.

Project cost

Pattern: Free

Fabric: Free

Notions: already in my stash

Total: zero! That’s right, a completely free project.

See, it is possible to sew on a budget.

What do you guys think of this one?   A hit or a miss?

A personal note & One Lovely Blog Award Nominee

Hi Guys.   Sorry I’ve been a bit on the quiet side lately.   I don’t want to be a moaner, and I’ve done my best to keep my day job off the blog, but the short reason I haven’t posted particularly regularly recently is that I’m really stressed with my day job.   Stressed to the point that my GP signed me off sick for three weeks.   So I have three weeks to collect my thoughts and decide where I want the next 30 years of my career to go.   I need Careers advice, anyone know where an adult can get that these days?

I’m hoping to use the time off for a bit of self-care too.   For my day job I look after other people all day long, I come home and have two young children to look after, with some support from my husband, and family stresses and strains to support with.   All this means I rarely get time just for me (I’m sure a lot of you ladies out there are in the same boat), so I’m going to look after myself in the bits of time I can snatch to myself.   My three-year old son, Eli, goes to nursery on a Wednesday and Friday mornings so I will have at least two mornings a week to do what I want to do.   Of course, for me that means sewing and hopefully a bit more frequent blogging…   That note brings me smoothly to the next point.

One Lovely Blog award Nominee

One Lovely Blog Award

I was blown away when Laura at the Accidental Seamstress nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.   Here I was thinking I was talking to myself but there really are people who are vaguely interested in my waffle.   Thanks so much, Laura, I’m really flattered, particularly as Laura’s blog looks so much more professional than mine.   Although, I’m hoping the quality of my photos will begin to improve as Tobi bought me a digital camera for my birthday at the end of November, especially for the blog.

You’re probably scratching your heads wondering what this award thing is all about.   Well, the One Lovely blog award is given to bloggers by bloggers.   It’s funny because I’d not really considered that I’d reached the point of having earnt the title ‘blogger’ but I guess it’s official now.  Of course there are some requirements to the award.

1.  Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you

2.  Follow the blogger who nominated you

3.  List the rules and display the award

4.  List seven facts about yourself

5.  Nominate your own Top Ten Bloggers (let them know on their “About” page).

So, without further ado, here’s seven facts about me…

1. I married my first boyfriend.   We’ve known each other since we were eight and grew up in the same village in rural Hampshire.   I couldn’t stand him as a child but clearly that changed along the way.

2. I have a filthy mind.  You know the phrase ‘mind like a sewer’? Well, my friend Martin reckons that the sewers in my mind are so big there are people punting gondolas down them.  He has dubbed me ‘Gondola Mind’ as a result.

3. I once, very briefly, had a food blog.   I think there were only one or two posts on it and they were lame.   I can’t even remember the name of the blog or where it was hosted.

4. I love music and I’m a bit of a rocker really.   I have an eclectic taste in music; from Marilyn Manson to Bedouin Soundclash.

5. I’m incredibly lazy.  My car looks like a rubbish bin for my children, my bedroom floor is always covered in clothes and I think I’ve only cleared my car twice in the three years I’ve had it.   There’s more important things than housework, like spending time with my children, blogging and sewing.

6. My claim to fame is that my Dad was on UK chat show called Kilroy, hosted by Robert Kilroy-Silk,  twice and was also in a UK magazine called Woman’s Own.   I’m not going to share what the story was but feel free to have a guess, I bet you’ll never get it.

7. I find blogging a real effort.   I started the blog to be able to take part in the conversation and the amazing Sewing community that exists online, but I find it really difficult to motivate myself to blog.   I’m a bit of a hermit really and not the most social of people in real life.   Bear with me on the blog when there are big gaps between posts, I’m probably just psyching myself up to actually put something out there.


Well there we go, that was actually harder than I thought it was going to be trying to find 7 vaguely interesting things about myself.   As per the instructions of the award, I will be nominating my top 10 bloggers for the same award  but I’ll have to have a think about who to nominate.   So I’ll come back to you again and let you know who I chose.

Ninja Palazzo Pants

I’m a bad blogger.   I’ve got pics all ready to rock and roll but no text typed.   I don’t know about you but when I get home from a stressful days work and it’s already dark outside all I can motivate myself to do is snuggle up in front of the television and drool over Idris Elba in Luther.   I’m not good in the Autumn/Winter anyway and suffer from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder, so my mood and motivation are even lower in the dark days.

Anyway, there has been something this month that has really kept me motivated, helped me meet loads of new seamstresses and kept me inspired.   It’s #BPSewvember over on Instagram.   If you haven’t seen it, this is an idea that Amanda from Bimple and Pimple came up with.   There is a sewing related theme for each day of the month and the idea is to post pics relating to the theme each day.   As I type we’re on day 20 and amazingly I have kept up and posted a picture each day.   I have also lost at least 50% of my productive working day by browsing that hashtag.   I think I’ve said before that I don’t really have any friends who are into sewing so getting a sneak peak into others sewing lives is a rare treat.   Check it out if you haven’t already, it’s addictive.   Here’s a selection of some of my pictures this months so far.

The Make

So, onto some actual sewing then.   You may recall me saying when I posted my Welt Pocket Tutorial, that I was working on a pair of culottes from a Burdastyle magazine.   Well, the culottes were more of a wearable muslin for the real deal, palazzo Pants.   I used this pattern from burdastyle for this make, although it came from my copy of the magazine rather than the website.   For the wearable muslin I used a cream poly cotton that was in my stash which I believe was given to me by a colleague.   My measurements were slightly larger than the largest pattern in the magazine so I had to grade up the pattern slightly.   I added two inches at the waist and three inches at the hips.   Construction was actually fairly straightforward once I had deciphered the aforementioned welt pocket instructions.   Surprisingly the fly zipper instructions were much clearer than the welt pockets.   This was much first ever fly zipper and I really couldn’t get my head round it until I read Jen’s tutorial over at the Grainline blog.   Thinking of the fly zip as a lapped zipper with an underflappy bit helped me make sense of it all and it came together fairly easily.

Just noticed a hair on the fly on this zip- sorry guys I moult like an Alsatian.

These were intended as a muslin but I was so pleased with the finish I decided to chuck them in the washing machine with some Pillar Box Read Dylon dye to see if I could make them wearable.   They came out somewhat pink but I still quite like them.

I know culottes seem to be all the rage and the moment and Lily Sage & Co has put up some amazing versions here, here and here (she’s even just made her daughter a version here) but I’m just not sure if this style suits me.   It certainly confuses my children as they have an unhealthy obsession with crawling on the floor under my skirts and they cannot work out why it doesn’t work for the culottes as they look so skirt-like.   They are growing on me the more I wear them though.   The fit was so good once I’d made them up that I stuck with the flat pattern adjustments I’d made for the culottes to make up the real deal palazzo pants.

The dreaded welt pockets.


For my palazzo pants I used a navy blue something that I was given by a colleague.   I have no idea what the fabric content of this fabric is but it’s a bit scratchy, like a coarse wool.   I think it’s synthetic though as it didn’t press brilliantly.


For my wearable muslin I had a hard time remembering which direction the arrows for the very wide front pleats pointed so I laid them out towards the centre front as I preferred the shape that this gave the front of the culottes.   However, the pleats are so wide they got a bit in the way of the fly.   So, I double checked the pattern when I made up the trousers and sure enough, they’re meant to be laid the other way.   Doh!   Again, a pretty straightforward make once you have mastered welt pockets and fly zips.

I used a new technique to hem the palazzo pants as I’ve just bought a load of new presser feet for my sewing machine and in amongst these was a blind hem foot.   So, I decided to avoid the inevitable hand sewing and stitch a blind hem on my machine.   This is a bit more visible than it should have been because the thread colour was a little too light for the fabric.   However, I like the finish and it was quick and relatively easy.   The blind hem foot it my new best friend.


Look how wide these trousers are.

I feel like a ninja in these trousers and have pulled a lot of very silly poses in the office while wearing them to work.

I had no problems fitting these trousers whatsoever.   I think it’s because they’re so wide that it compensates for any fitting issues there may have been.   The top I’m wearing with them is another matter though.   It’s my third version of Gertie’s Bow Blouse from her first book “The guide to better sewing”.  So as not to overwhelm you I’ll blog this separately at some point.


I’m not sure about these trousers.   I had visions in my head of looking elegant and sophisticated but think it comes off like a ninja tree-trunk as they fall from my widest part, my hips.   They’ve only been worn to work once and I still may shorten them to make them 3/4 length culotttes.   Particularly as I keep nearly killing myself when going up and down stairs as my feet get tangled in the excessive flappy fabric.


Culotte length:

Fabric: Free

Zip: 69p from a charity shop

Thread, interfacing and buttons: all in my stash

Dylon dye: Approximately £7

Total: £7.69

Palazzo pants length:

Fabric: Free

Zip: £3 approximately

Thread, interfacing and buttons: all in my stash.

Total: £3


By Hand London Anna Dress Number 2

I apologise for the highly unoriginal post title- what can I say? I never started this blog for my writing skills.   The autumn makes are slowly being churned out and I would like to introduce you to the newest member of my handmade family, By Hand London’s Anna dress.

This is my second Anna, the first being the red cotton lawn version I made in the summer.   I had originally attempted to alter the pattern to have a cowl neck at the front.   I used this tutorial from Craftsy to hack the pattern and used a soft red floral twill I had in my stash, acquired through hand-me-downs from someone.   I think it may have been a liberty print as I’m sure I spotted some dunagrees made by So Zo… for her beautiful daughter, Dolores, in the same fabric and she labelled it as Liberty.   Although, having now checked the post again, the floral pattern on mine is very similar but not the same- must be a Liberty rip-off.   Anyway, I sewed up a muslin of my altered bodice, cutting the front bodice piece on the bias to help with the drape.   This was not a success, there just wasn’t enough drape at the front for the cowl to be successful.   I was too desperate for a new dress to faff around hacking the pattern again to get a better drape so opted to just go for the slash neck pattern.

I used this 70’s-esque soft wool (I think) twill which was another charity shop bargain.   I can’t remember how much I got it for and I removed the tags and threw them away when I pre-washed but I know it was probably in the region of £5 and I got at least 6 metres of it.   This Anna took about 2.5 metres and I still have about 3.5 metres left!   I’m thinking of using it to make a button-down shirt for nice snuggly winters.   I did my best on pattern matching and was pretty chuffed with the results, although the waist seam doesn’t quite match up.   The matching was never going to be perfect because of the diagonal seamlines on the gores but all in all it’s not bad at all.

I love the colours in this pattern.   From a distance it just looks black and orange but as you get closer you see the green and purple thrown in there too.   Loverly!


I hate neckline facings as they never seem to want to stay tucked in for me so I opted to use bias binding facing on the neckline.   I’ve fallen in love with this technique recently.   If you’ve never tried it yourself here’s a link to a tutorial.   I used some vintage satin bias binding I had in my stash to do this.

Otherwise, construction was very straightforward and I made no changes from the pattern- I used my overlocker to finish all the seams.   Unlike the last time I made the Anna, I made sure that I hadn’t missed any notches and I kept the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric until the moment I needed them.   Last time I got completely muddled which triangle was for what. Keeping the paper pattern attached meant that I knew immediately which piece I needed and the skirt came together easily.

This was a very quick make.   Tobi left for work at 2pm on the Saturday and I was just cutting out the last skirt pieces.   I finished the hem on Sunday morning while the kids had their breakfast.   Almost instant gratification.


Although I made a muslin for my last Anna, I have noticed that when I wear a slip with it the slip sits approximately an inch lower than the waistline of the bodice. Therefore for this version I lengthened the bodice by and inch so it will sit on my natural waistline. As usual, I graded the pattern from a 16 at the top of the bodice to an 18 at the waist and used size 18 skirt panels. I used my previously altered pattern in which I took some of the excess out at the underarm seams too.

This is definitely my best fitting dress so far and now that the waist is lower the shape of the skirt feels much more natural to me.

Project costs

Pattern: By Hand London list the Anna dress at £14.   I’ve so far used it twice, bringing the cost to £7 per dress.   As per my recent Emery, this cost will go down if I continue to use this pattern

Fabric: £2.50 approximately

Zip: £3.20 from Hobby craft

Notions: from my stash

Total cost £12.75 approximately

I really like this dress and, as it fits well, it feels really flattering.   The fabric is just thick enough to keep me warm on the coler mornings.   All in all, a success.


How’s everyone else’s Autumn/Winter sewing going?