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.
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?