By Hand London Anna dress

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Hayden said I looked quite vintage looking here!

You know when you have an event to go to but procrastinate for so long that you don’t have anything to wear until the last minute? No? Just me then…

Last year my cousin got married, and I needed something nice to wear for the occasion. I really was short on time and didn’t really have time to alter anything too complicated – enter the By Hand London Anna Dress.

I originally had a go at this pattern a few year ago, before I really started sewing again after university, but I had made it in a cotton print that was a bit too stiff and I loathed it so the pattern had been tucked away in a box, cut but unloved, for several years. Being short on time I knew I would need to use something from my stash and I had a beautiful floral viscose-ish print that I had picked up from the Sewing Bee Live last year that I wanted to use, so after rummaging through my pattern stash I dug out the Anna. Thankfully (sort of?) I was still the same size as I was when I had cut the pattern, so I was able to cut and sew this really quickly!

The Anna is a great beginner dress as you can get away with very basic adjustments – I img_1813.jpgusually have to do a FBA but for this dress I was able to get away with drafting between sizes to get the fit I wanted. That being said, the back neck gapes a bit so I might need to do a narrow back adjustment? If I make it again I might also add a more full skirt to up the swooshiness. I also might fully line the bodice as I find the facing flaps about and doesn’t seem to sit nicely. I think binding the neck might also work – I’m not a fan of a facing. I did rush the construction of this and I’m not sure the hem is entirely even either but because the fabric is quite flowy and drapey I think I can get away without hemming it again!

Now I totally get why everyone loves this pattern. It’s simple, flattering and above all pretty comfortable. I’m still not a dress girl so this doesn’t get worn but I don’t want to consign it to the refashioning pile just yet! If anyone knows where I could find more of this fabric please let me know – I can’t remember which stall at Sewing Bee Live I bought it from but if I spot more I will snap it up!

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