As I write this, my Anna pattern is being borrowed by two other sewists, and I have some more fabric cut out beside me to make a whole other one. Obviously, this is one hell of a pattern.
Although I like the designs and aesthetics of By Hand London’s other patterns, I haven’t yet bought one – I figure I have pencil skirt patterns already and I need to alter/draft one to my shape more than I need to buy a new pattern. There are some gorgeous elisalexi (Roison’s million versions, in particular), but I already have a princess seam bodice pattern (srsly, did noone love princess seams before this pattern? Everyone raves like it’s something new – reminds me of how noone liked coulotts until Megan Nielson’s pattern – how could you not like coulotts?? More on that later…). The Victoria jacket is a bit too snazzy for my tastes.
But the Anna dress – well. I don’t think I’d looked forward to a pattern as much as this one. It only took three versions (those by Sew Busy Lizzy, My Oh So Vintage Life, and Kim-ing – that squirrel rayon is so freaking fabulous) until I was waiting until pay day and buying the pattern from SewSquirrel. Unfortunately something happened on the trip from Australia to NZ and it took three weeks to get to me. When it arrived I immediately pulled out all the potential fabric I could make it with, and forgot that I was wanting to sew more for Mr.J this month.
So without further ado, my Anna in red linen.
When I traced off this pattern I did a reasonably usual alteration, grading out from my underarms to my hips. Generally I’m three different sizes (like a nesting box), so I went from size 12-14-16. In this pattern I didn’t need to do that; and I didn’t have to lengthen it, either. In fact, when I held up the full length piece, it’s too long – and I’m rather tall at 5’10”. So hooray for patterns designed for tall ladies!!
The dress came together really smoothly – easy peasy, in fact. The insides are all overlocked (in black thread). Since I first wore the dress (to Mr.J’s first gig, hooray!), I have taken the neckline a touch as the front was a bit too high, so I felt like the back was too low in comparison (so it felt like it was slipping back). Taking the front down a bit has fixed this. I also took out the ease I added at the waist and hips as it was a bit too roomy for me and I felt I needed a belt – which doesn’t quite suit the style.
This dress is perfect for the warmer weather I’m expecting soon. I love linen but for some reason haven’t sewn with it much – I had this mental block “linen creases too much”, completely forgetting that’s part of it’s charm. In fact, at high school I used to have a black linen dress (from the $2 op shop in Christchurch) that I sewed checked fabric on the bottom; I wore this until it developed bit holes in the side, and I still wore it. I wish I hadn’t thrown it out so I can trace a pattern off it, though I think it was just a simple princess line shift dress.
Pattern:Anna, by By Hand London. Cost was $20 from Sew Squirrel, but I don’t count the cost of the pattern if I’ll make it again
Fabric: Red linen from Global Fabrics (now The Fabric Store), $20/m = $40 (can’t remember if it was on sale or not)
Notions: Matching thread and invisible zipper, $3.50 each. The zipper was bought from Made on Marion, on my rushed way home from work, in order to finish this (Project Runway style) in time to wear to Mr J’s first gig
In conclusion: I love linen. I love Anna. Here’s for many more of both.