Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Completed: By Hand London Anna Dress

Back in April last year I backed By Hand London's kickstarter campaign and the other weekend while I felt really ill with my kidney infection I got the best delivery ever: a box full of patterns pins and fabric! This lifted my mood no end as I have been itching to try some of their patterns since last year when I backed them!

Before I got the delivery I had in my mind that I wanted to try the Elizalex dress first, however on a complete whim I picked the Anna pattern out of the box and traced it all out.

Lets talk about the fabric. I picked up this 3 m length of lightweight cotton from a recent trip to Ikea for the pricely sum of £10. The pink parts of the pattern were white before the prewash however a red top somehow made it into the same wash cycle...

Strange sporran esque print!


Due to my measurements I sit just above the finished sizes for a UK 14/ US 10 -so because this is the size I cut for my Kim muslin (and intended on using 1/2 inch seams however managed to use the full 5/8 seam) this is the size that I cut here too. I notionally glanced through the sewalong for the dress and spied that there was a lined version of the dress. I'm not hugely keen on facings so opted for the V-necked lined version of the dress.

The pin showing where the zip lies.

In a bold move, I inserted the zip without really checking if i would require to take the neckline in, however as it is an alteration I make on every garment I brass necked it and took the back neck in by 1.5 inches on either side and the results were perfect!
If you can get past the print the fit is really great
 I really must admit. I get the hype. Before I was a little skeptical over the BHL Anna and weather I actually liked it but this dress is so flattering and the fit is so good straight off the pattern sheets. This dress was initially only going to be a muslin however it initially fit so well I couldn't see it go to waste and there marks the start of the Dylon drama!

I  had a right headache with this fabric and where to place the print, I'm not 100 % sold on the print either. One of the main problems was that lining up wrong on the CF skirt would have left me with a sporran.... I tried a few different placements with the different pattern pieces as I didn't have enough of it to properly match the print. In fact in the end I loved the print so much I went and bought Dylon.

 Print hell this was! The placement and just the overall pattern of the fabric looked plain bad.
No gapey nackline :-D

I realised that because it was a big print with multiple colours that the dye may not take well so tried bleaching it. After two rounds of bleaching the colour of the dress was no different apart from a few faded patches and I had read that bleaching destroys the fibres of the fabric :-(.

However 2 dyes later I have a wearable dress! I finished a little early today so I tried to get some photos in what was left of the light...


I only realised that this has been ongoing for so long when I saw the photos and had had an interim haircut...


An outtake - I think someone came in the close at this point!
I must admit there are a few thngs I would tweak on this dress however nothing ~major. If I make this dress up again I definately will have to take some length out of the skirt - I cut out about an inch after I tried it on and even then took a huge hem. In addition I think i will also take an inch out of the waist - i prefer a slightly more snug fit. The final alteration I will make is to omit the sporran print fabric. I much prefer the black...

Has anyone else made up the Anna with the lining? I really prefer linings over facings I think the finish is so much neater.

Have a good week folks :-)

Jen xx

15 comments:

  1. Jennifer,
    you are looking beautiful !
    Sew pretty !
    Käthe

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    1. Thanks kathe :-) I grew to really quite like this dress!

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  2. It's lovely in black! Now I'm curious about this pattern.

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    1. I really like it - it's also easy to adjust the bodice for fit, just beware about the reeeeally long skirt :-)

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  3. Love your anna dress! Turned out really well for a first go too. I just need to hem mine which I have been putting off because I will also need to take a chunk off the length I think........maybe this weekend :)

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    1. Cheers! Yeh thats why I couldn't stand to leave it the way it was and had to dye it and get some wear out of the dress! I also had to be brave with the scissors on the hemline - if you look really closely at the bottom picture you can kind of see how much I took up on the hem even with the inch chopped off the bottom :-\

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    2. You will definitely get some wear out of it that's for sure. I always think if you have to looks carefully for a wonky hem you can just say it is straight!! 😀

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    3. Spesh when all you're doing is teaching 1st year uni students how to do maths I swear I could wear anything and no one would notice!!!

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  4. I love the Anna dress. It is flattering and such an easy sew. I happen to think that green print Anna is pretty darn cool.

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    1. I just couldn't handle it!! Potentially if i had shifted the bottom centre stripe over a little to align with the top one I may have liked it a bit more but realistically I was never going to wear it as it was :-(

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  5. The Anna pattern is simply beautiful! The front with the print vaguely reminded me of KTZ — too bad about the back situation :( … great save though!

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    1. Yeah there was really no other option for strange placement coz there wasn't enough fabric to get a good match all over! Hopefully I can make up another version without the questionable print!!

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  6. So cute! You did an amazing job making that dress. Really? I did like it with the funky print, but the dyed version suits you well!

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    1. Thanks :-) I thought the fabric as it was before was all sorts of disastrous so it just had to go :-(

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  7. Your blog is very GOOD and your blog is very useful. Keep sharing and posting.

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