Friday, November 29, 2013

Take a Holiday

I don't have a holiday planned anytime soon but I am now the proud owner of a holiday dress. Just as good? Maybe not. Especially not as look at the strange spots in the navy background that appeared after washing this fabric. Hopefully everyone is just going to look at the cute deck chairs and not notice...

So this is of course the By Hand London Anna Dress pattern. Size US16, Slash Neck and Midi Length and made up in "Take a Holiday" cotton poplin from Spotlight. Just to practice, I french seamed this dress and I am really taken with how neat it looks. 

I was wrangling with the neck facings on this dress when I saw Amy's latest beautiful Anna and read that she used bias binding on the neckline. I promptly ripped off the facing and used some ready made bias binding I had. So glad I did as it feels nicer and lighter than my muslin's neckline. That is important with Summer being one day away.

Not to confuse anyone, I am wearing an underskirt here. 

Also, yes, this is my backyard.

I spent ages pattern matching these chairs on each panel until I got to the last one and ran out of fabric! A bit heartbreaking. My next Anna will be in a solid colour! Well, nearly, it is black with hot pink spots! 

I just cant stop thinking about making Anna Dresses!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Magic of Anna

I have long admired the Anna Dress by independent pattern company, By Hand London, from afar, wondering how does one dress look so amazing and flattering on so many ladies with differing body shapes! I was hoping she could do the same for me, and you know what, I think she looks pretty good! 

I bought 3 metres of this quilting cotton years ago and blue and pink paisley print isn't normally my style so it must have been very cheap. I chose to use it for my muslin as the calico I have needed washing. This proves Anna must be a bit magic because I think I have a wearable dress here! I even wore it in public today and nobody said to go home and change into something wearable.

I cut the US Size 16 of Variation 3, slash neck with midi skirt, with no pattern alterations and it fits very well. I did not have the gaping back neckline problem as some others have mentioned but I will lower the front neckline slightly on my next version as it feels a bit constrictive. Oh, and I did have a bit of bother with the front facing being smaller than the bodice which left me with a few nasty puckers which I had to cajole out. 

With this dress, I did go up a level from previous efforts at pattern matching. I sorted out the vertical pattern but forgot about the horizontal effect. So now I have kissing paisleys in the middle there...what kind of kissing I would rather not say...

I think the magic of this dress pattern is all in these bodice pleats. When posed the question "If you were granted one magic power, what would it be?" you wouldn't think that someone would say, the power to pleat most advantageously...well I think the ladies at By Hand London did, and the wish came true! I know I am taking this all a bit too far but geez, this dress is just so great.

I followed the very clear instructions as stated except I understitched the facings to help them lie flat. I have not inserted too many zips and have shied away from fastenings in general so I was up to the zip part when I went to my weekly sewing class. My lovely teacher, Carol, babied me through the process and it ended up being different from the method outlined in the instructions. When I make my next version I will photograph the steps for this method and include instructions. 

Happy, proud me!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I read my Bloglovin line up most days so it is a bit special to me that people could follow my blog there too. Just click on the Bloglovin icon down to the right there and voila! 

2 weeks and this is all I come up with?!