A Springtime Anna Dress

So just desperately trying encourage Spring to come out and say hello, with this little make. So bored and tired of the seemingly never-ending British winter!

And this make was a little bit unusual for me, in that I have been very much ‘off’ floral patterned fabrics for some time. So this feels somewhat out of my comfort zone… but I couldn’t help but fall in love with the fabric when it appeared on the Guthrie & Ghani website. You know, *that* feeling when you emotionally connect with a fabric and would do anything including selling your vital organs just to buy it. Yeah, that feeling.

The fabric was as pretty IRL as it was on the website. It is a crepe with a tiny bit of stretch to it. I was a little thrown off by this to start with… questioning – is it a woven or a knit… what patterns would work for this, given that it has a tiny bit of stretch etc etc. I contacted Guthrie & Ghani to ask, who helpfully replied advising to sew as a woven. I was still a little bit unsure of the perfect pattern, given that it had the bit of stretch to it. I guess my vision when I ordered the fabric was a tea dress, with my new Topshop black biker jacket over the top – probably inspired by some fancy Pinterest photo.

After much umming and erring, I decided on a By Hand London Anna Dress as the pattern this fabric was destined to make. I have made this before (here), and previously cut a straight size 8. Now, since then, a fair about has happened in life – including birthing a child and eating all of the cake. So my body isn’t quite what it used to be! But I decided to cut the same size, after trying my other version on, and it feeling kind of ok. Plus, with my fabric having that little bit of stretch to it, I thought making a size that tiny bit smaller might actually help the fabric work with the pattern.

I did make some quite big alterations to the neckline of the Anna Dress. I know it is supposed to be a wide cut neckline, but I have very narrow shoulders – so neck gape is a problem I’m used to fixing on almost every dress/top that I make. However, this neckline needed quite a lot taking out to make it fit. But so pleased that I did! It fits so nicely now.

BHL are one of my all-time favourite indie pattern designers – and I am so pleased that bought their paper patterns way back when they used to print them. Because they are all of the heart eyes. The Anna is great for beginners too – no sleeves to insert, and the trickiest part is probably inserting the invisible zipper. So it was a fairly quick make – yes to this!

The fabric, however, was a bit of a headache through the making process. Mostly because it didn’t press very easily, but did burn easily (!), and the fabric pattern leaked onto my ironing board. It was definitely a wrestling match at times – and I used a lot of hand basting and pins to help keep this fabric in check. And newsflash – I’m really getting into handstitching. I used to avoid this at all costs. But now I’m a bit excited to do even a bit of hand-basting or blind slipstitching. I’ve discovered the zen in sewing by hand – took me a while.

Anyway, hope you like this dress as much as I do. I want to wear it all the time now! I’ve included a photo with me wearing my biker jacket with the dress, which was my vision before I even started making it.

Hope you are all getting some Easter sewing in guys! And eating all of the chocolate… I know I am!

Pattern: Anna Dress, By Hand London

Fabric: Stretch crepe from Guthrie & Ghani

Size made: 8

Alterations made: Fix for gapey neckline on front and back bodice


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