Anna Dress - By Hand London

Woohoo! I finally have my own Anna Dress! I was drooling for months over all the wonderful versions found online. I traced it off the minute I picked it up from the mail, and within two days I had my very first Anna Dress. Why first? Because there will be many more to come. 

I consider this first version my wearable muslin. My measurements put me in a size 6/10. I cut it out and ,without any alterations, it fits perfectly. I love when that happens.

Now seeing myself in the pictures I don't think the quilting cotton makes it look too stiff, but I don't think I will make it again in this kind of fabric. It just calls for more drape. The stiff quilting cotton makes the sleeves stand out too much, which doesn't flatter my wide shoulders. But that is just a personal preference. I am also not too flattered about the length. It should be shorter. Next time I will make it either above knee or maxi length. Again, just a personal preference.

I will let my dress form model for the close up and the inside out view. Does anyone have an idea where to get a dress form stand from? Mine came without one, but also was dirt cheap because of that.

Something is off in this shot. The dress really isn't that crooked in real life.

All seams are finished with my serger. I thought the facing could have been a bit narrower. Something to change the next time. The side seams of the bodice should be finished before sewing the seams. It makes for a neater finish. 

It confused me a bit that they don't call for staystitching the neckline. Also there is no mentioning of understitching the facing. I did it anyway. Just a couple of things I have to put in my notes for the next version.

 Here a back view of the inside. Also the back seam is best finished before putting in the zipper. It is a very versatile and flattering dress. Easy and quick to make. 

I made already a second one in a polyester silk from JoAnn's, and are planning a maxi length version in cotton voile. Other ideas are adding a circle skirt. Oh, the possibilities!

Pattern Description:
An effortless dress featuring double pleats at the bust, kimono sleeves and a panelled a-line skirt. Variations include both slash and v-neck options, plus midi and maxi skirt possibilities and a dramatic thigh high split. Super quick and simple to make, cut it short for the perfect festival dress, or make it worthy of the red carpet with a maxi skirt and thigh high split. (from website)

Pattern Sizing:
2 - 16 (Bust 32" - 45")
I made a size 6 (true to my measurements)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, but I don't think I will make it again from quilting cotton. Rather stick to fabrics with some drape.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy instructions. There is a sew-along on their website Here

I was a bit surprised that there is no stay stitching of the neckline, or understitching of the facing.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
There is nothing to dislike

Fabric Used:
Quilting Cotton
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I understitched the facing (not mentioned in the instructions)
I would suggest finishing the seam allowances of the side seams before sewing the seam. Also finishing the back seam allowances before putting in the zipper. But that also depends on if one is lining the dress. 
No fitting alterations.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I highly recommend this pattern. It is very versatile (one could add another kind of skirt, like many have), and easy and quick to make. Very beginner friendly with a great outcome.

I see many more Anna dresses in my future


Liebster Award

I feel honored to be nominated for a Liebster Award by Carrie from Crafted by Carrie. Thank you so much!
People actually read my blog?? It feels great to be part of the sewing blog world.

Rules of the Liebster Award:
  1. Thank Carrie 
  2. Answer her question
  3. Nominate a few small-ish blogs for the award (the recommended number of blogs seems to vary dramatically as well as how many followers constitutes a ‘small’ blog)
  4. Submit questions for them to answer in a post

What is your favorite garment you’ve made? 
 This is a tough one since I've made so many dresses I love. But the one piece I am proud of the most is my Alabama Chanin Style Reverse Applique Top. Blogged here.
It took many hours of hand stitching, and to think that I made it literally by hand makes me think of it as my one couture piece.

Do your friends/family know about your blog?
 Yes, they do. And I never get tired to pester them with the newest update by posting it to my Facebook wall :)

 What’s your biggest pet peeve? 
  A lunging line not hung up correctly and the dish soap on the kitchen counter.

Share 5 things about yourself that others probably don’t know. 
1. I rarely make my bed in the mornings
2. I used to paint on silk as a teenager
3. I daydream about being a singer
4. I tap danced for three years when I was a teen
5. I can shoot a bow and throw knives

What is your favorite period in fashion, and why? 
That would be the 50's with all their petticoat and circle skirt goodness.

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of and why? 
I am most proud of my masters degree in horse training. So many people along the way told me I could never get there. That I wasn't good enough and didn't have any talent. Luckily I found people who believed in me and saw some talent, and helped me to train and work hard to reach that goal.

What three things would you buy first if you won the lottery? 
1. A horse property with indoor and outdoor arena, big fields, and modern barns.
2. The new Bernina 780 or 880. 
3. Lots of Rainforest, that nobody can chop it down anymore.

What quality in a friend is most important to you, and why?
Honesty. No relationship can work if it is build upon lies. Honesty is a foundation for trust. The worst thing is to find out to have been lied to. Another thing would be respect (if I may mention two important things). Again, a relationship without respect for each other just doesn't work. With everything it works both ways. If only one person puts these things in it will fall apart eventually.

My questions:

1.What do you most like to sew, and why?
2. What is your favorite period in fashion, and why?
3. Name one guilty pleasure of yours.
4. What is your favorite music, and do you play an instrument, what do you listen to while sewing?
5. Name three of your favorite books.
6. Share 5 things about yourself that others probably don't know.
7. Share your favorite quote/ poem.
8. What accomplishment in sewing are you most proud of?

My nominations:

1. Zibergirl sews
2. Stitched up from the start


Hawthorn Dress by Colette Patterns

This pattern was on my wishlist for a long time, so I was very happy to find it under the Christmas tree. I was visiting my older sister and her family on Bainbridge Island, WA over Christmas/New Years, and  they have a very nice fabric shop where I found this most amazing Italian Cotton on sale. I knew right away it would be perfect for this dress. It is lightweight with a beautiful drape. It is a black and purple herringbone weave. It shimmers differently depends on which way one looks at it. Very tough to photograph.

It looks good with petticoat...

...and without. Although I prefer the petticoat look.

The only change I made is I didn't interface the collar. Otherwise I made a size 2 without any alterations.

 All seams besides the waist seam are finished with black rayon seam binding. The waist seam is serged. I forgot why I didn't use the seam binding here as well.

Pattern Description: 
A semi-circle skirt provides volume without the extra bulk of pleats or gathers at your waist, so you get a clean, streamlined look that's still beautifully feminine. The bodice is fitted with waist darts, while still providing just enough room to keep things comfortable.

Pattern Sizing:
0 - 18 (Bust 33" - 46")
I made a size 2 according to my bust measurement and it fits perfectly.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very thorough and easy to follow instructions. They also offer a Sew-Along

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Nothing to dislike about this pattern

Fabric Used:
Italian Cotton in purple/black, lightweight, very nice drape

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't interface the collar

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I did already sew it again, and I highly recommend this pattern.

Love this dress!

On my playlist


Butterick 5882

The glorious Butterick 5882! I can finally add my version to the Blogosphere. As always the last one on the train. But that's okay. Gives me lots and lots of inspiration to look at all the versions before I start my own. I actually bought this pattern long time ago when it was on sale at Hancock Fabrics for $2.99. Who doesn't love a bargain!

The fabric is Kaufman Essex Linen Blend La Femme. I knew immediately that I wanted this dress in this color combination, and I love the result. I am wearing a petticoat in this picture. The skirt really needs a petticoat, otherwise it just hangs there all sad.

A little droopy looking skirt without the petticoat.

Detail of the shelf folding. It is easier than it looks. There was some confusion about how Gertie meant the straps to be folded. I've seen some versions where the straps are folded differently (including Gertie's own version), but I stuck to the original design.

The bodice is lined with Polyester Crepe Back Satin. Leftover from my Colette Truffle Dress.

 The seam allowances are finished with rayon seam binding in cream. The boning has cotton casing and is sewn to the lining, as seen here.

 And here some action shots:

Pattern Description:
Lined dress has bias shoulder straps extending into band, bias pleated bra with stay, princess seams, close-fitting, boned bodice, inside belt, and back zipper.
Pattern Sizing:
4 - 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very clear step by step instructions. I had no problems. Inserting the boning was no problem.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the bust shelf style, and the swishy skirt
Fabric Used:
Kaufman Essex Linen Blend La Femme
Polyester Crepe back satin for lining of bodice
Metal wire boning with cotton casing
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a straight size 10 without any fitting alterations. I didn't line the skirt.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would sew it again, and recommend it, provided one likes the style.
I love my new dress and have worn it already. It is very comfortable.


Projects in the making

I have tons of dresses to blog about, but no decent picture without a sunburned face. While I am waiting for my face to have a somewhat normal color again I will share a couple of projects I am working on right now.

This is my first paper piecing project. It is very confusing at times. But I think I got the hang of it now. It will be a pillow for one of my nephews. Four more to go, with other pictures of course.

This is what it will look like in the end, I hope.

I used to do quite a lot of cross stitching when I was like 13, and I always thought I would like to do it again. This is a really nice project for that, since it is spread out over a year it doesn't feel overwhelming to do besides all my other sewing projects.

I am using a Q-Snap frame and have to say it is so much nicer than the normal round embroidery hoops.

This one is a surprise! More on it later.