By Hand London Anna dress

I bought the Anna dress pattern for $1 from the Fibres West garage sale and I could not have been more pleased as this is a pattern I’ve been wanting to make for years. Not sure why I didn’t buy the pattern before this, especially now I’ve made the dress.

I have made the dress as part of a challenge being run by @sewing_in_spain and @ooobop over on Instagram, where they are celebrating ten years of pattern making by Elisalix and her team.

The printed version of this pattern is a thing of beauty. It has the outside sleeve, an inner sleeve, tissue paper pattern and an instruction booklet.

It’s described as “an effortless dress featuring double pleats at the bust, grown-on 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.

It seemed to need a lot of fabric so I decided to start with the short version and did a little stash trawl. I found some lovely vintage (108cm wide) cotton that had belonged to my mother. There was about 4 metres so I figured I would get the dress out of that. In the end, it seemed to take very little fabric, mostly because I decided I wouldn’t attempt to pattern match. I made the size 10, but the waist is quite high, as were the bust pleats. I was able to drop the pleats by 1.5cm and they are now perfect, and I did think about cribbing 1cm from the waist seam but that would have entailed removing the invisible zip and I know I’d never get it back the same way, so left well enough alone. You can see the perfect seam alignment and invisible zip, but the less than perfect pattern matching.

It was an easy and quick dress to sew, although I did get confused between the seams on the skirt, even with the notches. I got there in the end though.

I feel as though the sleeves are a bit wide, but I do love the shape of the dress. Don’t look at my hair, these photos were taken straight after a swim.

I took quite a lot of photos, even adding a belt in an attempt to define my waist, but I like it better without.

Mine is shorter than it should be: I made a 10cm hem as I don’t enjoy skirts that hit just below my knees.

I’m not sure how fitted the dress should be, but mine is a bit big through the lower back. I’m pinching it out in the first photo.

Now I’ve made this dress I know it will be the first of many. I’ve already had a brief look in the stash and think the next one will be silk, but we will see.


8 thoughts on “By Hand London Anna dress

  1. Saw you first in this on IG, and immediately noticed your heels, which we don’t see you wearing very often! They’re very well suited for the BHL dress, and both look great on you!

    1. My feet don’t really like heels much any more, but I felt the dress needed them. I used to walk around all day in these at work a few years ago! Thank you so much!

  2. Nice to see your version, Sue! I’m making this pattern overt the weekend. Did you make size 10 US or UK? Hope mine looks as good as yours!

    1. I think US, whichever is bigger! I think I should go up to 12 and grade down to the waist. It also badly needs pockets, which I forgot to mention. I also suspect that the back facing had flipped out in some of the photos. I hand stitched the front down but will also do the back. Yours will look fabulous I know!

  3. Fabulous dress. Suits you very well Sue. I too concur about heels. I look forward to seeing future versions of the dress. I always enjoy your posts and envy the time you have, although you have always been busy sewing or knitting. I get to retire in a couple of years and look forward to the opportunities ahead.

    1. Thank you so much Liz. I have to say that hanging out in my sewing room is almost full time since I retired. It’s a wonderful way to spend your time. I’m sure there’ll be another dress come the summer.

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