I bought myself a couple of independent patterns at the beggining of the year and am now slowly working my way through them, resisting the temptation to buy more (damn you Coco and Flora, amongst others). The Anna dress from By Hand London has been on my wish list for a short while because I love its shape. It has an uber feminine shape but makes a change from my usual variations on a circle skirt (which I will always love!).
I know there has been a ton of bloggy interest around this dress already, much of it, you know, when it was first released, but I don't really care if I'm "coming late to the party" or not, I just like making nice things and sharing them with you :D
I picked out two cottons from my (new) local fabric stall in the town centre, this red one and a black and white length too. Both were destined to become Anna's from the start.
Sidebar- this is why I don't really have a 'stash' of fabric- almost everything I buy has a specific end garment in mind, so there isn't the opportunity to 'shop my own stash' and come up with new ideas, but I can pick from the range of pre-planned projects I have stashed away. Anyhoo- back to Anna.
Anna was a long project for one main reason, I decided to do a Hong Kong finish on the skirt seams to give it a really neat look- but do the maths with this dress. The skirt is made from 7 panels. Which means there are 14 raw edges to bind before I even got to sew them together. This took up almost 10m of (thankfully, pre-made) bias binding. Now, this did take forever, but I can't lie to you, now that it is finished, I don't care how long it took- I love it! It looks amazing and so neat! I often go on about being a lazy seamstress, and liking quick projects with instant gratification, but once in a while it's nice to take your time with something and produce an item you are truly proud of. The bodice was finished with French Seams, much quicker!
I cut a size 14, based on my measurements, which fits pretty nicely. I shortened the skirt by three inches and the bodice by one inch to accommodate my petite hight. The skirt shortening was a good call, but the change to the bodice means the waist is now an inch above my natural waist line, so I'll not bother with that alteration in the future.
Oh, and I almost forgot! Check out my first invisible zip! Can you see it! I promise it's there ;)
I'm really please with this dress; the finish, the shape, all of it! I finished it just over a week ago and have worn it two or three times since (ok, three times definitely, but shhh). I will certainly be making more Anna's in the future- kinda have to to justify paying £14 for a pattern, but seeing as this dress is awesome (!) I mind less.