*Peeks in and opens the door slowly*
Hello there! This is my very first post on The Monthly Stitch. Indie Pattern month was announced in the midst of my planning a By Hand London Anna dress to wear on my SIL’s wedding. What perfect timing that a contest is announced centering around the dress I was about to get working on!
We were told of the wedding in February and my first response was obviously “What’s the dress code? I need to know what to make!” When that important matter was taken care of I of course congratulated them and wished them well. The Anna wasn’t my first choice, however as I thought about what I wanted to make, I decided to focus on an easier dress and instead paying more attention to details, finishing and fit rather than fiddling with Frankenpatterns and not knowing what to expect. I was drawn to the Anna and every version I’ve seen is lovely and flattering so ahead I went!
This year I’m focusing a lot on sustainability so I bought an organic cotton satin. It was a dream to work with, pressed easily and held the shape. The fabric recommendations is 2.5 m for the short version, I bought 2.7 to be on the safe side and account for shrinking, still I have one metre to spare (which was lucky since I accidentally cut a notch in the fold of the centre front skirt. Oops!). Very generous fabric recommendation. I used interfacing for the facings (the instructions don’t call for it, they just leave the facings in fabric) and a 55 cm invisible zipper down the back.
So, as I said, I paid extra attention to fit and finishing. Based on my measurements, the sizes measurements and the finished garment’s measurements I cut the size US10 and sewed the side seams with 1 cm seam allowance as opposed to the 1.5 cm SA included. Before I started to sew I did a stay-stitch on the neckline to prevent it from stretching. I made a 2 cm FBA (1 cm per side), based on the tutorial during BHL’s sewalong. This worked very well for me, but I’ve read that if you need an FBA larger than 2.5 cm (1”) this method is not very successful. Basically a horizontal bust dart was added. The instructions were easy to follow and I liked the tips they had added throughout the booklet. The only thing that left me puzzled was that there were no instructions to understitch the facing, rather they would be kept in place with some hand stitches in the back and on shoulder seams. I did an understitch to secure the facing.
I hand stitched the sleeve hems and the full hem with catch stitch. Tedious work but it does looks lovely! I used a piece of crocheted (but store-bought) lace just to make it pretty. Hardly anyone will see it, but I know it’s there. I did French seams all over (expect the zipper and attaching the bodice and skirt of course) to make it beautiful on the inside as well.
I was worried that the dress would look a bit “naked” on its own, but I still wanted to let the design line and simplicity speak for themselves. I wanted to wear a purse in gold as well as the white hair piece I wore to my own wedding, thus making my colour scheme blue, white and gold. I added a necklace and bracelet, both were given to me by my husband, but still something was missing. Needing something simple to bring the whole look together, I made a bow belt, as taught by Tilly and The Buttons and voila! The simplistic look I was going for was achieved. I’m actually quite proud of myself for keeping a theme throughout the look.
The wedding is on June 28, I will make sure to cut my hair before that. Otherwise I’m pretty set for my sister-in-law’s big day and I’m quite confident that my dress is unique in style.
Whew! Premier posts is over, let’s hope for many more to come!
Read more on my blog By Eitchy.