Last year, during Indie Pattern Month, I did my first post here on The Monthly Stitch. It was an Anna dress I’d sewed for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Now, I’m back with another Anna.
Another thing you should know is that one of the most Swedish holidays is Midsummer. It is expected to sit outside for as long as possible, in younger days that was until sunrise at around 4 am, now it’s usually to midnight. For this occasion a maxi dress is perfect and last year at midsummer I started dreaming of a green maxi Anna/By Hand London to wear for midsummer with a dark wash denim jacket. It was also how I styled it the first time I wore it and I loved the look! A thrifted necklace and a thrifted belt completed the outfit.
Even though I did make the dress last year, I have lost some weight since and had to re-fit the dress, which was quite a challenge. I traced a US8, added a 2″ FBA, shortened the pleats 3 cm (mixing imperial and metric in the process) and lengthened the front bodice 2 cm in the centre front, grading to 0 cm at the side seam. It still feels like the waist rides up a little, but I can live with that, I hope. The belt is also a bit too large, so it doesn’t help to keep the waist in place.
The pattern is fairly easy to put together, the big challenge is to keep track of all the skirt pieces as they are fairly similar, but still different. 3.5 metres are recommended for the maxi version, but I got away with using 3 metres (and then I had to cut one skirt piece twice as the serger took a chunk out of it). The fabric is a cotton gingham with 3% elastane, so nice and comfortable to wear. There’s an invisible zip in the back, which is a bit too short, since I must pull the dress over my head instead of stepping into it, which I had preferred. I do find it a bit hard to keep the facings in place, even with under-stitching and a lot of pressing. And speaking of the facings, I do find it odd that we aren’t told to under-stitch, the suggestion is optional top-stitching, and then install the facing before the zipper. I chose to ignore this and did under-stitch them and installed them after the zipper. I also stay-stitch the neckline in order to keep it from stretching.
My main attraction to this dress comes from its being fitted in the waist and flaring out, it’s such a flattering silhouette. It is also a distinct silhouette, so I don’t know how many Annas I can have in my wardrobe (which is two, but one wearable). If I were to make it again I would probably need more fitting alterations in the bodice and I’m not sure how well I can make them. Until then, I have other patterns to try and a Midsummer to spend in my new Anna dress. Skål!
More information, including which drinks I plan to drink in this dress, can be found on my blog, By Eithcy.