I’ve had the Anna dress pattern from By Hand London for quite some time now. Ever since their kickstarter campaign, actually. This is not unusual for me. I very often get patterns when they’re on sale and then forget about them until I get a wave on inspiration. I don’t know how I managed to miss the International Anna Party. And let Anna swish by in my instagram feed for years. But seeing this month’s challenge was just enough motivation to get my butt in gear.
First of all, I can’t believe it took me this long! This dress is UBER easy to make. Fitting is a breeze if your boobs are average sized. But with their adjustment tutorials it would also make it very easy. I knew I would have to do a low bust adjustment, which is normal for me. I first did a quick tissue fit and added 1.5 centimetres above the bust pleats and lengthened the back as well by the same amount in the same place. I did a quick toile of the top after that and found that they had to be lowered a bit more, I think by 2 cm. I didn’t fit it again after the second adjustment, I just cut right into my fabric.
I followed all of the instructions in the booklet, as it was my first time making the dress. I referred to the sew along post about finishing the dress because the instructions and illustrations didn’t look very clear about what should be done with the facing when you insert the zipper, as the instructions have you attach the facing before you add the zip. The sew along instructions clear that right up.
After inserting the zip and finishing the back seam, I tried it on and saw that the back fit terribly! It wasn’t very flattering from the side at all! And thankfully I referred to the sew along because it showed how to easily fix a gaping neckline. I just took it further by pinching out the whole back seam. I put it on and pinned it and marked where the pins were with chalk. Luckily this worked because I did it by myself. So I unpicked the zip and positioned the teeth on the chalk marks. It fit a lot better after that, but still not ‘like a glove,’ as there is a bit of scrunching at the back. Someone on Instagram told me that the bodice looks a tad long, so maybe I just need to shorten it a little bit.
Other than that, the construction went along quite well. I serged all the seams with green thread which looks fabulous. Oh, I almost forgot, I accidentally cut off part of the underarm while serging, so I had to restitch it, but you can’t tell. Next time I think I’ll use a french seam instead. Yes, there will definitely be a next time!
Pattern: By Hand London Anna dress, Variation 3
Fabric: 100% cotton
Notions: 55cm invisible zipper, thread
Adjustments: lengthened the bodice, took 2cm out of the centre back