Popular but not for me

I finally decided to try out the Anna Dress from By Hand London, I’ve seen lots of lovely examples of this and really thought it would look good on me too as it’s a classic look which is kind of my thing and a fairly easy make which is important in school holidays.

The fabric I chose was from deep stash and is an organic woven cotton which I had just enough of to make the dress.  This fabric has slubs and interesting bits of who knows what woven in, the colour isn’t my best but it was time to use it and now it’s spring some colour is called for.


It actually looks ok here, with me doing what I’ll be doing in it from day to day, but this really doesn’t show the full story.  I worked out pretty quickly that despite all the pretty pictures I’d seen this wasn’t going to fit me from the envelope.   I have a low bust and if I’d tried to make it as is the ladies would have been sitting about where the so called waist seam was.  As it was I dropped the bust point 3cm and although normally I would have then shortened below that area by 3cm to make up for that, this pattern has an exceedingly short waist; too long to be empire, too short to be anything flattering so I left that extra 3cm in it.

I also graded out from size 12 US bust to size 14 US waist and hip.  Going by measurements that was just right, however the back at the neck is too wide so I’m going to have to add darts in there.  I wasn’t sure if it was too big when I first made it, it’s hard to tell when you’re twisting around to see in the mirror, but my husband’s first comment was about it so it must be pretty bad!  I also feel like the bust pleats are too long and it’s not like I added any length in that part of the pattern, all my additions were above them.

I know lots of people love this pattern, but I definitely don’t.  I won’t be making it again even though I loved the little booklet that came with it (I bought it ages ago when they did paper patterns); the instructions were a little lacking too.   There’s no interfacing which would be needed with some fabrics and no seam grading either which is something that makes a huge difference to the finished project.

If you want more photos you can find some on my blog, Warming Crafts

11 thoughts on “Popular but not for me

    • If I loved it then I’d probably do this, but since it’s just going to for around the house I’m going quick and dirty so the darts will be the fix. I really hate unpicking, lol.


  1. Oh boo – sorry this did not work out. Thanks for the feedback on the pattern. I will avoid it as I have some of the same fit issues as you. Perhaps you can salvage the cute skirt?


  2. The fit at the back of the dress, on your blog site, looks rather good. Such a shame about the fit issues on the front bodice. I agree, it is probably too wide over the shoulders still, there is quite a bit of bunching fabric around the shoulders. Thanks for sharing, it’s always good to know the about the fit of different patterns. Thinking about it, the Anna dress sounds like the perfect fit for me; wide shoulders, short torso, high bust!


  3. This is a very useful honest post. I haven’t tried the pattern myself. I find my other half always gives me an idea what is wrong as well. They see differently which really helps. Its a shame you had so many fit issues. I love the photos by the way. Showing your normal life. I think people should do this more. The nice set up posh backgrounds are all very well but often its very difficult to have time to find places to do that and why not show our normal existance. Thats who we really are.


    • Thank you, I like to do my best to be honest online and how will people know if a pattern is good or not unless people show what really happened? On the photos, I’ve tried the glamour type shots but I always look seriously awkward, so real life works better; I’d never make a good model, lol!


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