By Hand London Anna

The Anna Dress, from By Hand London was one of those patterns that I thought I would make eventually, but hadn’t had the right fabric/pattern inspiration yet.  What comes first for you?  For me, I usually have a bunch of patterns floating around in my head that I am waiting for inspiration to make…I see a certain fabric and bam!  Inspiration strikes.  Or sometimes I see something in RTW on Pinterest or whatever, and I see immediately a pattern that will work, and then go on a mad fabric search.  It can be hard when I have something very specific in mind.  Usually I move on to something else until I can find a good match.  I very rarely start with the fabric first- but that is what happened here.DSC_0014 I was contacted by a company called Organic Cotton Plus, asking if I would like to try some of their fabric.  I had a look at their website and there was so much to choose from I said yes (free fabric- are you kidding?  Of course I said yes!)  I immediately gravitated towards the organic cotton sateen- there were lots of great prints and solids but I was drawn to these pretty flowers.  It is super soft and drapey, and I decided it had to be an Anna Dress.  I sat down to order the pattern and discovered it was sold out.  Everywhere.  After much Googling and scouring the interwebs I put out a plea on Instagram and heard back from Grey’s Fabric that she had a few copies in stock, yay!  DSC_0073I made a quick muslin of the bodice because I haven’t sewn a By Hand London pattern before, and to my shock it fit perfect.  I didn’t change a thing for this version!  I didn’t even have the problem with the back gaping, as a lot of others have…I guess they made this one just for me 😉DSC_0040This dress uses A LOT of fabric, I had two yards of this 110″ wide fabric and it was plenty, but not enough to try any real pattern matching.  I think that would have been a headache I wouldn’t be willing to endure even if I had more fabric, honestly.

So, I don’t sew a whole lot of dresses, and haven’t sewn an invisible zipper in a looooong time.  I looked up some tutorials and ended up following the one at Lladybird for the most part.  It wasn’t too bad actually!  I hand basted the part where the waistline meets up and it all matched up pretty easily.DSC_0024I went with a not-quite thigh high split…it’s sort of hard to see when standing still but looks cool when I am walking, I think.  I wasn’t going to- but ended up hand stitching the split and the sleeve hems…and machine stitched the bottom hem because I was very much over the hand stitching by then. 😉  I sewed the hem with a little 1/4″ beige ribbon, and think it looks really clean and pretty.DSC_0027I cut 7″ off the hem, and then quickly realized that was probably a bit too much.  Yikes.  It was saved for the most part by the little 1/4″ hem, but next time I will probably add another inch or two back to the length.  I think on a long dress like this you definitely need someone to help with figuring out the length for the hem!DSC_0089 Here’s the hand finished split and the ribbon hem.  I finished all of the seams by serging the edges and pressing flat.DSC_0094The inside of the bodice- nothing fancy here, just serged the edges but I think it actually looks pretty clean.

DSC_0015I am very happy with this project!  The fabric is dreamy, if you are looking for nice quality organic fabric there is much goodness to be found over at Organic Cotton Plus.  I would definitely order from them in the future.  And, after this experience with By Hand London I will most definitely be sewing up more of their patterns!  I have the Flora dress pattern and the Victoria Blazer– I especially want to make that one!

  • You look gorgeous! What a fantastic dress!

  • Just beautiful. If I were certain the fit would be as easy on me I would bump the Anna up a few notches on my must sew list!

    • Kelly

      Thanks! It’s a pretty quick sew as far as dresses go, you should give it a try! It was quick to do a muslin of just the bodice to check the fit.

  • Great summer maxi! Love the fabric!

  • oh, i love this dress on you! the anna looks great in that print, glad you were able to track down the pattern!

  • Stunning!! Love your fabric choice! And now I definetely need that pattern! 🙂

    • Kelly

      Thanks Trine! I can definitely see you in this dress!

  • kim

    oh my!! the perfect combination of pattern and fabric…..truly lovely!!

    • Kelly

      Thanks so much Kim!

  • I love big prints – and so often there aren’t enough patterns to really get the most out of such a fabric. Anna delivers! Love this dress 🙂

    • Kelly

      Thanks! Yeah the big print is definitely stepping out of my usual style, but I like it for this dress!

  • This fabric is simply fabulous !

  • Lovely! The fit truly is perfect on you.

  • This is a perfect matching of fabric and pattern – just lovely!

  • Lovely fabric choice!!! Beautiful dress!

  • Gosh this suits you so well! Just dreamy and perfectly summery. I’ve been waiting for the right fabric to make up Anna too, and I love the high neckline version too. Lovely work me lady!

    • Kelly

      Your Anna will be gorgeous I’m sure! I have seen a couple perfect fabrics for this pattern but they were expensive, and it takes a lot of fabric so I haven’t jumped on them yet…

  • oooo it’s so pretty on you! that slit, wow hotness!

    • Kelly

      haha, thanks Kristin 🙂

  • Gorgeous dress — so elegant!

    • Kelly

      Thanks Katie!

  • I love this dress! And, I love that you didn’t have to make any alterations. How do you think it would work on someone with a big bust? 🙂 Kate

  • Wow! I would be happy with this project too. I love the silhouette!