Sewing Indie Month: Everyday Casual – The Anna Dress

Having chased good photo weather around for the last few days, we finally had some sun! So here is my very first Anna dress, by By Hand London. And I am in love.
To begin with, I was a very good sewist.
Why yes, that is the original pattern, un-cut on the left. Yes, I finally got over my fear/laziness, and traced the pattern out. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I had expected! I will be doing it for all my patterns from now on.
Now onto the actual item:
I really love how this dress turned out. The pattern was beautiful to work with, I adored how simple it was, and yet it looks so elegant once made up. I love dresses, but I can find them to be a little too much of a hassle to actually deal with. But not the Anna dress. It wears beautifully, and the day I finished it I wore it out around town (under a very thick coat and with opaque tights, but still!)
Instead of trying to hem any of the pieces, I went with bias binding for the sleeve openings and hem.
I really like how it turned out – the red brings out the red-orange of the background fabric; I was originally a little worried as I haven’t worked with bias binding all that much, but it was a dream to attach – even better in my mind is that the fabric and the bias binding are both vintage, so they go together nicely!
I also used bias binding on the edge of the neck facing internally, and french seamed all seams.
Not only does it mean it is ultra-tidy on the inside, I always feel it wears a little better with french seams.
I adore the bust pleats on this pattern, and it makes me very happy that I chose it – having a comparatively narrow waist to bust, often I find the waist on a dress too big or the bust too small – but the Anna accommodates that incredibly well. As this dress was a wearable muslin for my second Sewing Indie Month project, I was expecting to make some changes to the bust area, but no need! I can sew this pattern straight as it is and it fits brilliantly. For someone with G cups who is used to having to alter bust darts/pleats, I was ecstatic! I did note that if I want to french seam I need to cut the seams with a little extra allowance, but that is pretty standard with french seaming.
The only issue I had with sewing this piece didn’t come from the pattern, but from my own inexperience – I’ve never been good at lining up zips and this was no exception. So while the back waist seam lines up, there’s about 0.5cm difference between the top necklines at the back; it doesn’t bother me too much as with waist length hair since you can’t see it, but I am going to work on my zip work insertion over the next couple of months and get it down pat.
I adored sewing this dress, and there will be many, many more stocking my wardrobe no doubt!
And I hope all my readers appreciate my photos – it was 9degC when I took these (That’s 48degF – not exactly warm!) Hence the overly red cheeks!
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