2017 make 9 – first up By Hand London – Anna Dress

I’ll admit it’s been a while since I posted anything.  Blink and life takes over and you don’t realise.  In this case my day job has controlled my available time and other days after work I just don’t have the brain capacity.

This however, doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing.  Mostly I just haven’t got round to doing photos.

The first of my completed make nine for this year was the By Hand London Anna Dress.  Whilst when I first saw the pattern I wasn’t sure it was for me.  But it grew on me and after seeing a few different people’s version I was swayed.  I think what tipped me over the iceberg was Sian from Kittenish Behaviour’s Video of her Anna Dress Collection which can be found here.

I bought the pdf pattern and had it printed at the copy shop across the road from work for about $10 (mostly as the skirt pieces are maxi length and you pay by the length).  I found it was so much easier than cutting and sticking.  Living in a regional area of Australia pdf patterns are a godsend.  My practice is to trace each piece onto baking paper which i easily locate and buy.

The fabric was from the sale rack of Spotlight.  In the quilting section I think I paid $4 a metre and bought what was left.  It is a pink chambray with a purple fleck.

I am trying to focus on keeping to a jewel tone palate with my sewing.  That way I can mix and match, especially for work.

I made the midi version but added 3 inches to the length.  Other than that I didn’t make any other alterations.  After wearing it a few times I think next time I might do a sway back adjustment and a slight full bust adjustment.

So here is my finished garment (My other half needs training as a photographer), the dress is a little crinkled after being worn all day at work but I love it:

I have already completed a second version in navy floral poplin with a pleated skirt.  Photos will be on instagram (eventually).

Have you made an Anna?

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The “It Took Forever” Shirtdress

I must admit that I am a complete pattern hoarder.

In Australia, where I live, patterns from the Big 4 tend to retail starting around $10 and go up to around $35 for Vogue.  Every now and then Spotlight (which is the only place in the town I live in that sells patterns) has a sale when they are marked down considerably.  On those occasions I take my list of patterns I want and buy what I can.

I’ve had V9000 in my stash for a while.  Several of the girls in the Facebook group “Those Darn Sew and Sews” have made it up.

 

I bought some light blue gingham to sew it up in after seeing a shirtdress made by Draper James which is Reece Witherspoon’s label.

Southern belle: Reese Witherspoon wore a dress from her Draper James collection while posing with son Tennessee in an Instagram post on Monday

Photo credit: Reese Witherspoon Instagram

Whilst there are other patterns which are a closer match V9000 was a better style for my body.

I cut out my size and followed the instruction and it sewed up rather quickly and easily.

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Once I put it on the dressmakers dummy I didn’t like it.

I let it sit on the dummy for a while and tried all sorts of buttons white, pearl, shell and once I found some big navy buttons I started to like it.

I was looking at it one day when I had a light bulb moment and decided to add some colorful embroidery to it.

It took me a while to find a pattern that I liked but I stumbled on the pattern linked here.

 

After talking to my mum and having a quick lesson whilst visiting her on holidays I bought some thread, washaway and a frame and had a go.

I traced the design onto the washaway and pinned it in to place.

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I wanted the colour to stand out and outlined the design in a darker colour and then filled it in.

I wanted to use brighter contrasting colours to create more interest.

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I originally only planned on doing a back center piece and was then planning on putting a panel down the centre of each side of the bodice.  After I finished the back piece I decided I just wanted to put it on the shoulders rather than the centre.  It took about three months to do the embroidery and I am really pleased with it.

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All it needs now is a wash to get rid of the plastic washaway and whip up a belt.