Like many people, I eagerly await the release of new patterns, despite the fact that I don’t often buy them. But I have to say that when By Hand London’s latest pattern, Anna, was released, I was totally underwhelmed. Not that I’m a whiz at marketing or anything, but please explain the logic behind making up your sample in black, a colour that is oft proclaimed as the most difficult colour to photograph. How do you expect us to see the design lines? And there are no technical drawings to be found anywhere on the site. Maybe something to look into, as I know from musings around the web that I’m not the only person who this bothers. For anyone still wondering, consider this a gift from me to you:
Anyway, moving right along, it turns out that this pattern is supremely flattering. I think its beauty lies in its simplicity and from memory it was Jane’s version that brought me round (it wouldn’t be the first time one of her makes has made me do a complete 180 on a pattern!). I think I may have made a beeline straight from Jane’s blog to Sew Squirrel and pressed ‘purchase’ :p
So here is my version! And just in case you haven’t heard, yes this pattern is bloody brilliant! Not only does it yield lovely results, it fit me without a single adjustment! Yay for that!
This isn’t quite what I had in mind, but damn, I am in LOVE! Initially I had planned a white bodice with the skirt made in a blue and white stripey viscose from my stash, running vertically, but I was just short and when I went back to Darn Cheap Fabrics looking for more there was none to be found. Boo :( But you may have heard- spring’s in town- and when I saw this lime green (you say chartreuse, I say lime green, I’m down to earth like that) viscose, I thought it a perfectly seasonal and awesome alternative! It does make for a slightly kinky rear view:
….oops, sorry ‘bout that (but since I’m not going to see it, it will most likely stay this way), but it has such swishability:
Honestly, I just want to swan about in this thing :)
So I suppose I should give you a few particulars. I made variation 1 (see above for description, I don’t need to re-type that, yo). My fellow bloggers weren’t kidding when they said the original skirt length was designed for an Amazonian! I’m 165cm/ 5’4” or thereabouts, and I took 18cm off the skirt length. Happily I figured this all out before buying fabric & avoided adding half a metre of green fabric to my stash :) If I make the maxi length again I’d probably only take 15cm off as this has a very narrow hem & I’d like it a bit longer so I could wear it with higher wedges. For the record the shoes I’m wearing here have a 4cm sole.
The bodice is fully lined which I did for 2 reasons. The first being that it means I don’t have to finish all those seams and the second being that any white fabric can do with a lining.
Originally both the outside and the lining were a light viscose twill, but that was still a bit sheer, so I took a trip to Tessuti to find some good oil. I ended up with the most beautiful Italian stretch cotton (whites aint whites) and lo! it was 50% off! Lucky I didn’t realise that before paying for it as I could have gone a bit berserk!
And lastly, if like me, you choose to sew your skirt seams with French seams, do make sure you sew the seam with the split the opposite way round:
I know it’s elementary, but hey, I was on a skirt seam sewing roll and I wasn’t thinking, ok?!! And I’m the one who had to unpick it, not you!
That’s about it really, so let me end this post in the same way that all Anna first-timers do- THERE WILL BE MORE! And then some :)