November 26, 2013

BHL Anna

I'm always far, far behind the cool kids in the sewing blogging world.  The first By Hand London Anna dress that I saw had me gasping.  Of course, Lizzy is a little wisp of a thing and I am not - so I didn't buy the pattern.  Then, I saw Karen's first Anna, followed quickly by her second, and then another favorite blogger made a spotty one and I was sold.  Add to that all the variations of Anna that Roisin has made and I had to have it.  (I might have also bought the Elisalex pattern).

I then decided to make this my November make for Make a Garment a Month.  Of course, early in November I made some easy dresses - that have been worn and photographed but not blogged.  I started by tracing the pattern and made a muslin.  I decided that I needed to add a smidge to the hips and started looking for some fabric to make this with.  I also had to lower the bust tucks by 1/2".  And I took a 1" sway back adjustment at the upper back ala Nancy Zieman.  The waist seam feels like it falls in a good place and doesn't need to be moved at all. 

I found a lovely paisley cotton and set about cutting out a dress.  Imagine my disappointment when there wasn't enough fabric for a dress.  So, instead - I made Anna into a top.  And honestly - I'm glad I did.  I think the center back panels need to be straightened slightly on the center back.  All of the skirt panel pieces are shaped like triangles - flaring toward the floor, but at the center back it's getting a weird flare that I don't care for. 

 Oh - I was totally mixing prints in this outfit too.  Not that you can tell, but the skirt is brown pinstriped.

Wearing the top all day and looking at the photos, I think the 'smidge' that I added (1/4" on all skirt seams - 14 seams in all added 3.5") might have been a bit too much.  I have already cut a dress out - but I think I'll take the 1/4" addition off the center front and leave it everywhere else - as well as straighten that center back seam.

So - what do you think?  Do you love Anna?  Have you jumped on the By Hand London bandwagon? 

My photographer has been listening to Carolyn and telling me to act like a runway model and stand up straight.  of course he always snaps the photo when I'm goofing off. 

For the record - the arms look tight in this photo, but they are not.  They are lose and I have full range of motion with no binding anywhere. 

I felt cute and sassy most of the day.  But I think this top/dress might have the ability to look 'maternity'.  I'm hoping taking that smidge back out of the center front panels will help alleviate that. 

I might have to consult with Lynne's Fashion Consultant because when I see these photos I feel dumpy and that's not how I want to feel. 

Enough blabbering.  Happy Holidays Everyone! 


  1. Looking great. Love the fabric. If I were you I would keep the tightness of the waist a little longer - if you know what I mean. You don't look dumpy at all.

  2. Now that I have looked at some of your links I can see it has a waist seam so maybe that is not a possibility. I just think it needs to skim you more.

  3. It looks great as a top!!!! Nice work! I haven't been tempted by the Anna dress yet, but it really is a nice shape on you.

  4. I love this as a top. It looks like a great office wear piece :)

  5. I agree, the pattern makes a good-looking top. The fabric and colors look great on you.

  6. Good for you, switching to a top when the dress didn't work out. Sometimes we get stuck with the original idea and can't see beyond it.

  7. I like the fabric; it looks really nice with the brown skirt. It's a nice looking top. If you're worried about it looking too "maternity", maybe a belt that matches your boots or skirt would help that?

    Happy Thanksgiving, G!

  8. Great job making a top that works for you. I think taking the extra out will be a good thing. I have not jumped to the bandwagon but I am sitting there ready to do it, after the holiday shopping I will! Can't wait to see your dress.

  9. I think you - and the top - look marvelous! Of course, I haven't touched my sewing machine in 10 months, except to move it from one spot to another, so I can't answer any of your questions.

  10. This dress looks as though it would be very full, so it's worked out well, that you could only make a top. It is nice looking, and I think if you take in the front, any suggestion of maternity tummy will go.

  11. I really like the Anna as a top.. You do not look dummpy at all.. I think it really looks good on you.. Happy sewing. and look forward to seeing it in a dress form too . Happy sewing.

  12. This is a very nice top. The V neck suits you very well. It looks great with that skirt and boots.


I appreciate you coming to see me. It may take me a bit to publish your comment - but I will get to them by the end of every day. If you leave a way for me to get back to you, I will. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinions. g

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