I really was going to wait until I got paid before buying anything sewing related. However that plan went completely tits up when I started seeing By Hand London Anna dresses popping up all over the place. First Kim-ing’s, here and here. Then Jane’s, Karen’s, Emmie’s, Alice’s, Kathryn’s ….all gorgeous, all pushing me closer to pressing that order button.
It was Lizzy’s trio, Anna Rose, Anna Blue and especially Jungle Anna that finally broke my resolve and had me reaching for my credit card and by Tuesday afternoon I was holding the pattern in my grubby little hand.
I made the maxi length version with the thigh split and the V neck. This was such a quick make despite there being a lot of pieces- seven just for the skirt! I started cutting it out at ten o’clock on Wednesday morning. By two it was all done except for the hemming. No issues, cock ups or problems. In fact the main hindrance to my progress was this:
I was helped massively by Karen’s post on constructing the Anna dress. Loads of useful tips about what kind of fabric and how much, as well as advice about the length and the width of the back. If I hadn’t read her post I wouldn’t have picked this fabric, a midnight blue cotton with tiny white stars that has been in my stash for ever, because I only had three metres. As it happened it was just enough, despite being less than 60 inches wide. I think it helped that I cut the skirt pieces at least a foot shorter than the pattern as I am only 5 foot 2. I didn’t bother with any hand stitching, even on the thigh split, as this was meant to be wearable muslin and I wanted to wear it that evening so needed it quickly. Instead I folded the edge, stitched it then folded it again and top?/edge? stitched it:
As far as fitting goes, as well as taking loads off the length I took the back in by about an inch and a half the way that Karen describes in her post. And that was it. To my delight I found after basting in my zip that I could actually get the dress on and off over my head without using it, so I took out the zip and sewed up the back.
I finished hemming the dress just in time to go out last night. I met Mr T down the pub. His first comment: Nice dress. You look like a wizard.
We grabbed some beers and walked along the beach to Tankerton Slopes to watch the open air screening of Dracula as part of the Whitstable Oyster Festival, starring Whitstable resident Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. I am seriously considering changing my name to Van Helsing, how cool would that be at work? I did manage to persuade the husband to take photos on the way there.
Showing a bit of leg. I did lower the split so i wasn’t showing too much – I was very aware that I didn’t want to be flashing fanjo, but as soon as I sat down on the grass to watch the film the stitches ripped to where it should have been originally, so Anna clearly thought I needed to flash more thigh.
I love Hammer Horror. It was great sitting outside by the sea watching a classic film as the sun went down with a few drinks and good company. Once again I really appreciated the fact that I live here. Afterwards we decided to have a couple in the pub before walking back along the beach. Which is where it all started to go a bit wrong.
There are so many things I love about this dress. It is quick to make. It is comfortable but doesn’t look it. It makes me look like a wizard, meaning I can make all sorts of inappropriate comments about wizard’s sleeves. It copes with sitting on grass, beer spillages, dancing, climbing, minor falls, vampire antics, menacing seagulls and blood stains hardly show. As I said before this is a wearable muslin. I have the perfect fabric for my next one. Only problem, it’s silk (cue terrifying vampire like scream….)