I’m sorry but I loved my last Anna so much that I had to cut another one out straight away. Those By Hand London patterns are seriously addictive. My first attempt was a dream to sew and came together really quickly. However, Anna number two was not quite as cooperative.
It was my fault entirely. I have had this rose print batik in my stash for ages. It originally came from Fabric Inspirations. I can’t find it on their website any more although I must admit I didn’t spend too much time looking because I am on another fabric buying ban and it was too tempting.
Oh look, I didn’t notice those cat hairs before. They show up even though the rest of the picture is out of focus. Bloody cats, they’re lucky I love them. Am I the only person whose animals would rather sleep on a sewing project covered in pins than virtually anywhere else?
Anyway I had this idea that it would be perfect for Anna, completely ignoring the fact that it is quite a stiff cotton, very different to the last fabric I used with not much drape. And there, I think, lies the problem. It is amazing how changing the fabric you use can completely bugger up the fit. With this one I have read somewhere that it should soften up with a few washes, but despite pre-washing it did not behave the way it needed to. While the only adjustment with my last Anna was to take an inch or so out of the centre back, with this version when I put it on the V neck stuck out, away from my body like a pelican’s bill.
Not a good look. I think on my previous dress the fabric was that bit softer and drapier so it clung to my body while this, well it just stuck out weirdly. I tried to fix it with a couple of darts at the top of the neckline, which helped a bit but not enough. At this point I had a tantrum, put it in my UFO’s drawer and did some housework. And I can promise you that things have got desperate when I choose housework over sewing.
I obviously disturbed the Gods by doing something as heinous as wasting valuable sewing time, however, because for the last couple of days my oldest daughter has been ill. Nothing serious, but not very pleasant. Once I had resigned myself to the fact that I was stuck in the house all day clearing up child vomit, and torn myself away from watching kids TV with her (I had no idea how addictive kids TV is these days. If you fancy killing a few hours and have no shame about watching things aimed at pre-teens, which I clearly don’t, then I can recommend The Sarah Jane Adventures, Young Dracula, Wolfblood….) I decided I had to tackle the dress again.
This time I was not messing about. I pinched about two inches out of the V at the front, which has also raised the neckline but that’s not such a bad thing, basted it to check, it looked okay so I hacked it off and stitched it up. Job done. Of course this means that it looks a right mess on the inside. The facings are all over the place and I just kind of hacked and stitched until they lay flat then top stitched the neckline to keep everything in place. Not very professional but it did the job. And when I tried her on I fell back in love. This dress makes me feel like I have grown six inches and lost half a stone:
I think that now I have wrestled the fabric into submission the fit is pretty good. There are still a few wrinkles that I would rather not have, but without them I probably wouldn’t be able to breathe. One of the things I love about my other Anna is how it looks elegant while still being comfortable. This one is too, and once again I managed without a zip. I love how it looks in this print, and while the cotton is stiffer than my last Anna it is still quite swooshy. Which is good, because more than anything this dress makes me want to do Flamenco dancing:
No, I cannot Flamenco dance. Can you tell?
No, I have never been to Spain. Although I do like Tapas.
Yes, I have perfected the art of making my boobs swing in completely different directions to the rest of my body. I need to get me some titty tassles.
Yes, I have obviously been stuck in the house too long.
Yes, I have successfully appeased the Sewing Gods, and my daughter is feeling much better.
And yes, I have already picked out the fabric for my next Anna. What can I say, I have an addictive personality…