Well I think it's about time we talked about my second By Hand London Anna Dress don't you? One day I'll catch up with all the items I've still got to blog about! These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago, as you may notice rom the glorious sunshine! I was hoping for a sunny September so I could get some more wear out of this lovely fresh print but it already feels like it's been gloomy and wet for about a month so I think Autumn has well and truly arrived.
This time I made the midi length with about 6 inches removed, just taken off the hem. This is quite a lot to take off but By Hand London patterns do tend to be drafted for the taller ladies, and at 5ft 3" I'm definitely not that, so I normally take off quite a wedge. Also I personally prefer my skirts just above the knee so I took off a bit more than usual. This alteration meant I managed to squeeze this out of just 1.5m which is worth bearing in mind if you're short like me as the pattern asks for 2.6m! As much as I love the glamour of the maxi Anna I absolutely love this length as it is practical for everyday wear but the interesting construction makes you feel like you've got something a bit special on too.
The fabric is a digitally printed polyester crepe from Sew Over It in Clapham, who a lovely variety of prints in different weights. I've actually been holding onto it for a few months as I picked it up on a whim at the start of summer when I was thinking about making playsuits, it was one of those prints that instantly caught my eye and I couldn't resist! It's very lightweight and drapey but not particularly sheer, even in direct sunlight. I was really pleased to discover that even though it's polyester I stayed quite cool in it, even running around on hot days. I think the fit of the dress and those kimono sleeves help.
After having some issues with the neckline gaping on my first Anna I decided to cut out some of that excess this time rather than adding in darts. I'd unfortunately already cut this version before I noticed the issue with my first so I couldn't do a proper alteration to the pattern. I'd seen a couple of other bloggers had taken some out of the centre back to reduce the neckline width so I decided I could still do this. I measured 1" in from the centre back at the neckline on each piece and drew a line down to nothing at about 5" down. It's probably not the best way to go about it as it messes with the grain along the centre back but I'm pretty happy with the result. If you want to do a proper alteration Sonja from Ginger Makes wrote a great post on how simple it is. Along with simply clipping and under-stitching the neckline this seems to have solved not only the gaping issue but the problem I had getting the slash neck to lie flat.
|Matching of skirt seams and bodice pleats|
|Concealed hook and eye and pinked facings|
On my first Anna I used bias binding to finish my facing's but felt it was a little bulky with the drape of the fabric and style of the pattern. This fabric has a similar drape but hardly frays at all so I simply pinked the edges of the facing this time, along with the centre back zip seam.
Again I used french seams throughout and I just love how neat it looks inside, plus it's nice knowing that this will hold up in the wash!
So my second Anna is probably not as much of a hit as my first but still gets a big thumbs up from me! My third version is the most glamourous of the lot but I need the rain to stop so I can get some decent pictures for you this weekend! I love how versatile this pattern is and think it can be a completely different dress when using fabrics of different weights and drapes. I've got a luscious bit of emerald green wool crepe I got at a remnant sale which I might just be able to squeeze the midi version out of for winter...