Thursday, 7 May 2020

Ochre Viscose Twill Hannah Wrap Top

The Hannah Dress from By Hand London has been on my radar since it was released last year and has proved to be a very popular choice so far this Me Made May. I love a wrap style; so flattering and easy to wear and sew too without any buttons or zips to fiddle around with! I have had trouble previously with getting wrap necklines to sit right on me and therefore before plunging in with a dress I opted to make the top/tunic version first. The top isn't illustrated on the pattern but there is a marking for the tunic length peplum on the skirt pattern pieces which I used. This is the exact length you're looking at here.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

The fabric I've used is a beautiful viscose twill from Atelier Brunette. They very kindly gifted me two lengths from their Autumn 2019 collection shortly after release. This is the 'twig' design in the ochre colour-way. FYI their new Summer 2020 collection is absolutely exquisite! I've worked with Atelier Brunette fabrics previously and the quality is sublime. They feel so luxurious. The viscose twill is very fine with a beautiful drape and buttery soft hand. All their viscose has a really elegant sheen to it. The lightweight, shifty nature of these fabrics can make them a little tricky to work with but I recommend patience, stay-stitching and lots of fine pins and the results will be worth it!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

I made the UK 10 which is pretty much bang on my measurements and is the BHL size I usually make. It has come out slightly big all over which might be to do with this fine and delicate viscose stretching out a little as I worked (despite my careful handling and stay-stitching!). I sort of wish I had made one in a crisp cotton something first to get a better idea of fit but I kind of like the overall rumpled and blousy effect in this billowing viscose! It has been a while since I've made a BHL pattern and I forgot that they are drafted for a slightly broader and longer shoulder than mine. I usually end up taking their patterns up through the shoulder slightly (so shortening the distance between the shoulder and bust) for a more secure fit and think this would have made the world of difference for this top.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

As I was nervous about the depth of the neckline I added about 3/4" depth to the central point (where the v is deepest. I marked this point on my pattern pieces and marked 3/4" out from there on paper stuck behind and then drew a gradual curved line out so to nothing at the shoulder seam and waistline. This drapey, fluid fabric kind of flops down over the chest so I'm not sure that the alteration has made much difference but I think in a crisper more structured fabric the neckline would be fine. I don't feel at risk of full exposure but as I move around it is a little bit too booby for me!  I will probably just add a small popper at the centre front neckline to help me feel more secure and in future versions I think my plan to take it up at the shoulder will solve this.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

The long edge of the neckline is finished with a narrow bias tape facing. I only just managed to squeeze the top out of the 1.5m of fabric I had (those beautiful sleeves are fabric eaters!) so I had to use something else for the bias tape. I opted for the other fabric that Atelier Brunette had sent me; the viscose crepe in the exact same shade of navy as the twigs. I liked that the crepe had a similar weight to the twill so wouldn't effect the drape of the main fabric along the neckline. I love the contrasting pop on the inside of the garment but obviously had to be very careful when applying it so that none of it peeked out on the wrong side. I also stitched it down with navy thread in the needle and ochre thread in the bobbin so the stitching matched on both the right and wrong sides.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

Speaking of thread colours I overlocked my internal seams and plumped for grey thread but don't love how it looks. I've always only kept black, white and grey overlocker thread cones as they seem to generally cover all bases between them and I don't have much storage space. But making this has made me wonder if I should add a rust/brown thread to my collection as I have been gravitating to warmer shades lately. How closely do you match your overlocker threads to your projects?

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

By Hand London does drama really well and these sleeves are no exception! The pattern comes with three sleeve styles; short, tulip and big bishops sleeves! They are certainly the talking point of this top. Definitely not altogether that practical (I wouldn't recommend cooking in this...trust me) but actually much easier to wear than I imagined and ever so glamourous. I love them and will definitely be using this pattern piece to add dramatic sleeves to a number of other patterns. I almost used the navy viscose for the sleeve ties as I thought it might make a nice contrast but I'm glad I stuck with the same fabric actually. I've seen people use elastic instead of the ties if that's your preference but you could also substitute in pretty ribbons for the ties so you don't have to make them. I spotted someone use organza ribbon the other day which is a lovely delicate romantic touch.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

The difference with this style of wrap and a lot of others I have made is that there are two sets of ties to fasten (one at each side seam, inside on the right and outside on the left) which eliminates the hole in the side seam which one tie usually pulls through in order to wrap around the waist. I really like this but it does mean the fit is slightly less forgiving as you haven't got the flexibility of being able to just pull this a little tighter if it comes up a bit roomy. Jess from By Hand London made dress version recently for which she made the exterior ties bigger so there is a big bow on the waist which I love!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress Top in Atelier Brunette Viscose Twill

The instructions are good as I have come to expect with all By Hand London patterns. They are thorough without being overly detailed, they don't hold a beginner's hand but use good construction techniques which will leave you with a lovely finish. With it's multiple variations and hacking opportunities this is certainly a pattern I can see myself getting creative with in the future. I'm envisioning a tulip sleeved top and bishop sleeved cheesecloth dress at the moment but the inspiration seems endless...

6 comments:

  1. I love the sleeves so much! They look amazing in that drapey fabric.

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    1. The sleeves are an absolute dream! I'll be using the pattern piece for them on other patterns for sure!

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  2. Very Lovely. You just shine in this beautiful blouse.

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    1. Thanks very much! I love both the colour and and the cut

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  3. Beautiful design, fabric, top, and you! I'm going to have to purchase and download the Hannah when I can print it - someday soon I hope!

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    1. Thanks very much, fingers crossed you'll have access to printing soon! It is a real gem of a pattern but I recommend a toile to test the neckline first

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