There seem to be a lot of weddings in my life right now and when you don’t want to buy any new clothes this means some sewing is in order. For the summer weddings this year I chose the Anna dress from By Hand London. I made size 8/12 at the bust grading to size 10/14 at the waist. For the front bodice piece this gave me a bit of a headache because of the way the different sizes are printed for this pattern piece. Getting it right meant I had to move the pattern piece a couple of times while I was tracing it.
The fabric is a Robert Kaufmann cotton chambray; I like how soft it feels against the skin. The dress is unlined and all hems are hand stitched because I prefer how this looks over a topstitched hem. A hand stitched hem is also suppler than one that is topstitched. The seams on the inside are finished with a 3-thread overlock stitch. The dress closes with an invisible zipper and hook and eye in the center back seam.
The fit at the back is not so great. The back neckline was way too large (I think it is on everyone who makes this dress) and I used this method to remove the excess. The back waist seam was raised. I also felt the skirt was too wide at the back and it fell in some weird folds. I simply removed it by taking the skirt in at the three seams at the back but I don’t think this was entirely successful. This dress was sewn in the hottest week we’ve had this year at the end of June, start of July and I fear this made me somewhat less meticulous than I otherwise would have been. At some point I was ready to use the half-completed dress to mop up the sweat on my forehead…
It’s been years since I wore a dress with a center back zipper and I now realise that I hate them. I am not a contortionist and I really prefer to be able to dress and undress myself without pulling a muscle. From now on I’ll avoid center back zippers like the plague or move the zipper to the side seam if that is possible.
I thought the dress was a bit plain when I first put it on and I think I actually prefer wearing it with a belt.
From now on I expect to be able to post more regularly because I turned in my thesis last week. There will be more time for sewing and I’ve already completed two more garments! One I really love and one utter failure. Pictures have already been taken and both will hopefully be featured soon.