Celebration Anna

Anna dress

This dress is a double celebratory one for me. Firstly, I think it shows how much I’ve progressed in my sewing, even since March when I made my last Anna (which I cringe when I look at now!). Secondly, I got round to re-making the Anna in order to wear to By Hand London’s Kickstarter celebration party on Friday!

Anna dress

This time round my Anna fits like a glove, and a few little tweaks here and there have got it just to my liking. I used Ginger’s tutorial to take out some back-neck excess (quite a lot in my case) and lowered the front neckline a little.

Anna dress

I moved the zip to the underarm side seam – I’ve grown to dislike centre-back zips a lot, both from an aesthetic and practical point of view. The zip is even hand-picked! I’m a changed sewist, man.

Anna dress

The bodice is lined in my beloved stretch mesh instead of using facings. I burrito’ed the lining to attach it to the sleeve edges with all raw edges enclosed, but found that I needed to both understitch and edgestitch the neckline and sleeves to keep it tucked inside. Like with my Centaurée, I didn’t make a duplicate bodice for the lining but traced the constructed bodice, leaving the bust pleats off. I like this technique with a stretch lining as it lies very smoothly with no additional bulk from two sets of pleats.

Anna dress

I swapped out the gored skirt for one of my all-time favourites, Simplicity 1610 – same as my kitty dress (which has recently undergone surgery to make it fit better). I maintain that it has the quickest and cutest yoked pockets ever. I had a feeling it would be a successful match for the Anna bodice and love how it turned out.

Anna dress

The pocket edges match up nearly exactly with the first set of bodice pleats, and I pleated the centre of the skirt by eye to match the other line of pleats. Looking at this makes me happy.

Anna dress

The back is just gathered between the darts and the skirt hem is a deep machine blind. Look at the perfectly fitting back! Don’t think I’ve ever had a non-stretch bodice fit so well.

Anna dress

The fabric is part of my Quito haul. I wish I’d bought more of this one as it’s totally dreamy: it’s a fairly heavy poly crepe so hangs really beautifully, sews easily and doesn’t require lining. The subdued but fun (Pacman, anyone?) print and colours make it suitable for day and evening occasions: a real wardrobe workhorse but still a bit special. It reminds me of something that my ultimate brand crush Sessun might make. Luckily I think I have enough fabric left for a little cami or something as well.

BHL Party
BHL Party
BHL Party

As I said, I wore this frock on Friday to the By Hand girls’ party to celebrate reaching their Kickstarter goal to fund their foray into fabric printing. Naturally there was a bunch of beautiful By Hand dresses on show, including no less than ten Annas. It was an amazing night, which culminated in a circle-dance lovefest to ‘Let’s Get It On’ before a sprint down the road to catch the last train home. Congrats, girls!

43 thoughts on “Celebration Anna

  1. AvatarElena

    Wahoo! What a huge success! Your skirt choice + lining + extra details are all fabulous. And the fabric! And the fit! I’m seriously swooning here. It’s such a great feeling to successfully tackle sewing issues and end up with a garment you love. Congratulations!

  2. AvatarMaike

    I have to admit, I never really liked the Anna, because of how it looked under the bust, but your version is amazing! Very beautiful and professional looking!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I think you need to actually make/wear it to appreciate how lovely and flattering it can be – once you have the fit right. And it’s a great one for hacking other skirts on to!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Thanks Karen, I think the bodice is a great candidate for other skirts. Ain’t nobody got time for a seven-gored skirt every time.

  3. AvatarKaty

    Amazing dress! I love the bodice pleats and those pockets! I think you need to design some patterns. Such an inspiring blog for a beginner in dressmaking, I am finding all your makes extremely inspiring. Katy x

  4. AvatarCaroline Joynson

    Your new Anna is fab! Its such a different and a more flattering fit compared to your first one; the side zip, mesh bodice lining, pockets and gentle pleats are wonderful.
    I agree with Katy above – you need to design your own sewing patterns! I’d be first in the queue to buy some ; )

  5. AvatarUte

    What a great dress! And it shows in the pictures how happy you are with it! Anna with pockets is just perfect. (And how about you take a few pictures when you attach the next mesh lining to give us an idea how to do it?! ;-) It sounds like such a good technique! )

  6. AvatarJane

    It’s very, very lovely Katie! I’m about to pattern hack the Anna dress so it’s encouraging for me to see how well yours turned out! x

  7. AvatarKathryn

    This looks fabulous on you! The fit looks perfect & I’m intrigued by your mesh lining tip. I’m also thinking a side zip might be a good idea for a maxi length Anna I’m planning, thanks for the idea!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Hah, well it’s mostly my boyfriend behind the camera making me laugh really! I am very proud of the dress though.

  8. AvatarMaris Olsen

    Lovely, lovely job, Katie! And your comments about your improved sewing are music to this sewing teacher’s ears! It’s all about the journey – keep sewing and improving!!

  9. AvatarLynne

    Ooo! I love this dress. I’m a big fan of the Anna pattern, and have just made my first (but not last) S1610 – this is definitely a pattern hack made in heaven! Also loving the fabric, it looks gorgeous, and I totally didn’t see the Pacmen until you pointed it out!

  10. Avataremily marie

    This is adorable! Congrats on taking your time with this one- the pleat/pocket matching had me staring too! I actually much prefer this skirt to the one in the Anna pattern, the pockets really make the dress. I also love a good ambiguous print- they look like soft cooked eggs with the tops cut off to me! :)

  11. AvatarJanet

    This dress is absolutely gorgeous on you! I love the combo of the pleated skirt on the Anna bodice, I am tempted to try it myself. The mesh bodice lining is a great idea I’ve seen mentioned before….can you point me in the direction of where to find more detailed information about that?

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I haven’t actually seen any info about it myself – I actually tried it after seeing it in a rtw dress! Next time I do it I’ll try to take photos of the process.

      1. AvatarJanet

        That would be great, thank you! Also, what kind of mesh are you using for lining…what would I look for when I buy some?

        1. AvatarKatie Post author

          I’ll include some info about the fabric too when I next write about it.. I’m not actually sure what the stuff I have is (as I bought it as a remnant). I think anything labelled as stretch lining or even a powernet would work.

  12. Avatarsecretlifeofseams

    I love it! With the skirt change I totally didn’t recognise it as an Anna. Possibly also because the fit is so fab and my version was pretty dodgy! This encourages me to try again though ‘cos this is lovely.

  13. AvatarEbi Poweigha

    Good job! The difference between this version and the pink version — WOW! You’ve really come a long way. Fit now is great, construction is great, and fabric choice is spot-on, too. Love how proud you are of your make, and all the effort you’ve put into your sewing journey.

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  15. AvatarGinger

    This really, really looks great! And it looks even more like your style in this iteration. Love the way the lowered neckline looks on you. Great job!

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