Party time! By Hand Georgia & giveaway

By Hand Georgia dress

It’s a By Hand dress fest over here right now: my Anna is waiting in the wings for her finishing touches, but first here’s my spangly party Georgia. And to celebrate the upcoming festivities and reaching 300 blog followers (yay!), I have a kit to make your very own to give away. More on that a bit later, here’s mine first.

By Hand Georgia dress

Do you like my festive’d up fireplace backdrop? Unfortunately I don’t have anyone to whisk me to the Savoy like Sally and her beautiful version of this pattern (made from a curtain!) so this will have to do. Like Sally I went for view 3 of the pattern, the mini length skirt with wide shoulder straps. It was these straps that most attracted me to this pattern: they make the dress a bit edgy and nautical instead of overtly bombshell. I love how they make the bust area feel more covered but frame the shoulders and collarbones beautifully.

By Hand Georgia dress

I did not make a toile: I didn’t have any appropriately similar fabric to hand (does anyone else balk at buying yet more fabric just to toile with?) and because I was using a stretch and my body has fairly standard proportions I felt that I could sew it as patterned and do minor adjustments to make it fit perfectly. Luckily it was so: I just had to shave a bit out of the princess seams and side seams to get it bang on. Actually looking at the photos I think it could do with a bit more taking in, but I was erring on the side of caution.

By Hand Georgia dress

I used a sparkly stretch lurex, bought on Goldhawk Road, which matches Georgia like a dream. I used the reverse side to do a bit of colour blocking on the side panels. This is basically my favourite kind of fabric to work with: stretchy, stable, no fraying or puckering, can whiz it happily up on an overlocker in no time. Seriously, this frock took like three hours start to finish. I could even omit the side zip since it easily slides on and off over my head.

By Hand Georgia dress

I picked out the black again by finishing the top of the bodice in stretchy bias tape instead of lining it. Just a couple of other minor modifications: I slip-stitched down the straps at the bodice tops (through the back layer of the strap only) to keep them in place, and did a blind hem instead of turned.

By Hand Georgia dress

So is Georgia the dream Christmas party dress? I think so. The By Hand girls have an amazing knack for designing clothes that women feel amazing in, and their latest is no exception. I loved sewing this pattern and adore my finished frock. It’s more daring than anything I would usually choose but I feel pretty great in it. I hope I get invited to some glamorous festive parties so I can give it a spin!


Now! Do you fancy making one yourself? I’m giving away a kit to make your own Georgia: this includes the pattern and 2 metres (enough to make any variation you fancy) of lovely gunmetal grey/silver stretch lycra satin that I picked out for you to make a bangin’ party Georgia. By Hand kindly supplied me with the pattern and I’m throwing in the fabric to celebrate reaching 300 followers on Bloglovin’ and to say thank you everyone who reads my sewing blog: your comments make my day and inspire me to keep on making.

The competition closes in a week on Friday December 13th so you should have time to make your dress before New Year if not Christmas. I’ll ship anywhere internationally, too. To enter just leave me a comment telling me what sewing-related goodies you’d love to find in your Christmas stocking. You’ll get an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway too using the button below.

Best of luck!

The competition is now closed, congrats to the winner Kat.

61 thoughts on “Party time! By Hand Georgia & giveaway

  1. emily

    THIS IS AMAZING. My pattern is currently sat on my floor waiting to be traced and made up so I need to get my arse in gear (how many times have I said that?!!). I am so pleased you made it stretchy too – obviously that’s going to be a must for me so I’m pleased to see it works just as well, I just need to make a bit of extra room in the stomach area ;-)

  2. Joanne

    Ooh, I do love Georgia. I am hoping to find The By Hand London Anna dress and Deer & Doe Belladone pattern under my Christmas tree this year!
    2014 will hopefully be the year of the pretty dresses!

  3. Jen

    What a great party dress, I’m currently making a maxi Anna for my Christmas dress. I always need more fabric for my instant, must-do-right-now sewing decisions, so gift cards for fabric stores are always welcome in my stocking!

  4. Jana

    Oooh, sparkly! I actually prefer the other Georgia variation, so I’d make that one up if I happened to win your kit—or find the Georgia all wrapped up under the tree. (:
    I am hoping I’ll get a new, bigger cutting mat. I’m getting really annoyed with having to move half-cut things around just because I can’t fit them onto my cutting mat. Also, my parents promised to get me my very own sewing machine! (I’m currently using my mum’s whenever she doesn’t need it herself.) I’ll just have to decide which one to get, and I can’t make up my mind…

  5. Victoria

    What a beautiful dress, perfect for a Christmas party! This year I’m hoping for some pinking shears and the papercut patterns Watson Jacket pattern.

  6. Louise

    I love your version of this dress – it looks amazing! I would love to make this – though not sure if I have a suitable party to wear it at!

    I am in need of practical things like a sewing basket to organise all my bits – rather than the bag I currently have which has to be emptied out every time I need to find something! I also asked for the Victoria blazer pattern


  7. Amy

    I love your sparkly dress, its the perfect Christmas outfit :) although I think sparkles are good anytime of year! I would love to find the BHL Anna dress and the Robson Coat form Sewaholic in my stocking this year.

  8. Katarina

    I actually asked my parents for some indie sewing patterns. Living in Germany, shipping can add up and I wouldn ‘t treat myself to them as I have a vast collection of Burda magazines to cover basically every item I might want to sew at some point. But supporting indie businesses as well as lovely designs and finished variations that pop up all over the internet, I could not skip this oppotunity to ask for:

    Sewaholic- Cordova jacket
    Victory- Nicola
    Deer & Doe- blouse Datura
    Papercut- undercover hood
    Megan Nielsen- Kelly skirt
    Named- Dakota

    So this pattern would fit right into this mission to acquire indie sewing patterns. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Melani

    I’d been eyeing the Georgia pattern since it was released … The dress looks so good on you!!!
    For Christmas I’m hoping for KAI scissors …
    Thank you for the chance …

  10. Maike

    Wow, that looks gorgeous on you! I’m always a bit unsure about special fabrics like sparkly ones, but when I see your dress I definitely have to try my hands on one someday.
    I still need a proper ironing board and a tailor’s ham, so that would be great under my christmas tree. ;)

  11. Meri

    Beautiful! I’ve been obsessing over making (and owning) a slinky dress, and the Georgia pattern is perfect. The obsession is getting stronger since I’m currently wrestling with hand waxed canvas to make an Albion jacket for my brother.. As for holiday sewing goodies, I’ve been hoping for a new pair of shears and some lovely independent patterns – I’ve yet to try Papercut (Peter and the Wolf pants), and Deer and Doe (Belledonne dress).

  12. Elena

    Oh, this is gorgeous! I love the idea of using a stretch fabric for Georgia – just the right combination of comfort and glamour! I’m hoping for a cutting mat and rotary cutter from Father Christmas this year :) Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  13. Jessica R

    I am starting my first dressmaking class next month and the teacher specifies that we need pins with coloured ends – not sure why normal pins won’t do, but a tin of those would be very welcome in my stocking, if not a little boring!! A By Hand pattern would be more exciting! Thanks for the competition!

  14. Taracat

    Gorgeous dress! The Georgia pattern is definitely on my Christmas list, along with the Sewaholic Thurlow – I need to conquer my fear of trousers.

  15. Emily

    That dress is a knockout. I got my Christmas present early, a new sewing machine, it is amazing. Congrats on reaching 300!

  16. Ginger

    This is so gorgeous! I love love love it! The sparkly fabric is so, so fun! You can leave me out of the giveaway as I snapped up the pattern about 5 seconds after I first heard about it, but I just had to tell you how awesome this looks! I’m so anxious to get my Christmas gift sewing out of the way so I can start in on this dress!

  17. Naomi

    Love your dress! I think I would try the thin straps, simply because I have broad, manly shoulders. Your shoulers are lovely, though :)
    I’m really hoping this crazy, crazy fox print will be under my tree this year:
    It’s so weird – I LOVE IT! Think slouchy T-shirt dress made from that fabric, black tights, Beatle boots, glasses and a good book… Ok, maybe that’s just me.

  18. blacklabel

    oooooo, id love to find a stocking full of my wishlist patterns :) so id love to win the georgia. thx for the giveaway & congrats on a bangingly beautiful georgia!!!

  19. Emmylou

    What a lovely festive competition, thank you. I would love a retro wooden sewing box to put all my patterns, pins and trimmings in, so I can finally become an organised sewer!

  20. Ruth

    Lovely dress – hope you get invited to lots of fancy Christmas parties so you can show it off! I’ve got a whole load of sewing-related things on my Christmas list this year – with Sewaholic Cordova at the top of the list. Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on reaching 300!

  21. Jessie

    Georgia has been on my buy/make list since I first laid eyes on her- what a perfect party dress!
    I was actually hoping some beautiful patterns like this one make their way over for Christmas AND an organizer for my rulers and notions. Although that might not fit in a stocking…

  22. Zanna

    This pattern turns to gold every time it’s made up! I’ve begged my parents for the Rigel bomber jacket from Papercut patterns this Christmas… Fingers crossed!

  23. Mary M

    I really want to make up one of the by hand London dresses- so classy.
    As far as Christmas presents: fabric gift cards are the best for me because then I get to pick out the fabric/go shopping without the guilt. ;)

  24. Rach

    Wow! This is amazing!! I don’t need the Georgia Dress pattern because that IS what I’ve got waiting for me under the Christmas Tree (I ordered the pattern to my parents’ house) but I just wanted to comment on your lovely dress. xx

  25. Sophie

    That dress is da bomb on you. I want to make one too! On my Christmas list are some of the new papercut patterns as well as a trip to some fabric stores whilst I’m in the UK for Christmas as fabric is annoyingly expensive here in Sweden.

  26. Bella

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and admiring your makes. Love your version of the Georgia dress, it sure is party worthy! In my stocking I would love to find some nice heavy sewing shears. It’s about time I got some proper ones. Oh and an overlocker!

  27. Emma

    None of the By Hand dresses had really caught my attention til now, but this is a perfect party dress! To help me with my jersey and stretch sewing, I would love to find a rotary cutter and some wonder tape in my stocking this year.

  28. Amanda

    I would love To find some sharp, great quality scissors that no one uses for paper etc! Love the wide straps on your dress, I am not one to wear thin straps and the Georgia looks perfect.

  29. karen

    The dress looks really good! I hope you have many opportunities to wear it in the holiday season! Congratulations on reaching 300 followers and for the chance to enter the giveaway.
    In my Christmas stocking, I would love to have some sewing patterns (the Giorgia tops the list now after seeing this gorgeous version!)

  30. sallie

    Oh this is just glittery perfection!! I love how you used the reverse of the fabric for the side panels – such a clever little way to highlight the design (and your bod, yowza!) Great job!! I hope you get to take it out for a spin to some holiday parties! Oh, and no need to include me in the giveaway, since I’ve already got my pattern and I can’t wait to get my grubby little sewing mitts all over it!

  31. Lindsay

    Love your Georgia and the panels! I’m hoping to find an adjustable dressmakers mannequin under the tree, but that might be wishful thinking! If not, a couple of patterns would be lovely.

  32. Sara

    Love this! So festive! And I love how it looks very comfortable too!
    I’m dreaming of getting a bunch of sewing patterns in my stocking this year. My mum’s a sewer so she’s happy to support any sewing of mine, which is great for me! I also wouldn’t mind an assortment of high quality bias tape, since I hate making it and it’s always the thing I have trouble finding in the right colour. Congrats on 300 followers!

  33. Jamila

    Wow! I love your version of the Georgia. I wasn’t convinced at first but now I’m sold! It looks like the perfect party dress. I’d love to get lots more indie patterns – and a printer for all the PDF ones rather than having to sneakily print them off at work. Fingers crossed!

  34. Mady

    Wow!Your Georgia looks amazing.Love the fabric!I had my eye on this pattern ever since it came out.You really made me want to make my own party Georgia.This Christmas I’m hoping for some new fabric shears,a bias tape maker and a couple sewing patterns(Gerard from RDC and Victoria by BHL).Thank ypu for the amazing giveaway

  35. Danielle

    I feel like there are a million things I could put on my Christmas list.. But I think for practical reasons the number one thing on my list is new fabric shears!
    I’m on a pattern and fabric diet so winning this would be a fabulous way to “cheat” without feeling too guilty!!

  36. sandesh

    Love your dress!! I have been thinking about the Georgia pattern since it was released but it’s now high on the list, along with a Victoria Blazer pattern and some black wool crepe fabric to make it up in.

  37. luna

    i have the by hand london charlotte skirt on my list, already made 3 elisalex’s and 2 victoria blazers, I think i’m addicted to this company!!

  38. Di

    What a lovely dress! I think in my stocking I’d love to get some good basics — I recently moved and didn’t have room for my old stuff. Some really nice shears, silk pins, etc. etc.

  39. Kait

    I hope to find a French curve and cutting mat in my Christmas stocking!

    I love the sparkly fabric you used! This is a great rendition of Georgia–don’t you just love this pattern?

  40. Pingback: My Birthday Georgia Dress | Thrift Make Sew

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