A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

Esther’s Anna Dress

I have warm weather firmly on my mind. This is my first time of booking my holiday well in advance and the thought of taking a nice summer vacation is filling me with excitement to sew. 

In all honesty, I’m an unrepentant last minute sewist. Well, let me say I was. Maybe 2024 would see a new well organised sewing me. In the spirit of being well organised, I am attempting to start slowly sewing the garments I’d like to take on my trip. 

In comes this month’s fabric, it was love at first sight. I’m a big lover of a floral print and I like the colours of the fabric. Cutting into the fabric was tough because I was conscious of not messing it up. 

Ideas were flowing in my head, my initial thought was the Sew Over It Gisele dress, this fabric would have been perfect for the pattern but I wasn’t sold on whether it would be my best bet. So I started thinking of a shirt dress, I really want to make the Sew Over It Nicole dress but I didn’t have enough fabric so back to the drawing board I went. 

I later considered making a pair of trousers, the Winslow culottes would have been a great shout. I also thought of the Megan Nielsen Flint shorts and the Jennifer Lauren Bastion culottes as inspired by Laura. All these would have been good ideas but I don’t really have tops to go with these trousers and I’m attempting to build a cohesive wardrobe this year so I decided to make a dress.

I decided to make my ultimate tried and tested dress pattern – By Hand London Anna dress. I have sewn a lot Anna dresses since I initially made the pattern in 2019. Although I have made the bodice so so many times, I have mostly stayed away from the v-neck view only sewing it twice, but I decided to give the v-neck another go this time.

My standard adjustment for the Anna dress bodice is to reduce the bodice length by 1″, take out 1.5cm from the front and back neckline to prevent gaping. I wanted to add a three quarter circle skirt to the bodice. However, there wasn’t enough fabric to get the midi length I like. As such, I free-styled the skirt and made it as wide as possible based on the length I wanted. 

The neckline is supposed to be finished with a facing but I default to bias binding. This was a really quick make for me. I was able to make the dress in one sitting but I had to let the dress hang overnight. When your skirt has some bits cut on the bias, you want to let the dress/skirt hang overnight to allow the dress to fully drop. This is the main job I use my dress form for. I put the dress on the dress form and let it stay on overnight, the next day, I measure from the ground to a portion of the skirt that I would like as my skirt length, I measure all the way around the skirt, from the floor to the skirt, mark and cut; then I get to sewing. 

I’m in love with this dress and I look forward to the warmer weather to start wearing this dress. I also really like how my red shoes ties this look together.