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Esther’s Anna Dress

The sun is shining more and more in Manchester, the leaves are turning green and I can taste the no sweater weather. The thought of pretty florals is giving me my sewjo. 

This month’s fabric was cotton lawn, the type of wonderful fabric you know is going to see you through any heatwaves. Since I moved to a house without a washing heater, I have skipped prewashing fabric and to be honest, it hasn’t really changed much. However, last summer, I made a dress that ended up shrinking in the wash, since then, I’ve been careful to make sure I prewash my fabric. I don’t prewash all fabrics but I make sure to prewash natural fibres. Anyway, I started my making process with prewashing this fabric which meant I had to press the whole fabric before I started cutting out my fabric. Pressing the fabric was an absolute dream. Although, I’m not a fan of ironing, I derive immense pleasure in pressing out creasing from fabrics, especially cotton and linen. 

This month, I was stuck on what to make. I started playing around making a blouse, the Anthea blouse was the one I was drawn to, as my previous cotton lawn Anthea was a hit. But I really didn’t want to waste the fabric so I wanted a garment that would use the length of the fabric. Next, I thought, a skirt might do the trick, I looked at the skirts on my wish list and I wasn’t sure. I thought about a basic circle skirt

I decided to default to an old favourite – the By Hand London Anna dress. It’s no secret that I have made a lot of Annas. As many times as I have made the Anna dress, I stayed clear from the v-neck bodice, I’m not sure why but I only recently started using the v-neck. Although, I now have a few makes using the v-neck bodice, this is the first Anna I’ve made with the v-neck bodice and the Anna skirt. 

For this make, I have cut somewhere between the maxi and short length to create my unique midi length. The Anna skirt is made of seven panels, that’s a lot of cutting, as opposed to the basic A-line I would usually use with three pieces. Thankfully, cutting out this fabric was a dream. The sewing process was very easy. The fabric is nice and stable so minimal pins were needed to hold pieces together. 

I finished the neckline with bias binding, I’m now a pro at finishing necklines with bias tape, even v-necks, because I can’t stand facings. This was an easy make since I can make the Anna dress with my eyes closed. 

I’m not 100% convinced of my pattern and fabric pairing. It may just take me a minute to warm up to this dress but I feel like this fabric would have been better as a blouse with some statement sleeves. On the other hand, sometimes, it just takes me time to fall in love with my makes so that may be the case with this one. I like it but I don’t love it…yet.