The Anna Experiment, Part 1

Trying out a new pattern is always an exciting process, but for me it’s also always a little scary. This is especially true when trying out a new pattern company! Today’s dress is from By Hand London, an indie pattern company that pretty much everyone has heard about at this point. I’ve noticed that the Anna Dress has really been making the rounds in the sewing blogosphere lately, so I figured that meant I had to try it.

I was a little scared of this pattern, though, as it seems like it was intended for an “hourglass” figure. Alas, I was not blessed with the tiny waist and ample bosom that most young sewing bloggers apparently have! So, I knew I would have to make some alterations. This dress was my “wearable muslin,” which worked out pretty well, but I still have a few issues with it.

I made this before I had my measurements retaken over the holidays, so I thought I was a size 2 at the bust and 6 at the waist. (It turns out I’m closer to a size 6 all around – more on that whenever I finish the next Anna :P) So, I graded the top from a 2 at the bust to a 6 at the waist. This actually worked reasonably well, but I ended up with a side seam that was pretty dramatically on the bias, so I got some weird diagonal wrinkles as a result. (I think a sway back was also adding to the wrinkles – again, more later!) Anywho, here’s the result:

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Now, you may notice that this dress has sleeves but the pattern doesn’t. This is a fun little twist that the gals at By Hand London added to their sew-along – you can find the pattern details here. I also added turn-back cuffs because the fabric was too tight around the elbows, but I wanted to have the option to have slightly longer sleeves when I wanted. I used this tutorial for the cuffs. It’s a fun little detail – you can’t see it that well from the pictures, unfortunately, but it was a nice little experiment.

I would also like to note that I took these photos BY MYSELF using my new friend, the self-timer! Woot!

I have another Anna dress in the works, with a whole different set of issues (that was the Anna dress to which I referred in my last post), but that will have to wait for another day. So long for now!

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