I had posted a week or so ago that I was working on an Anna Dress that just wasn’t going my way. Well, it took some coaxing, but I finally worked out the kinks, and a dress I thought I’d never wear has already turned into a dress I love!
Ta-da! This is the second garment made from the wool I inherited from my mother-in-law, so I wanted to make sure it would be something special that I would wear a lot. And what could be more wearable during a cold Boston winter than a wool dress??
However, I did have several fitting conundrums while constructing this, so I wasn’t sure if this venture was going to end well. First of all, I made a size 6 for the entire bodice instead of grading from a 2 to a 6 like my last one. I also made a slight sway back adjustment to bring the back waist up to the front waist level. Next, I made a muslin of the bodice, which fit well, so I cut into my fabric and went for it. However, the more loosely woven wool fit very differently than the cotton muslin, so when I tried on this version it was way too baggy at the bust, and generally made me look like a big blue stuffed animal. The sleeves were also totally wonky, and fell back on the shoulders far too much.
I put it aside in disgust for a few days trying to figure out where I went wrong. I eventually ended up taking about an inch off the front neckline (to get the shoulders to sit correctly) and took in my shoulder/sleeve seam about 3/4″ at the shoulder, tapering to nothing at the end of the sleeve. That seemed to take care of the extra fullness in the bust, and tightened up the sleeves just enough so that I no longer looked like a giant blue teddy bear.
Shoulders fixed! Well, close enough…
Now for a few detail shots – I was quite proud of how well I got all the seams on the bodice to match the skirt. I even managed to match the waist seam at the invisible zipper – woot!
I fully lined the dress in a polyester plaid, which was a fun detail. I tried matching the plaid as an exercise, but forgot to take into account that the plaid needs to match at the 5/8″ line, not the cutting line – oops! But now I know for next time…
I may end up shortening the sleeves for practicality – I keep finding myself pushing them up due to some tightness at the elbow. But all in all, I’m quite pleased with my winterized Anna! Hooray!