I’m so excited to share this post! I’ve been wanting to make an Anna dress from By Hand London since I first laid eyes on it. I never really had a good reason to make such a dress though until last year. I was working on the Sew My Style challenge from Bluebird Fabrics. Anna dress was one of the patterns towards the end of the year. That was good enough reason for me. Unfortunately it never came to fruition. Me and Hubby bought a house. That ended up taking so much time that all the rest of the patterns for the challenge went kaput.
Until now! Me and Hubby were invited to a wedding. What more perfect reason to make a great dress!?! I decided to do the v-neck and the thigh high split. I was not thrilled with the sleeves on the dress. The bodice is all one piece that includes the sleeves. I reworked it to have a regular shoulder seam and include flutter sleeves.
I bought a pink floral rayon from CaliFabrics. I went back and forth on this fabric for awhile. I was afraid the light pink would wash me out. Finally, after encouraging words from others I purchased it. It’s so lovely and rayon is one of my favorite fabrics.
With a dress like this I knew the bodice was going to make or break it, so I had to make a muslin. I made three total. I had to take it in near the bust and let it out at my waist. Plus I had to make all the adjustments for the sleeve change. Oh, and my shoulder width is kinda small so I usually take out at least an inch vertically from the center of the pattern. Otherwise the neckline is way too wide on me.
I was terrified to cut my nice fabric and went super slow sewing it all, worried I was going to ruin it. I did use cotton for the facing to keep the neckline nice and crisp. I had a cream color that wouldn’t show through the fabric. I think it worked out well. I could have used the floral rayon for the facing but then I could have had a chance of the flower pattern showing through.
The skirt went so fast after that. I did not French seam anything but the seam of the split. Also didn’t hand stitch that shit. No way, nuh uh. That was not going to happen. I hate hand stitching anything.
I did learn a new skill on this dress. I put in my first invisible zip! It really is something to behold. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be! I even got the waist seam to match up. I put this guy in once and there it stayed. I’ve never had that with a zipper.
The flutter sleeves were a dream that I had for this dress. It was meant to have flutter sleeves. It makes such a romantic dress. When I add an element that I’ve never done before, I research the crap out of it. There was a long tutorial about taking your sleeve piece and slicing it into a big arc. Well I didn’t have a sleeve piece so I take a few measurements on what I had and crafted a test piece. It didn’t work out too bad. I needed to lengthen the underside to get the hem to even out all around.
The dress came out amazing! I felt super fancy and that thigh high split makes the dress move! This is a pic from the wedding venue. We had a great time!
I took wayyy too many pictures of this dress. I love it so much! I was good and condensed my amount of photos here. I probably took about 30 though! I feel so late getting in on the Anna dress madness. Totally worth the wait though!