Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Minerva Blogger Network - the almost-Anna dress



Ooh yes, and new hair too!

As the title suggests, I ordered this fabric intending it to become another Anna dress.  Then the By Hand London ladies released the Flora pattern and I fell for it hard.  I ordered it that day and crossed my fingers that it would arrive in time.



I loved the fabric as soon as I saw it and started thinking about what I could make from it – one of those rare occasions for me when I pick the pattern for the fabric instead of the other way around!  It’s a smooth and silky lightweight cotton lawn with an fan print.  There are a number of different colourways but I loved the grey-blue of this blue and orange one.  It’s lovely to work with – light but not see through. 





This is a really straightforward pattern with nothing too tricky so it would be a great first dress for a beginner.  It does use an invisible zip but the instructions are pretty clear on inserting that.

I did my usual FBA and added 1” about the bust.  I also lengthened the straps by 2” and the bodice length by ½” at the bottom.  Looking at the wrinkles on the back, I perhaps lengthened a bit too much so I’ll leave that out for the next version.  I increased the length of the skirt by cutting the longest length plus 1” – this meant that the front piece was too wide to fit on the folded fabric (you definitely need 60” wide for this).  So I folded a piece out of the side seams (leaving the waist intact) so that I could fit it on the fabric – it’s a full skirt with extra pleats so it still works fine!  I had enough fabric to cut the 2 back skirt pieces in a single layer so could use the full width.  The bodice is lined and as I was a bit worried about the print showing through I used some white lawn I had in the stash.


As ever the By Hand London instructions are really clear.  The only issue I had was getting confused between which version I was making when attaching and finishing the lining as the two are completely different - totally user error and not the fault of the pattern.  I realised after I had overlocked the back and waist seams that I wasn’t supposed to catch the lining in there, but I decided not to unpick all that overlocking even though it would have given a neater finish on the inside (lazy me!)


The only problem with this dress is that it’s a bit too summery to wear quite yet.  But I haven’t given up hope of some more sunny weather to come very soon!  I was aiming for a Lizzy-esque barefoot pic (it's in no way because I was too lazy to dig out summery shoes to go with this dress!) but my pasty legs and back garden really aren't a patch on an Aussie beach!



If you want to make your own version (with 3m of fabric so it would work for an Anna or Emery too) you can buy a kit from Minerva here.  It also includes an invisible zip and matching thread.


14 comments:

  1. Seriously cute dress.Thats great choice of fabric too. I bought Flora and I have no idea what fabric to use. I also wish I had an Aussie beach to photograph a la Lizzie!

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    1. thanks stevie. this fabric is really lovely to work with. and yes to the aussie beach!

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  2. Beautiful dress and new hair! Fingers crossed for some lovely summery weather soon :-)

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    1. thanks amy! i have everything well and truly crossed!

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  3. Lovely dress and lovely new hair too. I've seen many, many versions of Flora already, and this is one of the loveliest.

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    1. thanks sam. there have been a lovely lot of floras around and i have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more as we get into the summer!

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  4. Love the dress and new hair. It's so different, and really suits you.

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    1. thanks - i am loving the new hair - it's so easy!

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  5. Beautiful! I'm so in love with this pattern!

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    1. me too. wax print wrap version is up after i finish my mad men dress! all about the dresses at the moment!

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  6. Seriously cute. I want to make this now!

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    1. do it katy! i'd love to see your version!

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  7. This is really lovely! I love the fabric. It looks really nice on you! :)

    I've been dying for this pattern, but with the cost of shipping, I couldn't convince myself to buy it. BUT! I did find a stockist in the US. I'm just currently waiting for them to receive their shipment. I can't wait to make it! :)

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    1. thanks kathy! it's a great pattern. i have prewashed my fabric for the wrap version already. can't wait to see yours!

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