And I love it.
It's the Anna dress from By Hand London. It features double pleats at the bust, kimono sleeves, and a panelled A line skirt. You have the option of slash or V necklines and either midi or maxi length.
I went for slash neckline and midi length.
As soon as I saw various different versions appearing around the sewing blogosphere I knew I had to make one myself. Check out Karen's and Jane's .
I made this over a couple of evenings this week. I could have finished it more quickly but I had a real nightmare with a couple of parts - the reasons for this are purely of my own making, nothing to do with the pattern.
The fabric is I think 100% polyester, a grey and black lace print, which I picked up at a little fabric shop near my dentist a couple of weeks ago. I bought 2 metres thinking I'd probably make a dress of some sort, but that was as far as the planning went.
To be honest, although it's pretty, it was a bit of a nightmare to sew. The zip went in twice and still isn't that great, because the fabric kept shifting all over the place. Then the hem, oh my goodness, I think the hem took me as long as the rest of the dress did in total! I ended up with a rolled hem, but I'm certainly not showing you any close up pictures of it.
So, as I love the pattern so much I thought I'd do you a proper little review. Here goes:
An effortless Summer dress featuring double pleats at the bust, kimono sleeves and a panelled a-line skirt. Variations include both slash and v-neck options, plus midi and maxi skirt possibilities and a dramatic thigh high split. Super quick and simple to make, cut it short for the perfect festival dress, or make it worthy of the red carpet with a maxi skirt and thigh high split.
UK 6 – 20. I made a straight size 14 and it fits perfectly.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, except you can't see the bust pleats very well because my fabric is patterned. A plain, or smaller patterned fabric would show them off better.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved everything. Although I’m short I love a good maxi dress, and I liked the option of different necklines as well as different lengths. Of course there is also that split!
The only thing I would probably change for another time is the neck facing. I really, really don't like facings, so I'd either use a bias tape to finish the neck or possibly fully line the bodice.
I think it is 100% polyester.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None. I cut a straight size 14 and it fits exactly as I would like it to.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definitely. I want one in all the colours! I would definitely recommend it to others.
I love the shape and fit of this dress. I’m definitely making it again.
I can see myself wearing this one pretty much year round. For summer it's a bit too synthetic to wear on really hot days. I can also picture it with a chunky cardi, opaque tights and boots in the winter. Yum!
I have fabric for another one already. My next one will be a maxi, although I'm not sure about the split. I think I'll probably go with the v neck, as my fabric is rather loud and I'm not sure it would look that good right next to my face. Here it is:
I'm hoping it will be a kind of similar look to this Alice & Olivia dress I found on Pinterest recently. In which case, the slash neckline would be better.