Last summer you may remember I made 2 By Hand London Anna dresses in quick succession and loved them both. Ever since I've been wanting to make more and I've finally got round to using at least part of the pattern again.
I'm not the first blogger by a long way to make alterations to this pattern, and it was in fact other people's changes that inspired mine.
As you can see, I lengthened the sleeves to just below elbow length. For this, I followed the tutorial from the By Hand London sewalong, and it took all of about 5 minutes to make the necessary addition to the pattern. That's the sort of alteration I like!
The skirt took slightly longer. I knew I wanted a straighter, or certainly less flared skirt. I toyed with the idea of a pencil skirt, but I don't have a pencil skirt pattern that fits me well, and I didn't want to start trying to fit one.
So I flicked through some of the patterns I already own and have used, and hit upon Danielle, which is a free pattern from the Burdastyle website.
I've made this before - in fact I think it was the first dress I blogged about and I find the skirt shape really flattering on me.
I had to make some alterations to the skirt, but they were quite straightforward once I put a bit of thought in. Danielle has a high waist, whereas Anna doesn't. So the first thing to do was to bring the waistline marking on the pattern pieces into the correct place. I did this simply by measuring where I wanted it and folding out the excess. I then cut the skirt pieces out, adding an additional inch to the bottom to account for the piece I'd folded out at the top. (I actually folded out more than 1 inch, but I'm not very tall, so I knew adding just 1 inch at the hem would be enough).
The other alteration I made was to change Danielle's one pleat each side to 2, to match the bust pleats on Anna. This took a bit of thought and measurement, but again, wasn't difficult.
I plan on doing another post showing exactly how I made the skirt alterations, in case anyone is interested in doing the same thing.
The back closes with an invisible zip, inserted using a new method I discovered. I'm so pleased with how this went in, it took a bit longer than normal, but it was definitely worth it.
The only thing I'm slightly annoyed about is that I had to use a black zip - so you can see the black zip pull - because according to my local fabric store "they don't make navy ones". I can't believe that!
Inside, the finishing is fairly simple. I used handmade bias binding for the neckline finish - handstitched down so the neckline remained clean - and used the same binding to cover the raw edges of the waist seam. The sleeves and hem were turned once and machined, then turned again and handstitched.
I already have plans (and the fabric) for another Anna-Danielle mash-up with short sleeves (and possibly the V-neck) for Spring.