Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A very special Anna

Today’s dress is a bit special to me for a number of reasons. Firstly I made it to wear to the wedding of a my good friend, Katie and it was lovely to have a special dress to celebrate her special day in.  Secondly, I made it in some great fabric I bought in Japan last year.  I have no idea what I was planning to made with this when I bought it, as I purchased 5m which is more than I would usually buy without a plan, however, kudos past Alexa for making good choices! 
The dress is of course the Anna dress, isn’t it funny how when you make up a pattern that you love you instantly want to make it again.  I haven’t made an Anna dress in a couple of years and now have made 2 versions in the space of a few weeks!  The first version of the Anna that I ever made was the maxi version and I loved floating around in that dress so much, sadly it completely disintegrated as it was made from a viscose that frayed like crazy and I made it before I had an overlocker.  I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make another to replace it. 
 Apart from the back alteration that I’ve talked about in other versions, I made the pattern up straight from the pack.  I always find it hard to believe when a dress pattern says it needs something like the 4.5m required for this dress, particularly as I’m usually quite economical with my cutting.  However, a maxi dress with gored skirt really does!  I only have some scraps left over from my 5m!
 The fabric is a cotton of medium weight and so was a total dream to work with and there'll be no fraying issues with this baby!  I feel that this is a good use of my Japanese stash and I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this once we return to my preferred summer season! 

The pictures are courtesy of my friend Dominika who is obsessed with photos and getting the perfect photo.  When she makes me take her photo 10 times or makes me pose for mine forever, I whinge a lot but then she get such good results that I really shouldn’t be such a brat about it. 
Thanks Dominika!
The dress was a bit of a last minute scramble as I had a few other things to do for the wedding such as make the veil!  This was a really fun project and it was lovely to feel that I was doing something important for their big day.  It involved a lot more hand sewing than I would usually sign up for and I forgot to get a picture!
What a lovely couple!  I'm definitely glad that I got to be part of their special day and had something to wear that felt appropriately special.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Around the world

It's Indie pattern month over on the monthly stitch, which is one of my favourite sewing events of the year as I always discover new patterns and designers and see great adaptations of patterns.  This year one of the themes was 'around the world' which meant that you had to sew a pattern by an Indie company outside your own country.  I thought this was a great challenge and really pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I'd assumed I sew lots of patterns from different pattern companies around the world and while this is true to an extent, there is a big slant towards UK pattern companies, the patterns I've made over the last few months have been from Cocowawa, By Hand London and A LOT of Sew Over It.

Anyway I consulted my pattern stash and pulled out the Waffle patterns Vanilla top.  I discovered this pattern company through a previous years indie pattern month, see an interview with the designer here. I think I bought this on black Friday last year so it's nice to finally get round to using it.

I used some jersey that I bought in Japan last year.  It's a nice symmetry to use a Japanese fabric for a pattern from a Japanese designer.  While Japanese designs always look so cool, the lack of fitting and defined waist line means that they're not usually my style so this was also my first venture into Japanese style patterns.

The front and back pattern pieces look crazy when they are laid out on the fabric, which was kind of exciting because it wasn't like anything I'd ever sewn before!  The instructions were good and I thought the design of the neckline binding was really good and gave a nice finish for a V-necked top in jersey.

However, I do think the sizing is bit off.  I made the jumper true to my measurements and I do think it's a bit too slouchy and oversized and because of the unusual shape, I'm not entirely sure how to fix it!  I have worn it loads since I finished it though so it clearly can't be bothering me that much!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

An oldie but a goodie

With this make I've returned to an old pattern that was everywhere in the blogosphere at one point and I've already made several versions of, a couple of versions here and here.  It is of course the By Hand London Anna dress.  Despite having made this dress a number of times, I have never made the V-necked version so it was nice to try something new while still in the realm of the familiar.

The fabric I used is one of a pair of sheets I picked up in a charity shop a few years back.  I used one of them to make this vintage shirtdress.  Unfortunately as it was my first version of the shirtdress, it was a bit short in the torso and while I loved it I was never that comfortable in it so eventually donated it.  On the plus side I had plenty more of the fabric which I loved so time for dress number 2 from a sheet!  I started my dressmaking journey with a lot of refashioning projects and while I now buy a lot of fabric, I love when I am able to return to some refashioning and to pursue my hobby a bit sustainably.

I always feel like the Anna bodice is a bit short on me (spot the long torso theme) so I lengthened this one by about 5cm.  It may have been a cm too much but I'm not going to get too picky about it.  With my last Anna dress I had made some alterations to adjust for gaping in the back which I did again this time.  I also decided to add a pleated skirt for a slightly different look and while the calculations behind pleats always defeat me (and I'm usually good at maths!), I got there in the end and really like the finished look.  Despite the pleats, this was really a very quick and satisfying make.

It was really nice to make something up that I'd made before and could be fairly certain was going to work well.  While it's always lovely to get a new pattern and try out new things there is something wonderful about returning to a TNT pattern.