As the weather warms up I thought it was time to sew up another of my vintage saris. This time I chose a silk one and the Maxi version of the Anna dress from By Hand London.
According to the envelop you need 5+ yards of fabric but I have found that the skirt on this dress is WAY WAY WAY longer then any person needs so I ignore the cut layout and have the skirt cut on the cross grain instead.
I was able to cut the whole dress out of 3 yards of fabric ( 45″ wide). Since I had so much fabric left over I also did a self lining and underlined the top of the skirt. I have never worked with 100% silk before and this was not an easy task. It was so light and ethereal which made it a major pain to sew. The finished dress is OK but I would be pretty embarrassed to wear it out of the house. It’s comfortable so I am treating it as a glamorous house dress for days when I want to put a little more effort than just yoga pants.
I used the bodice of the Anna dress to refashion a cotton dress. Now it was time to use the Anna how it was always meant to be. A floor-length flowy dress with a daring slit.
Since this is a London based company the shipping rates to get the pattern were astronomical. Luckily they also have a PDF option. So I purchased the PDF, and printed out 67 sheets of paper and spent the night taping them all together. Next step was to get Swedish tracing paper. This stuff is very cool. Its transparent enough that you can see through it for fabric placement, but sturdy enough that you can sew it or drape it. Its sort of reminds me of sew-in interfacing. Any who. Spent another night tracing the pattern and making my standard 1.5″ length adjustment to the bodice. I found the whole process a little tedious so I don’t know if this is something I will tackle again in the near future, but its always fun to try something new.
Finally it was fabric time. There was the rayon challis that I have been eyeing at Joann’s for quite some time and I thought this would be the perfect dress for it. It was a boarder print but it was 60″ wide so I bought 3 yards instead of the 5 yards that were recommend for this dress. I was originally thinking about just having the boarder around the bottom of the skirt, but fate had it that I would also need to have to boarder around the top as well. It turns out I like this look better anyway.
The rayon was very difficult to work with, It slipped so much so the lines no longer mach up 😦 On the pattern review board people seemed to think that this was OK since most RTW dresses wouldn’t match up either. Since the fabric was so lightweight I decided to do french seams. The inside of the dress feels so comfortable and soft as a result.
In fact my only complaint about this pattern is the facing. I hate them. Even with under stitching it keeps flipping to the outside, and the bulk of them is visible under such a drapy fabric. This pattern also comes with a midi length version as well which I was thinking of doing in a Silk Noil which I can dye. If I do, you better believe the facings will be replaced by a full bodice lining!
Another first for this dress is and Invisible zipper. I received an invisible zipper foot from my mom for Christmas and I was excited to give it a try. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. Invisible zippers are way easier then the traditional ones!
This dress is begging for some warm weather, of which I have none. Come summer time I know it will get a lot of wear.