Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Dressmaking: By Hand London Anna Dress

Source: By Hand London

As soon as I found out about By Hand London, I was really excited to try out their patterns. It is really inspiring to find a new pattern company with modern ideas for designs, perfect of a London girl like myself! 

In fact I was so taken by the designs that I bought all four from the Sewbox

They are a very pretty addition to my ever increasing collection of vintage and new dress patterns! 

I decided to make the Anna dress first, because handily By Hand London have just had their sew along, where regular instalments on their blog detail the next stage in the dress making process with tips. It is rather nice to imagine that you are sewing along with lots of other people all over the country!

I decided to make the shorter more 1950's style version of the Anna dress for that vintage-inspired look. 

The pattern instructions are really easy to follow and their are some great tips too (such as using french seams if you have chosen a silk or other sheer fabric like I did). 

After tracing out the pattern and cutting the fabric I followed their advice and used french seams, which give a really nice neat finish to a sheer fabric such at this.

Darts were included at the waist on the back and folds at the front.

This sheer fabric worked well giving the shoulder sleeves a relaxed feel.

The only slightly tricky bit comes when you need to line up your seams to attach the bodice and skirt pieces together.

I must say that it one of the best fitting dresses I own and I absolutely love it, this is a pattern I will use many more times!

Also a couple of weeks ago the girls at By Hand London released a free pattern - the Polly Top, which can be downloaded in pdf format for free. It's great when designers do this, as it gives you the chance to try out a pattern which you might not otherwise have given a go. I'm busy making a Polly top right now, so watch this space!

If you want a bit more help making By Hand London patterns then look out for dressmaking class dates at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead and Guthrie & Ghani, Moseley, near Birmingham.

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