Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Sewing Indie Month - meet the 'Anna Raven' playsuit #anIndieLoveAffair #sewingindie

We are just about to come to the end of Sewing Indie Month, which was run for the first time this year and organised by Seamster Patterns. It brings together 21 independent sewing pattern designers who are sharing their tips and tutorials. Of course there is also an exciting sew-along competition with four different categories - Pattern Hacking, Everyday Casual, Dressed to the Nines and an Indie Love Affair for all budding dressmakers out there to make and submit their entries to.

The deadline for entries is 4th June and voting will happen until 14th June. To see what has been happening check out the Sewing Indie Month Calendar.

I decided after looking at all the possible pattern options and combinations (a lot of sewcrastination happened here) to enter anIndieLoveAffair with my combination of Anna Dress from By Hand London and Raven Shorts from Sinbad and Sailor to create the 'Anna Raven' playsuit!!!

This is one of my most ambitious projects yet and required quite a bit of pattern adapting and fitting but i'm so excited with the result. Check out my playsuit below and see other entries to the competition here.

I first traced the Anna dress pattern bodice pieces and printed out the Raven shorts pattern. I have previously made the Anna dress and for this playsuit I decided I wanted the bust darts to be smaller so the bodice was less fitted.

I then measured the distance I needed to extend the pattern pieces to form a playsuit. I increased the height of the short pattern pieces and also added a waist band to lengthen the bodice.

Once all the pattern adjustments had been made I cut my fabric pieces out and started with the Anna bodice. Apart from altering the bust darts, I followed the instructions that come with the pattern. First the darts are sewn in front and back bodice pieces, then the shoulders and finally the sleeve seams and side seams. The fabric I chose was a light weight retro style cotton. I think my pattern choices are getting bolder!

Then I added the facing and clipped it before understitching. I also attached the facing to the wrong sides of the shoulder seams with a few hand stitches to hold it in place.

Here is the finished Anna bodice:

Next to make was the Raven shorts. I had to do a few pattern alterations to these so that I could incorporate them into a playsuit. I didn't use the waistband pieces and hence I didn't need a front opening for the shorts with press fasteners. Instead I increased the height of the shorts and repositioned the pockets lower down. I much prefer pockets where my hands just rest in them rather than higher up where you have to bend your elbow.

Following the Raven shorts instructions, I sewed the pockets onto the short pieces and then the sides of the shorts, around the pockets. As suggested in the pattern, I used a great contrasting pocket fabric, which is the same pattern style but in yellow! I love how you get a pop of yellow from these shorts as you walk around in them.

I then placed one leg inside the other to sew the crotch seams. I didn't sew all the way to the top at the back of the shorts to leave room for the zip.

I folded under the hem on the shorts by 6 cm and sewed under 1 cm of raw edge. I then folded the hem on the shorts back to the right side and edge stitched it in place, to give nice hem detail and weight to the hemline of the shorts.

Here are the finished Raven shorts:

I then added the waistband to attach the bodice and shorts. I did some adjustments here at the back so that it would lie flat on my lower back before stitching in place.

Finally I put in an invisible zip, being sure to match the zip at the edges of the waistband.

And here is the finished Anna Raven! 


  1. This is so cool. Excellent mash up! And I love your print choices.

  2. Thanks so much Joanna! It's really comfortable to wear too, I think i'll make another one when the weather warms up a bit more. : )

  3. Fab idea! Love this - I do love a jumpsuit

    1. Have you used a good jumpsuit pattern Charlotte? I'd quite like to try a full length one next!

  4. That is an epic mashup. Looks amazing and great on you. You got my vote. :)