By Hand London Anna Dress

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I already blogged by second version of my By Hand London Anna Dress so I figured it was about time to blog my first version! This version doesn’t get worn often but does get worn for special occasions. I’ll definitely end up wearing my second version more but I do really love this dress.

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The Anna Dress bodice is very distinctive and after looking at many versions I had an idea of how I wanted the bodice to fit on my body. I made 3 muslins for the bodice to tweak the fit and I ended up making a lot of adjustments to the bodice. I ended up taking a lot of height out of the bodice front – probably about 1 1/2 inches. I also followed the back neckline tutorial on the Ginger makes blog to fix the gaping at the back. I ended up taking 3/4 inch out of each side of the back. I’m also short (5′ 2″) so I had to shorten the skirt by 8 inches!!! I made some fitting adjustments before making my second version and I’m really happy with the fit on that version.

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I really took my time on sewing this dress. I used french seams on all the possible seams, and hand stitched many other areas (hem, slit opening, sleeve hems). I really love all of the beautiful finishing and I think that those touches really make the dress feel special. The directions do not have you interface the neckline facing and so I didn’t interface the facing on either this dress or my second dress but I wish I did go ahead and interface the neckline facing to help the facing lay flat and help the neckline keep its shape… Next time!

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The fabric is the Lottie Floral Rayon from the miramar collection by workroom social. I recently used a different fabric from this line for my Grainline Studio Hadley top. In both cases I absolutely loved working with the fabric both times. I really love the coral color on this one paired with bright blue and dark teal.

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While I don’t get to wear this dress often I did wear it to a Luau in Hawaii last summer and it was absolutely perfect.

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Midi By Hand London Anna Dress

This is actually the second By Hand London Anna Dress that I’ve made but I haven’t taken photos of my first one for a blog post yet. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon but for now here is my midi length version! For my first version I made several muslins and adjustments to the bodice because I wanted a more fitted look. I made a couple more adjustments for this version and if I make another version I may make even more tweaks but overall I’m really happy with how it came out!

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I used the April Rhodes Heritage Rayon for this dress and I absolutely loved working with it. I didn’t do any pattern matching on this (which would have been a huge pain with all of the skirt panels) and because the print is so busy you can’t really tell! I just barely squeezed this dress out of 2 yards of fabric!

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One thing I still need to perfect is the fit in the back neckline. I did take a pretty big amount out of the neckline but I could take a bit more out to get it to lay completely flat.

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I love the slit on one side! I don’t know that I’ll make another Anna in the near future but I’ve been thinking about making a skirt. I’ve also used the bodice for another project recently which will be on the blog at some point but maybe not for a couple of months!

Hannah Dress

I made the Victory Patterns Hannah Dress this summer and I really love it so I’m going to post a lot of pictures.fullsizeoutput_169a

I got these two incredible linen fabrics from Stonemountain and Daughter when I was there over Thanksgiving last year. I’m so happy I got to go in person to pick out these fabrics so that I could be really sure that they matched.

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It seemed like everyone loved this dress when it came out but when I saw Heather from Closet Case Patterns post her version I totally fell in love. I love the super bold floral that she used and I knew I wanted to make something similar. I spent over a year looking for fabric when I finally found this! I also included this in my 2018 make 9 because this was something I knew I definitely wanted to make this year.

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This project was definitely challenging. I have made a couple of popover plackets before but this one is a hidden button one and there are just so many markings and things that need to line up in this pattern. The linen is a little bit of a looser weave and things shifted around a little bit but in the end I’m super happy with the result.

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I mean just look at how beautiful this fabric is. I love this abstract floral pattern with these crazy back pleats.

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Here is a picture of me wearing this dress with my hands not in the pockets. But woah those pockets are so great and just really magical.

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I did muslin this dress in part because I wanted to practice everything and in part because I hadn’t made a Victory Patterns pattern before. I’m glad I did because when I muslined I made a size 2 and I also shortened the dress I think by 2 inches. Instead of using the lengthen/shorten line I also added two lines in the bodice to lengthen and shorten by because I think that I am very clever and I wanted the proportions to stay the same. However, I did not shorten the contrasting color back pleats and it ended up being a little bunchy and weird. The dress was also just a smidge tight so I ended up going up to a size 4 and not shortening at all!

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I took these pictures with my tripod and a remote so I had no idea that my head was completely cut off in this one but since it is lets just take a minute to fully appreciate that hem. Its amazing.

Tropical Ogden Cami Dress

I made this dress using the Ogden Cami from True Bias. I followed this tutorial on her blog to make the dress version. The fabric is from Indie Sew but unfortunately it looks like it is out of stock/ discontinued. I actually really liked working with this fabric. Because it is a rayon crepe it is super drape-y but not quite a slippery as other rayons. It is pretty thin while still being opaque enough to make an unlined dress.

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In these pictures I’m wearing the dress with a belt to create a little more waist definition but I can definitely see myself wearing the dress both with and without a belt this summer. This dress is one of the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn!

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Per usual I love the back of the ogden cami and in this super soft drape-y fabric I love it even more! If you want to see my previous ogden cami makes you can check out my Black and White Ogden Cami as well as my post on three other Ogden Camis I made using scraps leftover from other projects.

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Photos by my friend Cora!

Tencel Chambray Alder Shirtdress

This is my third time making the Alder Shirtdress pattern by Grainline Studio. The first time was out of red cotton and the second time was a shirt version.

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I got the fabric for this from Blackbird Fabrics. Its my first time using tencel and it was a bit more tricky than the cotton fabrics that I’ve used for this pattern before. This fabric is so soft and drapey – I really love it but it wrinkles quite a bit.

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For a while I considered going up a size at the bust for this because with both my other versions the button at the bust can come undone if I’m wearing a cross body purse (which is the only kind of purse I wear). However, I did not end up going up a size on this and I haven’t had any issues so far. I’m thinking that might be either because my button holes are somehow better or because the fabric is a bit softer and gives a bit more easily. Either way I’m pretty happy that I did not go down a size.

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I used the same pattern adjustments and construction as I did on my first Alder Shirtdress so there is really nothing new to report there.

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I originally took blog photos for this dress at the Wisconsin State Capital (but ended up retaking them for obvious reasons). It happened to be a super windy day the first time I tried to photograph this make which helped show off the volume of the skirt!

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Santa Fe Dress hack!

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This is my first time making a Hey June pattern. This is the Santa Fe Top lengthened to be a dress. I feel like I’ve seen tons of swingy tank-dresses this summer and they always look cute and stylish but also seemed like they would be super comfortable. I used view B of the pattern and lengthened it by 11 inches.

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I love the way it turned out! It ended up being the perfect dress to be able to throw on and have it look cute but still be super comfortable. I also think the seams in the center front and back add a bit of visual interest to this otherwise very simple dress. I’d definitely make this pattern again and there are so many variations so it is a very versitile pattern.

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Overall, I think this was a super fun and quick project to put together. I struggled a bit with the neckline binding – you can see that around the neckline does lay quite right. I’m not sure if that is due to the stretchiness/ lack of stretchiness of my fabric or how to prevent that in the future. I’d also used used my normal sewing machine with a straight stitch for the hem and I’d probably go for the coverstitch machine next time around. The instructions had you just use a straight stitch so I was hoping I could get away with not having to thread my coverstitch machine but next time around I think it would be worth it just to get a little bit smoother of a hem.

Grainline Studio Farrow Dress

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I made this Grainline Studio Farrow Dress out of this linen/cotton blend Robert Kaufman fabric. I love this dress for so many reasons. The slight high low hem is flattering without being overwhelming. The center front and back seams and the angled seams that conceal the pockets are just so good.

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Originally I got this fabric to make a Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt, but once I got it I was worried that it was a bit too stiff/thick so I ended up changing my mind at the last minute. However, the Melilot requires less fabric so I had to really squeeze everything in. Since the fabric is the same on the front and the back I was able to get all of the main fabric pieces to line up. I also was able to get the facings out of this fabric but I had to add a center seam to my front neckline facing – that is how little fabric I had left over!

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I love this linen/cotton blend. However, there is something about the texture of the fabric when it gets super wrinkly where it looks a bit like toilet paper that at some point was wet but has since dried up. However, I think as long as I take it out of the dryer right away and do some light ironing. I think over time this fabric will soften up also, which will help with the extreme wrinkliness that happens.

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One issue that I’ve been having is that my back hook and eye come unhooked a bunch. I think I might switch out the eye to a smaller one.

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Did I mention the pockets???