Remember back last October when I had Nani Iro envy? After all the effort that went into tracking down this fabric, it took me 10 months to use it! As I’m sure fellow fabric hoarders will understand, it was just too precious to cut right into. The perfect plan had to be devised.
I decided that my cousin’s wedding was the special occasion I had been waiting for and after a bit of contemplation drew two conclusions. I wanted a full skirt: I would use the pieces from Kim. I didn’t want sleeveless, but I didn’t want much of a sleeve either so why not make it a By Hand London party and use Anna! The directions for the Kim dress say to fold the fabric off grain for the skirt, but I only had 3 yards so that didn’t work here and the skirt ended up being a little too wide for this fabric to cut on grain. I just cut off the selvage and used rectangles to make a gathered skirt, the effect is similar (just slightly less full) to if I had used the Kim skirt so I’m pleased with it. It’s worth noting that I made the size US12/UK16 so if you are smaller and using 45″ wide fabric you should be able to cut your skirt pieces on grain if you want to.
Hot off the mess that was my International Anna Party dress, I was determined to make another Anna bodice that fit. With the thought in the back of the mind that my silk voile version didn’t fit because of the fabric I made no adjustments… big mistake. I’ve lost a few pounds since that dress was finished, but I guess it’s all being lost where it doesn’t make a difference (my feet apparently as all my shoes are too big) because this version started off too tight as well.
This Anna zipped, but the waist was super tight and pulled so much that my front pleats were starting to come undone. I took out the zipper and worked like a mad woman to unpick my main fabric and my lining (did I mention I decided to line the bodice of this Anna to compare different types of finishing?). I reduced the seam allowance of the side seams to about 1/4 of an inch and moved the zipper closer to the edge of the seam which gave me about 1/2 inch total to the back. I thought about making those same modifications to my Silk Voile version, but it was very easy to let out the gathers slightly on this one and I’m not sure I want to take apart all of the panels to maybe get half as much extra space due to my French seams. With the modified seam allowance this version fits very well.
I think my next Anna will be 100% perfect from everything I’ve learned with the last 5. Here are the changes I am going to try: 1) I am going to slash and spread the bodice 1/4 of an inch on each bodice piece right at the waist to gain that little bit of extra space I need. 2) Increase the seam allowance on the shoulder seams because I’ve had a little slippage and think a little lift will keep that from happening. 3) Maybe overkill, but I’m also going to add 1/2 an inch of length to the bodice to make up for the increased shoulder seam. The bodice seam currently rest at the top of my natural waist so I don’t want it to be too short.
You may be curious why my title says “100” when this is not the 100th Anna dress I’ve made. This is my 100th blog post! I had a few post nearly ready to go that could have been #100, but I got photos in this dress first. I find it fitting that my 100th post should be about a dress pattern that I love so dearly, from a company I highly admire! Here’s to the next 100!