International Anna Party!


How’s your summer sewing going? I hope you’re making progress on your projects whatever they may be. I started my third By Hand London Anna Dress earlier this month – inspired by the Instagram International Anna Party invitation from Elle of @LauraLovesPugs, who’s paryting with Ute of @uta_ig and Pips of @magdalenamuse and invited everyone to join them in a celebration of this dress by post their dresses  on Instagram on on July 17 and 18. You could make a new one or post a previously made version. Use the hashtag #internationalannaparty to see the wide array of Annas.

Cheers to Elle, Ute and Pips for hosting the party! Here’s my finished dress. I’m really happy with this color-blocked version. The fabric is from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley. The bodice is Radiance by Robert Kauffman (a shiny cotton/silk sateen but I put the matte or “wrong” side facing out) and the skirt is an Alexander Henry cotton lawn.

International Anna Party - Anna Dress - By Hand London -

I think this pattern has been so popular because it works well with so any fabrics – prints of all kinds, solid colors, cottons and silks. But if you do use a print with a larger scale graphic, pay attention to the repeat when you place your skirt pattern pieces. If I had paid closer attention, I would have made sure that the larger “flower” images didn’t line up anywhere. On two of the front panels, one of the lighter flowers lines up near the waist, which happened by accident.

International Anna Party - Anna Dress - By Hand London - color blocked version -

My second Anna Dress was also color blocked – the bodice was solid red and the skirt was solid red and a print. You can see it on this post: My Red Anna Dress. For my first Anna Dress, I used a geometric border print. I made it for Sewing Indie Month in 2014. You can see that version on this post: The Anna Dress. And you’ll find photos of my fitting adjustments in that post – an SBA (small bust adjustment). For this violet version, I made one small adjustment to th back neckline, which gaped slightly in my earlier versions.

International Anna Party - Anna Dress - By Hand London - color blocked version -

This is a very figure-flattering pattern. It makes me look more slender than I really am. 😉 And what’s also nice is that it has plenty of ease in the hips. I didn’t have to grade a size up like I usually do.

International Anna Party - Anna Dress - By Hand London - color blocked version -

One thing I forgot when I was cutting this out is that I needed to cut the side front skirt panels slightly smaller. When I made my 1/2 SBA, that affected the bodice waist. So I just eased the skirt to the bodice to make it fit.

International Anna Party - Anna Dress - By Hand London - color blocked version -

I’m drinking lemonade because I took these photos in the morning. Heheh.

Thanks so much for the party! Happy sewing to all!





Summer sewing – WIPs


What are you working on? Projects for summer and fall? Now that summer solstice has come and gone, I feel pressure to get going on the summer clothes. One good thing about living in California is that it stays warm through September, even in the Bay Area, where the weather is a lot cooler than Southern California – so I’ll be OK even if I don’t finish my summer sewing projects by the end of August.

I’ve just finished making another Deer and Doe Chardon skirt – this time out of some heavyweight linen fabric. Here’s a sneak peek of the main skirt fabric, which I got at Britex Fabrics and my side pocket:

Linen fabric - pocket detail for Chardon Skirt -

Hopefully, I’ll be able to take photos of it in the couple of days so you can see the finished version with the red linen contrast band. This is my fourth Chardon skirt. (Here are the links to my first Chardon, my second one with a black contrast band, and my maxi version.)

Also on my list – dresses – one each from the Japanese sewing books, Basic Black by Sato Watanabe and Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I want to make the dress on the cover of Basic Black. (I made a 16-paneled skirt from this book earlier this year.)

Basic Black by Sato Watanabe -

I already got some black seersucker fabric. It’s a perfect project for the Sundress Sewalong, hosted by Handmade by Heather B! It starts on July 1 and continues to August 31 – plenty of time to finish it! Thanks, Heather!

Sundress Sewalong 2015

The other dress is one I thought I would make for the Japan Sew Along (hosted by Tanoshii) but I was only able to complete one garment, the A-line Block Skirt (from Basic Black) by the end of the sewalong.  This is the pattern…

Stylish Dress Book - sleeveless dress with ruffles -

… and here’s the pretty purple cotton voile fabric I got for the dress:

Fabric - cottons and wool -

Oh, and let’s not forget tops! I cut out my mock-up of the Asymmetical Top from Drape Drape 2, which I’ve been meaning to make ever since I saw a couple of MaciNic’s versions on her blog The Somnolent Dachshund. I cut a straight size L/XL. I’m using a drapey rayon knit so we’ll see how well it fits. My guess is that it will be tight in the hips. The top was a bit of a pain to cut out because it is one huge pattern piece. So I had to lay it out on the floor. It’s waiting to be sewed.

And way back in December I cut out a mock-up of the Renfrew top, Sewaholic’s best-selling and versatile knit top. It got pushed to the bottom of the project queue when I started making my Chardon skirts, Japanese sewing patterns, and my Spring for Cotton dress. I need to sew this up as well.

I also bought my first Blueprints for Sewing pattern – the A-frame skirt, which looks like a great stashbuster. Just think of the color blocking possibilities!

A-frame skirt - Blueprints for Sewing
(image from Blueprints for Sewing)

The drawing is unique – rather rustic but don’t be put off by it, the design is rather elegant with two options – an A-line and a pencil skirt. And the pocket detail is quite lovely. You can see more versions of it on Blueprint’s blog.

Another pattern I got earlier this month is the Flutter Blouse by Papercut Patterns. I like the floaty sleeves. You could make it tunic length and wear it as a dress (check out SewBusyLizzy’s version here). I don’t know if I would make it tunic length – like SewBusyLizzy I worry about it looking like a sack. My hips are rather wide so I don’t think that will be flattering on my figure. It will be fine as a blouse though.

Flutter blouse - Papercut Patterns -

I love the packaging on Papercut Patterns!

There are other indie patterns on my to-do list as well – Deer & Doe’s Bruyère Shirt, maybe another By Hand London Anna Dress for the International Anna Party (I’ve made two so far – one with a border print and a color blocked version), and Sewaholic’s Granville Shirt. What’s on your sewing list?

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