You all know by now how much I love the By Hand London sewing patterns. The Anna dress is a firm favourite, with its beautiful A line skirt. Having made quite a lot of dresses lately, I thought it was about time I mixed it up and made something different. I really love the shorter skirt from the Anna dress and it’s a great length for wearing to work, so I thought, why not make it into a skirt of its own?
I was lucky enough to be given some fabric remnants from the sewing editor at work and managed to cut out the skirt pattern using pretty much all of the fabric (I had to be quite crafty with my cutting skills). I altered the waistline and added in a shorter zip and here you have it, one Anna skirt.
I followed my normal size but somehow the skirt ended up being far too big, so I had to bring it in quite a bit. The length is great and I really love the print so overall it’s a really lovely skirt to wear, but next time I’ll definitely be a bit wiser when cutting the strips and measure my waistline correctly.
I’ve just read some incredibly sad news from the By Hand London girls this morning. The brand will no longer run as it has been and the girls will be moving on to other projects while working on By Hand London as a sideline.
This is a huge blow for the sewing industry, but also understandable. I know firsthand the costs of living in London and being self-employed so I can see where they are coming from, but still, By Hand London is one of the leaders of the UK sewing industry and I will be sad to see it go.
There are a number of paper patterns still available to buy and all future patterns will be released as PDF patterns only. I really love the range of patterns from By Hand London – each one is so on-trend and I remember feeling really excited about the brand when I first discovered it. But, things change and I wish the girls well as they are all lovely. I really hope we’ll see more of By Hand London soon!
Although I’ve been a fan of By Hand London patterns for a few years now, I’ve never sewn up an Anna dress. That changed this past week, when I finally got round to sewing up the fabric and pattern that White Tree Fabrics sent to me before Christmas.
I find the Anna dress a really wearable pattern and it’s quick to sew up too (perfect for beginners), so I’m surprised I haven’t made it before. I love the A line skirt and I love the length so I know I’ll wear this one again and again.
I’m not too keen on the sleeves and neckline, which is what I think put me off to begin with. It’s not that I don’t like them. I do, it’s just that I don’t really wear cap sleeves and this kind of dress isn’t my go-to dress of choice. But I have really enjoyed making it and I imagine this will be one I choose to wear when I’m looking to wear something different. It’ll also be good for work.
I used the Tilda Olivia fabric in red as I have a shortage of red dresses and wanted to go a little out of my comfort zone. I’ve used Tilda fabrics before and they’re so nice to work with.
Much like the other patterns I’ve used lately, I really like the fit of this dress. By Hand London patterns generally make great dresses and the Anna, one of their earliest patterns, is equally as lovely as their other makes.
I will certainly be making another Anna. I just need to work out which fabric to use next.
Pattern and fabric kindly gifted to me from White Tree Fabrics
I’m currently sewing up my first Anna dress for White Tree Fabrics. It’s not a style I particularly wanted to make when it first came out to be honest (I always preferred the Elisalex), but the pattern has definitely grown on me and I’m excited to sew it up now. I have some lovely Tilda fabric* and I plan on making the shorter version. Perhaps I’ll even make the maxi version for the summer.
The Anna dress has recently moved up my to-do list, purely because I’ve seen a few really great versions online lately (most recently Roisin’s version). So, having taken to Pinterest, I’ve chosen a few, really inspiring, Anna’s. Maybe they’ll even inspire you too. Please click through for links to the original pins and blog posts. All images are courtesy of the bloggers, of course.
1. Anna from Paunnet‘s beautiful navy blue Anna dress