Saturday, 11 January 2014

Cinderella Part II

Pattern: Anna dress from By Hand London
Size: 12-14
Fabric: Satin from Mason's

As always with dressing up dresses it took me quite a while to decide on a pattern, but I knew I wanted a maxi and the Anna dress had been catching my eye for some time. A lot of the versions in blogland are beautiful, don't get me wrong, but more along the lines of a summer day dress so I just wasn't sure if it would posh up enough. Then I saw this glorious version courtesy of Diary of a Chain Stitcher and I knew my prayers had been answered.

Fabric took a while again. I originally toyed for quite a while with a £2.99 a metre polyester in Mason's as it was drapey black that shimmered red when it moved. On closer inspection, however, it revealed that it would look mostly black and attracted all the wrong kind of attention. Mostly that of fluff and lint. Then some navy flower patterned satin caught my eye, and as navy is definitely one 'my colours', I figured I couldn't go too far wrong.

Anna is a fantastic pattern and gets my prize for the coolest packaging. It is all contained in a pretty sleeve with a cut-out, and the instructions are in a cute booklet. A word of warning - I'm not sure how they calculated their fabric requirements, but I had tons left over after I had cut my pieces. I could have got away with at least half a metre less.
Other than that, I have no complaints. It's a well explained pattern and includes details on how to finish the dress with French seams. I did this as I wanted it to be special and my fabric was quite inclined towards fraying. I also took the time to handsew the edges of the thigh slit, and the hem with blind slipstitching. I really enjoyed that part and it definitely made for a more high-end finish. I did the hem twice as it was way too long the first time. Turns out it was still a bit too long the second time but I didn't want to go too much the other way and have a too-short dress!

The fit is good. I chose a 12 bust, grading out to a 14 waist as there isn't much ease. I think my bodice is a tiny bit tight, so when I make a second, more casual version, I might go up to a 14 all over, or let out the pleats a bit, but it's fine for a fitted, evening garment.

Ooh, showing some ankle!
I loved wearing her on the night. I felt much taller (ah, the optical illusion of a maxi) and quite elegant for once and she floated and swished when I walked. Everyone had made a massive effort and looked beautiful, as did St George's Hall, the venue for our evening, and we all had a super-fun time.

Here are some snaps of the venue, if you're interested!

The band, including amusing keyboard player


  1. Oh darling, this is so beautiful! The most gorgeous Anna I've ever seen, for sure. You look stunning xx

  2. Hello LEGS!! I love you in full length, you look stunning :) Shoes are fab too xxx