Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Anna in a Anna dress

Size: size US8 for shoulders and bust, graded to a size US10 at the waist.
Alterations: I didn't use the 7-panel skirt of the pattern and opted for a gathered skirt with in-seam pockets.
Fabric: locally purchased viscose

WHOA. Two weeks without blogging. That hadn't happened in a while. I find it a bit silly to apologize since this is not a job for me and I'm sure you have plenty of other sources of entertainment, but still, I hope you missed me a little bit, because I was sure starting to miss my little space here.

Anyway, I'm back with a very, very happy dress!
I finally got around to make the Anna dress by By Hand London (which means that no, Sallie, you weren't the last one in the blogosphere!). Just like the name we share, this dress is very understated and lady-like. And just like my name, I wasn't completely in love with it at first glance. It was very beautiful, but was it a good match for me?

It took a few years of my life to accept the name my parents had chosen for me (I was actually supposed to be named Caterina, they tell me) and it took me a few posts from loving bloggers (especially from Roisin, no surprise there) to really fall in love with this dress.

And now I want a hundred versions of it! But let's speak of the one I've already made...
First of all, I had a bit of a freak-out when I traced this pattern. Marie came to my help on Twitter (thank you!) and I quickly realized I was seeing things... I blame it on the thin paper this pattern is printed on, which is the only thing I dislike about the otherwise gorgeous By Hand London packaging.

The first muslin I made was a practically perfect fit, I didn't even had the gaping at the back neckline that most people who blogged about this pattern seemed to have. If I'll ever make a V-neck version, I'll probably have to go back and make a FBA on a smaller size to avoid a gaping front neckline, but for the high neckline, it was perfect.

Then, I probably started seeing things again while cutting the fabric, because when I finished stitching the bodice and tried it on, I realized I had about an extra 10cm to remove. I seriously could not believe my eyes. I tried the muslin on again and it was still perfect, so I have no idea what happened. The fabric I used for the muslin is a teeny bit heavier than this viscose, but not so much as to justify a 10cm difference.

Maybe the fabric is haunted? I bought it at a fair and the guy who sold it to me told me it was salvaged from a warehouse destroyed by a flood. Jeez. But it was sooo inexpensive, and drapey, and the print was gorgeous... Maybe it came with a price? Just kidding. I hope.
Anyway, since I had French-seamed the sides, I ended up taking all the excess from the back seam. Not the proper way to go, but it worked, and with the dark fabric you don't really notice that the back darts are too close to the zipper. There's some gaping left at the neckline, but I'll live with that.

Anyway, I'm really in love with this pattern now, and not only can't I wait to make more Annas, I also really want to try the gorgeous Elisalex dress.

In conclusion, after mentioning my own name so many time in this post, I urge you to pleeeease click here and listen to the Italian pronunciation of the name "Anna" (unless you're German, then it's practically the same), just for the sake of it. It always makes me smile how differently it's pronounced in French- and English-speaking countries, so different from what I'm used to :) 

56 comments:

  1. Thats so beautiful. I love this pattern so much. The only problem for me is that I don't like kimono sleeves so beside my tester version in swedish paper, I never actually made one in fabric. I have though many times to modify the sleeves but it would loose the simplicity. Because brazilian and Italian are quite similar, we pronounce your very similarly. The fabric you picked is lovely….

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  2. Beautiful pics!

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  3. I really like the Anna dress, but need to make a few tweaks to make it fit well. Your version looks great.

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  4. Your dress looks beautiful. I'm tempted buy this pattern, I have just recently completed my elisalex dress.
    http://lavendershines.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/completed-elisalex-dress-by-hand-london.html

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  5. Super pretty dress, I love it! :D

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  6. i love it! you look gorgeous in it! also, anna is quite a popular name over here as well, we pronounce it almost the same as you do in italy (but we write it ana)

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  7. Lovely version. I can't wait to make up this pattern. Yes your pronunciation of Anna is not what I'm used to! Anna with an Italian accent!

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  8. This is gorgeous!

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  9. Love it! I too was skeptical of the dress when it first came out, but I absolutely love it now (like you, mostly because of Roisin's many versions). I know I will eventually make it but I'm too swamped with projects at the moment.

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  10. That dress looks gorgeous on you! I love your fabric choice.

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  11. So cute! Anna's have seriously been so popular on the blogosphere for a while, but I'm not a fan of the high neckline and kimono sleeves due to my small bust and broad shoulders.
    By the way, I've heard that viscose can be weird fabric by getting distorted over time. Perhaps if you tried making it in a different type of fabric, you would not have to make such drastic alterations.

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  12. GORGEOUS! Once again a perfect fabric match for a perfect dress. I love the gathered skirt and your styling with the tights and the shoes. You just don't seem to get a thing wrong do you? P.s. I love your name, and of course the Italian pronunciation. I have an Aunty Anna so it always sounds weird to me when people pronounce it the English/American way.
    Glad to see you back after two weeks!

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  13. Gorgeous and you would look amazing in Elisalex!

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  14. Ohh this fabric is gorgeous - I have a viscose/rayon (I thought they were the same thing, but the fabric shop had two different tick boxes on thei list of fabric content) waiting to make this exact version, ie with a gathered skirt. Those girls at BHL sure know what they're doing!

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  15. Your Anna turned out beautifully! And your name is beautiful as well. :D AND - I really love your hair color! It is beautiful too! ~Laurie

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  16. Michelle - I'm also reasonably small busted (although I have very narrow shoulders), I think I'm going to make my future Anna's with the v-neck or a scoop neck.

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  17. soooo pretty! I really MUST make this pattern. I love the print you chose and the gathered skirt look perfect with it.

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  18. I love the gathered skirt, very demure.

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  19. Very cute, love it with a gathered skirt:) You should totally get the Elisalex, I fell in love Hard.
    I still have my silk Anna to blog so I think I'm really up for last blogger ;)

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  20. Such a gorgeous dress - and I love it with your cute boots!!

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  21. This dress is beautiful on you! Suits you very well, must be the name. ;) My sister-in-law's name is Ana - she is from Venezuela (so is my husband - her brother), but their father is from Italy. She pronounces her name the same as you, but she has to change the pronunciation when she speaks to other people here in the States, especially if they're from the South (like my family!). They pronounce it differently, and just sounds weird to me. Ha! In the end, it's a beautiful name. And dress!! So good to see you back here!!

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  22. I've definitely missed you in the blogosphere! Beautiful Anna (both you and the dress)!

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  23. Lovely -I'm quite tempted to make one myself now. Works for all seasons too I'd imagine! Equally lovely with a big scarf and warm coat as with a sun hat and sandals.

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  24. Adorabile!!

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  25. This is gorgeous! It suits you just perfectly.

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  26. Wow, so cute! You might have converted me over to the Anna-craze! btw, Anna is my middle name, but in Sweden we pronounce a little bit different too, but I like it. Go palindromes! ;)

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  27. Another great Anna dress! There are so many of them and yet each one has its uniqueness and beauty. *^v^* I like your fabric.

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  28. Ah this is just gorgeous! And I'm glad I'm not the last to make the dress, because I LOVE seeing different versions pop up in my feed!! Great fabric! I love the tiny, delicate print. Possibly is was slightly haunted for Halloween? I think the Anna bodice is quite flattering and I like how nicely it can be transferred to different skirt styles, like you did here. A great way to get more bang out of the pattern!

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  29. I love your version!

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  30. I'm waiting anxiously for my Anna pattern to arrive (so you're not last either!), and now I'm even more eager! Your dress looks beautiful. I love the name Anna too, with any pronunciation :)

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  31. Beautiful! I can't wait to make more....

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  32. This is so lovely! I really like it with the gathered skirt-- it's perfect! To be honest, I'm not a fan of my given name, but I've tried to make peace with that. :)

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  33. as always, I love your version of this dress! for the skirt, did you do a dirndl or are they a-line? this skirt is totally in my future as the paneled version is not right for me, but I love the upper body! and I think I'm officially the last person to finish their Anna :)

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  34. Your version of this is lovely. I also have never made this pattern as I was not convinced it would suit me. The skirt on the original seems too clingy across the hips. Your solution for this is perfect :)

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  35. you should listen to it in Russian :) https://translate.google.it/?hl=it&tab=wT#en/ru/Anna

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  36. p.s. I now listened to my own name in all the languages too. lol, my favorite is of course Italian, and French too

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  37. OMG your version is my favourite Anna - love it. That fabric is so pretty and
    adding a gathered skirt is inspired. I wasn’t sure about the Anna due to the
    panelled skirt but your version has convinced me. Now if I can get hold of some
    navy fabric with white flecks….
    Pootleandmake.wordpress.com

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  38. The Anna dress is still on my sewing to-do list and I love your version with the gathered skirt - I might have to try something similar when I get round to making it myself!

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  39. Such a pretty version and looks so feminine on you Anna. Beautiful!

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  40. This is perfect, I love it! I definitely need to make one with a gathered skirt.

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  41. I love it!! I haven't made the Anna yet and I'm dying to get my hands on the pattern. I've added it to my xmas wishlist so hopefully it will be gifted to me.

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  42. Patterns are the perfect Christmas gift! I need to give the memo to my bf :D

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  43. I did! It's very similar! I love the way your name is spelled in Italian, btw!

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  44. It's a dirndl, or to be more precise, I cut my remaining fabric in two rectangles. It creates a bit more bulk at the waist, but with this fabric it was ok.

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  45. Thanks Amanda!
    And yes, the American pronunciation is probably the most different from Italian I've heard til now, it's so strange for me!

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  46. Yes, the fabric distorting is only explanation I have for what happened... Next time I'll try a more stable fiber!

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  47. It looks so gorgeous on you! Can't wait to make it myself :)

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  48. I love your Anna so much, Anna! What was the reason for changing the skirt though? I want to make an Anna so badly, but I'm scared that it could be hugging my belly too much...

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  49. I changed the skirt both because I like fuller skirts better and because I didn't have a lot of fabric so I didn't want to fiddle too much with all the pattern pieces.
    I did read from other bloggers that the original skirt of this pattern tends to accentuate your belly, so I would definitely recommend a muslin!

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  50. What a great version of the Anna dress! It's so flattering, and the gathered skirt was a nice touch :)

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