Swishy By Hand London Anna Dress!

Don’t you just love wearing a new dress for the first time?  Especially if it’s a swishy one!


I bought this fabric in November when I was on the hunt for winter type stuff.  I knew it was too light for the time of year but it just screamed ‘make me into an Anna dress!’. I took it home and put it away waiting for spring to spring so it could fulfil it’s destiny.  It’s a very fine black cotton which ‘had’ white embroidered flowers all over it.  However, after pre-washing it the white is now a distinct shade of grey!

The pattern is By Hand London’s Anna Dress http://byhandlondon.com/products/anna-dress

I had originally planned to make a maxi but after much thought decided that cutting the fabric into the panels required would break up the embroidery too much. I decided to go with plan B and pair the Anna bodice with a simple gathered skirt instead!.

I cut a UK size 12, the same as my previous Anna which still fit’s (I checked!). The bodice went together like a dream, the tucks at the front give it such a great shape.  When it came to making the skirt I just used the whole width of the fabric for the front and divided the width into two for the back pieces.  I always mean to draft a more reserved skirt but when it comes to it I end up using as much fabric as possible to make as full a skirt as I possibly can!  This one is a full three metres in circumference, lot’s of swishing to be done in this dress!  I added inseam pockets because I don’t know what to do with my hands without them!  I’ve stopped wearing a couple of my previous makes because they don’t have pockets and I seem to spend the entire day rubbing my hands on my hips looking for imaginary pockets!

I overlocked all my seams, when looking at my original Anna I noticed everything had been french seamed, it did however take me four days to make.  This on the other hand was cut out and together in just over four hours, big up to the overlooked for instant gratification!  I did have to have two goes at putting in the invisible zip.  The first go the fabric puckered quite badly so it was out with the unpicker.  Second time around was a bit better, not perfect but good enough for me.  I should have really interfaced the seam allowance at the centre back but I was too close to the finish line!  I wore it out to lunch today and have taken every opportunity possible to twirl and swish, although I did have a couple of close calls when the wind took hold, always forget the perils of wearing a full skirt in windy weather!


Look a little crumpled from behind but I had been sitting down a lot!  Overall really pleased with it.  I’ve also realised I could have got away with making it in November and wearing it with tights and a cardigan, will have to re-name it my swishy year round Anna!

Helen x

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