Inky Anna dress


The air almost *smells* like Spring and I have a semi-functional USB cable, rejoice! And my first project back is a better-late-than-never By Hand London pattern. A pretty Anna dress in a fetching inky rayon.

The fabric is a greeny-grey colour with ink-coloured splotches, and hails from a stall in Lewisham market outside the famed Rolls & Rems. (It should be twinned with the The Man Outside Sainsburys!) Is it weird I preferred the stall to the shop? I might be irredeemably cheapskate.

The dress is a straight size 10 in the midi length, and I used the sewalong on the By Hand London blog to add a kimono sleeve to make it a little more practical. I also decided to get stuck in and try my first invisible zipper before remembering I didn’t have a zipper foot, so ended up putting it in like it was a standard zip.

When I first tried on the dress though, I quickly realised that while the waist was snug, I needed a different size around the shoulders. My dirty fix was to increase the seam allowance around the zip from half-way up my back. That sorted the gaping at the back and the neckline lies better. But the shoulder seams moved backwards and, even more irritatingly, I have a slight hump in the zip now, hmmm, sexy.


For my second version which is now cut out, I’m tapering down from a 6 just under the sleeve to a 10 at the waist, so we’ll see how this comes out.


  • Of course I love the print. I have a print fixation.
  • The design feels like such an elegant shape.
  • The pattern instructions are lovely and straight-forward, very painless to assemble!

Love less:

  • I ended up with lots of pointed bits where  some of the skirt panels joined each other. This made hemming far more nightmarish, and it’s a bit of a pig’s ear in there to be honest. The technical issue here might have been the Britney documentary I was trying to watch at the same time as I cut, NO REGRETS.
  • As I kind of suspected before I started, the skirt style is not my favourite. It’s fairy snug across the midriff and leaves my waist feeling a bit elided. I think the design is very smart though and I know Roisin has made a gazillion dazzling Anna dresses with different skirt options, so in the spirit of ripping her off/loving homage, I’m going to follow her lead and switch up the lower half.

Coming next: Black velvet plaid Anna!

This entry was posted in Dresses, Modern patterns and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Inky Anna dress

  1. Black velvet plaid Anna?! O my goodness that’s too many good words in one phrase! This style really suits you and I LOVE that print! I too prefer the stall, that lady is awesome and definitely deserves a share in ‘Man outside sainsburys’ fame!

  2. Janey says:

    It’s Maggie’s Fabric Stall, I love rummaging through the fabrics there. I prefer it to Rolls & Rems too! Love the print of this dress, lovely!

  3. senjiva says:

    I really love this dress! Looking at the back view, I can suggest that in your next dress you try pinching out an inch or so horizontally across the back waist. This will raise the hip a little to fit your figure.

  4. Ashley Rose says:

    I am in love with Inky Anna dress! I was wondering, could you possibly do a post with suggestions for dressing well on a budget

  5. Marie says:

    Excellent fabric choice, so chic and very cool! I think your Anna looks really gorgeous on you, but I have the exact same feelings as you about the skirt shape. I made my Anna out of a beautiful Liberty viscose, but I never wear it because the skirt makes me feel self-conscious. Definitely tempted to make a full skirted version though ;o)

    • I knew I’d read someone else saying they had the same hesitation about the skirt shape! I’m half of a mind to switch in a different skirt on this one because I love the print too much to neglect it due to lunch bump.

  6. tillybuttons says:

    This is so you, Julia. What an amazing fabric find! x

  7. Pingback: Velvet plaid Anna dress | the secret life of seams

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s