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By Hand London Anna Dress to the rescue

Sunday, September 1


Ok so things did not quite work out the way I wanted with my blue lace dress. Its a really long story, so I shall summarise, but first this is what I ended up with.....







Yeah, my dress did not go as planned. I wanted to sew a really well constructed dress, with a good inner foundation, think coutil, silk organza, bonning, and more. I did loads of research, bought the necessary materials, saved all the tutorials I found online I wanted to use, read many books, and saved even more Threads articles (Thanks Clare). I ended up preparing too much, and not actually sewing. Before I knew it, my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network deadline was upon me, and I could only start the lace dress after the Minerva Crafts dress was done and dusted. So that left me with 5 days to sew the dress. As if that was not enough, I started a new job, and Noah started Nursery next to my work place, so things have been quite hectic on my side. Anyways, Wednesday rolled around, and there I was, trying to make a muslin. Then I got all panicky on Thursday night and decided to sew another less complicated dress, and pulled Vogue 8280. Did a muslin, and decided the logistics of making that one was not an easy one. Then I remembered someone had mentioned the Anna dress when I first posted about the lace dress. So I got the Anna dress pattern out, and got to work at 3am on Thursday night. 


 I had made the muslin earlier as posted here, and the three things I had to address were the gaping neck at the back of the bodice, the length, and the ripples at the back of the dress.

I chopped off 6 inches off the length of the dress, which was not a wise move because after I made the dress, I found the hem too short when I wore my shoes. I added 4 inches to the hem, and that did the trick. I also used a 3/8th seam allowance at the back side seams, instead of the recommended 5/8th, and that helped the back bodice. For the gaping bodice back neck, I followed Sew Busy Lizzy's advice and put darts there. So basically what I did was draw a line about 4 inches up from the bodice back dart to the shoulder seam. Then I measured 3/8th inch on both sides of the line, then connected those to the tip of the line. So basically drawing a dart. I don't know if that is the right method, but it certainly worked for me.


Some of my inspiration dresses had a contrasting lining for the lace. I really could not decide what colour to use underneath. Blue or gold. Then someone mentioned a colour closer to my skin tone, and I rushed off and bought brown satin. However, while pacing back and forth in the early hours of Friday morning, I accidentally placed the lace on top of the silk organza, and I just realised that was the best combination for my dress. It just felt right.


I had never sewn  with silk organza before, and I only had about 2 metres at home which I had bought to underline the bodice of the Marfy dress I was going to use. So I cut out the bodice sections, underlined them, and sewed the darts, then went to bed at 4am. Noah woke me up at 6am, and I had to get him ready for Nursery. I went to Goldhawk road later, and bought  3 metres of silk organza to use for the skirt panels. I came home and cut them out, but I could not really do much because my train to Worcester was at 4pm, and I had to go collect Noah from Nursery, so I left the house at 12:30pm. To summarise it all, I took my machine with me to Worcester, and made this dress on saturday. I finished it at 7:30pm, and the gala started at 8:30pm. Phew!!!. I think I should start sewing next years dress this december.


I really loved working with silk organza. Using it as the underlining fabric just gave it the right contrast, and its crispness worked really well with the drape of the lace. I have now decided I cannot live without silk organza, and I am now saving to buy a whole bolt. I tell you, silk organza is THE BIZ .
I am really happy with the way it turned out, and I received so many compliments. Many of the girls were quite shocked that I came to the convention with my sewing machine though. My machine caused quite a few chuckles.

This project was a first for me, regarding the fabrics I used. I had never sewn with either lace or silk organza before, and I am happy I was able to make something wearable with the two. My advice to anyone who needs it is, if you want to try a fabric you have never worked with, use a very easy pattern, that has very few design details. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you come to like. You might even, like me, come to realise that cotton is not the only nice fabric type out there.



83 comments:

  1. This is absolutely stunning! Well done on finishing it in time, it was well worth it.

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    1. Thank you. I was so happy I was able to finish it in time as I did not have a back up dress

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  2. Your dress is stunning on hyou! It's a Cannes red carpet dress ! You did a great job and in a small amount of time ! I'm baffled !

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    1. hahahahahahhaa. My friends were baffled as well. I think I only pulled it off because the Anna dress is such an easy pattern.

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  3. Absolutely beautiful Dibs, you look amazing. x

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  4. Gorgeous dress, and the wild adventure just makes it that much more beautiful!

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    1. Oh yes KC. I danced like a lunatic later just to celebrate finishing it in time

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  5. Anna to the rescue! Your dress is beautiful.

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  6. You look absolutely gorgeous. I think sometimes having a little pressure makes sewing projects work out better - I find I don't procrastinate or over-think things, I just sew!

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    1. You know, that is so true. All the times I have done alot of planning, I never sew the actual thing. I think I am more of an impulse dressmaker. I enjoy it more when I have no strict plans.

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  7. Holy smoke!! You are rocking this dress so hard! You look fab-u-lous!!! The fabric is so beautiful, and the colours are perfect. I am in awe of your all-night sewing, and time management skills, oh, and bringing your machine to the event!

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    1. hihihihihihihi. I won't say I have good time management skills, else I would not have found myself in this situation. I have learned my lesson. Then again I said that last year, and this year was even worse.

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  8. Wow what a crazy adventure to get to such a beautiful dress. You have worked so hard on it and it looks amazing on you - the colour works so well with your skin tine. Well done you!!

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    1. Thanks Caroline. I am just so glad the adventure is over. Roll on next year. lol

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  9. This is such a beautiful designer looking dress! Your sewing skills certainly paid off with this one - huge congratulations...J

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    1. Thanks Judith. I am really happy it turned out ok in the end because all the ladies were dressed up to the nines. I would have looked like the hired help if I had not made it work.

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  10. DIBS!!!!! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this! It's so perfect-- the fit is perfect, the color is perfect on you, the underlining looks AMAZING-- AWESOME! Like you, I shortened my dress too much, so tonight I'm adding a hem band. I still don't understand how I goofed up so much! Let's just blame it on overexcitement and bad math skills.

    But dude. Seriously. This dress is PERFECT. Absolutely perfect!!!!!

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    1. hhahahahahahahha. Sonja you are too funny. Yeah I almost shortened it by 9inches. Thank God I reduced it to 6inches. Can't wait to see your new dress.

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  11. VAVAVA-VOOOOOOM! Work it Ms. Dibs. This dress is absofreakinglutely amazing. Job well done on this beauty.

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    1. hihihihihihi. I worked it. You needed to see me, I was all over the place.

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  12. It's a fabulous dress and you look so elegant in it! And oh my goodness, you do work well under pressure, you completed it in the nick of time. I kind of felt all the stress just reading about it! Good job!

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    1. Thanks. Its funny, I did not have a back-up dress, so there was no other option, other than staying calm and sewing on

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  13. Wow Dibs that is one stunning dress! You look amazing! I'm impressed at your composure; I'd have had a hissy fit and grabbed a dress already in the wardrobe. Worth every minute of sleep deprivation though, you and the dress are just beautiful.

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    1. hihihihihihi. There was no dress in the wardrobe Vicki. It was either finish this or not attend the gala. I even thought about just giving up and buying a dress on friday morning, but I kept having nightmares of wearing the same dress as someone else.

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  14. Wow, you look amazing, and that shade of blue suits you perfectly. Just gorgeous!
    I admire your persistence, with all the obstacles that worked against you. You did an excellent job!

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    1. Thanks AnaJan. I'm glad you like it. My next big project will is the Nougat dress. Just about to order my fabric. I'm sure you will be hearing my cries for help soon

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  15. Wonderful dress! Reading your story made my palms sweat. Phew, this is what I call last-minute sewing!

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    1. hahahahahaha. Tell me about it. My friends were almost having a heart attack, just watching me sew.

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  16. Omg dibs, you look like a million dollars! This dress is stunning!

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    1. Aww thanks. I felt like £10 though. I was so tired after I finished sewing.

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  17. This look gorgeous on you - its a fantastic dress!

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  18. You look gorgeous! I think it was meant to be :)

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    1. I think it was too because it just felt right when I picked up the pattern

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  19. It looks gorgeous, nice job.. you look great in this style :)

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  20. You are stressing me out just talking about putting this together!!! LOL I hate it when I'm that rushed at deadline.

    Your dress is absolutely beautiful on you. Pattern and fabric are great choices. I can't imagine you improving on that!

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    1. Tell me about it Ramona. I am surprised myself i did not just give up.

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  21. A red carpet Anna dress! You look smashing :)

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  22. despite all the stress of making this dress...you look amazing! The Anna pattern really works with the lace and the colour of the underlining is perfect!

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    1. Thank you. I think i have now learned my lesson with last minute sewing.

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  23. You look amazing! I can't believe you finished the dress only 1 hour before the gala! You must have been under immense pressure. Well done.

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    1. Thanks. I was surlrisingly not as panicked as i thought i would be. I think it is because i had made a muslin becore and i knew what to expect.

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  24. Well done!!! You work awesome under pressure. I finally bought some silk organza for a pressing cloth but have yet to sew with it.

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    1. It is really beautiful to sew with. It transforms the movement of your fabric.

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  25. Knockout!! You pulled something incredible out the bag Dibs...you should call yourself WonderWoman :)

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    1. Hahahahaha. I shall chnge my name by deed poll.

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  26. Wow that's gorgeous. Congratulations on finishing it on time.

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    1. Thank you. It was a very long stressful last hour

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  27. I have to agree with the others - your dress is great. You look lovely in your new dress!!

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  28. You look so beautiful in this dress - it was totally worth all the stress! But yes, perhaps next year starting a little earlier might be good!

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    1. I was going to send you an email. The suggestions you made on my muslin post really helped.

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  29. This is such a dressed up and elegant version of the Anna dress, I love it! And good job finishing an HOUR before your event! I am making a Belladone dress out of silk dupioni and didn't know what to underline it with but think I will use silk organza now. I've not used it before either but sounds like the winning choice!

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    1. It is. I have never sewn with silk Dupioni before. I might have to try that at some point.

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  30. Oh wowzas this dress is outta control glamorous!! You look very beautiful and we're so proud that you decided to make an Anna for your big gala night. I've never used silk organza before, but seeing this dress I now think I've got to. x

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    1. Oh thanks so much Charlotte. You girls have a smashing pattern on your hands. It was so nice to make and wear it. Saved my whole weekend.

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  31. Wow - you look MAGNIFICENT. Congratulations, sometimes the best things come from last minute inspiration. You look DIVINE.

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    1. Thanks Lizzy. I think I was really lucky I had the pattern at hand. I don't know what I would have used otherwise.

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  32. wow. i think i have to go back to bed after reading your story.... SO worth it, you look magnificent! absolutely red carpet.

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    1. hahahahahahaha. Did you have a good sleep post reading this? The glamour scale at the event was too high. So I was kind of glad I did not look homemade.

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  33. Such a cool version of the Anna! The colour is great on you and I love this story - brilliant effort. You must have been exhausted. I think most people would have given up and rushed out and bought something, so hats off to you for sticking with it. Silk organza is such a great fabric to work with, I used it alot when making my wedding dress. You look gorgeous!

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    1. Ha Clare, I really had no option. The event was taking place in an isolated place in Worcester. No shops around there, and I don't drive. So it was either make it happen, or sit the gala out. lol. Silk organza is now my fave fabric.

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  34. I think your dress is beautiful and you look just gorgeous on it.


    Tania

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  35. Ahhh Dibs I think it must have been fate giving you too much to do to stick to your original plan as this turned out just GORGEOUS. That silk organza underling really gives that lace something else and you look glowing in it. Great job!

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  36. Sounds like a very stressful run-up, but wow did you achieve! Gorgeous!
    x

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  37. you look amazing in the Anna!! I am about to cut out my first Anna, thanks for the tips.

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  38. What an absolutely gorgeous dress!
    I have been considering the Anna dress myself for going to a gala, and now I'm convinced it's formal enough :)

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