Anna Blue – a By Hand London dress. My Second Anna

OK here we have the midi version of Anna – not spectacular in the way Anna Rose is – but a lovely dress (for those of you scared by maxis!)

Anna Blue - a By Hand London dress. The midi version with the high neckline

Anna Blue – a By Hand London dress. The midi version with the high neckline

This is a lovely dress – it’s the sort of dress you could wear any old day. In a plain fabric you could wear it to work (now there’s a thought… *restrains herself from starting the car and going to the fabric store asap* focus Lizzy – keep typing…).

This is a printed linen/rayon blend from Lincraft (available online!). I love linen and the very nature of this fabric meant that it was the easiest Anna to sew, I knocked it together in a few hours – and it’s still neatly finished! The darts and seams meet perfectly, the facing sits inside neatly, it’s a classic linen dream. And being a print, the creases don’t show too badly – and I think the rayon blend means it does crease that badly anyway. Linen is really lovely stuff, if you haven’t tried sewing with it – you really should (Note to self: stop being so bossy).

Anna Blue a By Hand London Dress

Anna Blue – at the rock pools

I overlocked the seams as the linen was a little bulky for French seams and the overlocked seams press flat beautifully in linen. I turned up the hem with bias binding. I handstitched the armhole and skirt hems. All in all, a lovely make. I’m sure I will wear this quite a bit in summer.

I think I want to try that slash neckline in linen… how many Annas can I make before it becomes ridiculous? You are right – it’s just not possible to make too many.

The linen sits very differently to the rayon of Anna Rose. the kimono sleeves don’t drape, they jut out more in a more structural way – which totally transforms the dress and many (non-stitchers) might struggle to accept this is from the same dress pattern. The neckline is high… I’m wondering whether to lower it ever so slightly. Not too much as I think it’s a nice design feature. In a plain colour it would look great with a chunky statement necklace…

The pleats also behave differently in linen, again a much more structural design element, than the soft pleats of rayon Anna Rose.

Anna Blue bodice details

Anna Blue – in linen. The waist pleats are really lovely in linen.

Yes, it’s not the stellar show-stopping dress that Anna Rose is – but it’s not nice to compare sisters like that. It’s a bit like saying “She’s pretty but you know, don’t worry, you are much smarter“. For either sister, it’s a slap in the face. It’s just different dresses for different days.

Anna Blue dress

Anna Blue – a beautiful summer dress.

Really love this little dress. If Colette Peony appeals to you but the fitting issues have either put you off or beaten you – this is a great option. Fitted waist, flared skirt, boat neckline.

Anna Blue - side view

Anna Blue – side view

I squeezed this dress out of less than 2m, I think it was about 1.8m or so. I do make the smallest size so I might be able to fit more across the width of the fabric.

Hmmmm, I think I need to remeasure the hem. Looks a little droopy at the back.

I added neck darts to the back pieces, about 2 inches in from the zipper and 3 inches deep. I also added these to the facing pieces.

ENOUGH… go buy this pattern.

Or if you have it. GO SEW IT.

And if you are still not convinced I’ll be back tomorrow with Anna 3… and she’s completely different again (some of you are very hard to impress! LOL)

Pattern: By Hand London Anna Dress.Β (Aussies can get it from Sew Squirrel)
Fabric: Linen from Lincraft (also from my stash!) you can buy this one online!

Also see: Anna Rose dress – my first Anna

Anna Blue by the seaside

Anna Blue by the seaside

65 thoughts on “Anna Blue – a By Hand London dress. My Second Anna

  1. Wow, I’m more and more impressed by this pattern as you go. I love the high neckline, by the way. (If you want input, I wouldn’t lower it unless it is a bit uncomfortably high.)

    Linen rayon is my dream fabric. Mmmm! All the beauty of linen with the soft hand and wrinkle-resistance of rayon added in.

    So, I have to ask, you said it would be great for summer, so were you freezing during this photo shoot? πŸ™‚

    • No I wasn’t freezing, we have had an amazing weekend – about 22-23 degrees very warm & sunny! I stayed in my Annas most of the day. I photographed Number 3 in bare feet at 3pm and wasn’t cold at all! Perfect day.
      I’m tempted to get some more of this fabric for a little shift, I love it’s vibrancy.

      • Mmmm lovely weather!

        I think a little shift is a great idea!
        I’m tempted to get some of that fabric too. I hadn’t realised I could buy from Lincraft online, thanks for putting me onto it. Well, ok, my bank balance won’t thank you, nor my groaning cupboard shelves, but I do!

  2. Oh wow, you have officially sold me on this dress! And you are right, this is a totally wearable version… Can’t wait to see the third! πŸ™‚

  3. Oh Lizzie this is so stunning! and the full-length rosy version in the last post is just absolutely beautiful. You look quite ethereally lovely πŸ™‚

  4. What a gorgeous dress! I really love your first version as well! I haven’t tried any of the By Hand London patterns yet, but I’ll put that right very soon!

  5. Oh I’m not disappointed at all! Anna Blue is very different to Anna Rose but in a good way….very feminine, very flattering, fit and drape is spot on. I love boat neck lines…and the kimino sleeves are fantastic…enough coverage for someone like me who’s not keen on complete and total arm exposure in that area! I am just two thirds of the way through a linen dress…love love love linen! I’m really interested to know, did you bias bind the hem to make it neater or easier or both? Did you make your own bias binding? I’ve not hemmed before using bias binding. How easy is it? I’d quite like to try it but in a contrast colour on my dress I’m making…thought it might be quirky? Or is that just wrong?! Back to Anna dress, I can’t wait for my pattern to arrive!!!! Kate x

    • I love hemming with bias tape. It’s great when you don’t want to sacrifice too much fabric to a hem, it encloses a raw edge and you don’t have to double over your dress fabric – which is nice if it’s a bit heavier. It’s also good with a flared hem as the bias stretches and accommodates the extra fabric, making hemming much easier.
      Contrast binding is lovely. I was going to use pink as a contrast but found the blue (on my sewing room floor ahem) and decided to finish off the pack instead of opening a new one.
      I use overlocked the hem edge, stitched the bias onto the edge, turned and pressed the hem and then hand stitched the hem. It’s really easy – happy hemming!

  6. I can’t believe Anna Blue is the same pattern as Anna Rose. This looks to be a very versatile pattern. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s version.

    • I know – it’s a completely different dress – and it is simply a different way to cut the neckline!
      I’ve just finished writing Number 3 post. I’m dying to post but figure I must be cluttering up blog readers!

  7. Ooo! This one is gorgeous too, and the midi length is lovely. I love the print on the fabric, and I can see what you mean about how this fabric sits differently.

  8. Love this beautiful dress Lizzie! It really suits you. And the photographs are to die for, so pretty! I have yet to see the rose version, so excited going to take a peak now!

  9. Oh my, I am completely in love! Anna Rose got me looking and this has made me turn the corner! πŸ™‚ I MUST get that pattern. I love it, the lines and shape are just so elegant and simple. Wonder how much the postage is to NZ?

  10. Another fantastic Anna dress. Thanks for all the info about the linen/rayon blend fabric you used and all your little sewing tips. They have been filed away for further use. I really enjoy reading your blog.

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  12. Beautiful! I love all your Annas but I think this is my favorite. It’s so very wearable. And I’ve always been partial to the “smart” sister — that was always me πŸ™‚

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  14. I love this version too. It’s so enlightening seeing the different versions made up in your different interpretations. Useful remark about Colette Peony! I shall tuck that gem away, as I never got round to buying it, don’t need to now!

    • Peony is lovely but hard work… The peony skirt on this bodice would be nice…. some people don’t like the Peony skirt gathers but I like the skirt, it’s sweet…

  15. I love all of your versions of Anna but especially this one for wearability. The animal print Anna is Super Hot, but not something you can wear every day.

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  17. You’re right, it really is a beautiful dress for summer. I was going to suggest it as an alternative to the Peony in my post too, but then I forgot! It’s a much simpler make and a no brainer in my book (even though I’ve made four Peonies): no fitting issues whatsoever vs multiple tweakings and frustration.
    Yes, it’s a very different looking dress than the Anna Rose (my fave) but still show stopping. You know you’re not going to stop at three don’t you?! x

  18. I’m so in love with both of your Anna dresses. I was waiting to see the maxi version made up so I’m glad you made that one. I think I’m more a fan of the maxi style but you have done both versions amazingly!!!

  19. The hem may look droopy to you, but I thought it was supposed to look longer in the back. It’s a really nice look, I hope you don’t change it!

  20. One absolutely cannot compare sisters! They are different and each has their own specialness about them… I like this one as well. Another winner. And I was interested to see you used linen. I ALWAYS pass linen up because of the wrinkle factor. Does the rayon in this help that? ~Laurie

    • I think so. I think linen gets a bad rap & it’s often no worse at wrinkling than other fabrics. I made a Lisette dress in navy linen and I’ve been surprised at how little it wrinkles. Apparently if you line linen it solves most of the wrinkles as it’s your body heat that causes the wrinkles.
      Have a go with linen, it really is lovely – I’ve decided to get some more of this fabric and make a blazer.

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