Alder Shirt Dress by Grainline Studio Pt 4

Hello chums,

I must apologise in advance for the deluge of daily posts – I want to catch up with my blogging – only a few more posts to go before I am up to 2017. Please bear with me. And on that note………..

It’s no secret that I am huge fan of the Alder shirtdress having made 3 versions to date

First one was a cotton lawn palm trees & flamingos Alder

The second one was John Kaldor cotton lawn,

The third one was a Nani Iro double gauze.

I finally got around to making the fourth one using the same fabric as my Laurel shift dress.

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Grainline Studio Alder Shirt dress layerd over my Burda roll neck top

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I think one of the simple pleasures of life is the joy of sewing a TNT pattern. I am looking forward to wearing this in summer without any layering.

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, happy sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila

Colette Laurel Shift dress

Hello everyone,

This was my first White Tree Blogger Network project. For my first project, I decided to fill a gap  in my wardrobe – the shift dress.cp1025-laurel-12-large-818764633d8862d1b4da235e826b82d41eb9dd463e3a1806080ef1627cb793cb

There were many shift dress patterns available but in the end I chose the Laurel dress by Colette patterns. The fit is semi-loose with a fitted bust and back darts to keep the shape streamlined which is what I wanted. It looked to me like a chic and simple shift dress. When it came to the fabric I had a hard time selecting from all the great fabrics on offer from White Tree Fabrics. After hours of browsing I finally settled on this floral printed denim which has a cute floral motif. I liked that the floral motif wasn’t so small that its ditsy.

When I received the fabric I was really impressed by its beauty. It’s a lovely lightweight tightly woven chambray fabric with a beautiful drape. It feels so comfortable and sewing with it was a joy! It irons beautifully and sews like a dream. The blue background is like a lovely denim blue. I prewashed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried it.

Construction wise I cut the size 2 on the Laurel (Version 1) and sensibly made up a toile. The fit at the bust was pretty perfect but the armholes were a tad too tight so I had to reduce the seam allowance for a little bit more ease. That did the trick. The waist and the hip were much too wide for my liking so it was clear I had to take it in. Here is what I did – I started at size 2 on the bust dart and graded to size 0 at waist and hip. This created the look of the shift dress I wanted like in the line drawing

Once my fitting was done I cut into my delicious fabric and made some bias binding for finishing the neckline with. This pattern sewed up very quickly for me. I left out the zipper because I found I could put it on easily without one.

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Colette Laurel Dress

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Colette Laurel Dress

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Colette Laurel Dress – Bias Bound neckline

I love this dress – it will work well in fall with layers underneath and it will be perfect for spring and summer too. I also really love this fabric and will be getting more to make a shirt – this is perfect shirt fabric as well.

Do you like chambray shift dresses for autumn too?

Thanks for reading guys and until next time – Happy Sewing!

Hila

Sew It With Love Delia Top

Hello chums,

Today I am sharing my tester version of the Delia top which is a pattern that was released just before or after Christmas last year. I signed up when I saw that it had raglan sleeves.sew-it-with-love-patterns_delia-top_instructions

I decided that I wanted a peplum after I had cut out the hip length variation and saw no reason why I couldn’t add the peplum too :-).

I double-faced the peplum so I wouldn’t have any hemming to do. I also added cuffs to the long sleeves to avoid hemming. Sewing it up was quite easy and I thought the instructions were great making this a beginner friendly pattern.

The fabric has been in my stash for about 2 years now. I had bought it to make a Moneta dress but I fell out of love with the idea of an apple green Moneta. It’s a ponte knit with a lovely sheen. I used just under 1m to make this and my fabric is  57″ wide.

The hip length variation is not supposed to have a peplum – that is one of the 2 design changes I made. The other being the cuffs. In hindsight, I realise that I suck at pattern testing because I should have made it as it was supposed to and report back on that. I will do that in the future if I ever find myself pattern testing again.

Fit wise I thought it was true to size. I cut the size 10 based on my bust measurement and despite the wrinkles, it has a good fit. It’s also very comfortable. The one thing I will change though is the neckline. It’s a bit too high on me – I will lower it by about 1/2″.

I forgot to mention that this is not a sponsored post. I was given the PDF file for free but everything else was bought with my own money. There was no stipulation that testers had to blog about their make. I am sharing it because I like this top and I have been wearing it most weekends.

Pictures

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I like the subtlety of the peplum – I don’t think its too much
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I may need to size up the sleeves and that might reduce those drag lines…
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I need to lower the neckline

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing All!

Peace and love,

Hila

P.S. You can watch me prattling on about it below 🙂

Lady Skater Dress No. 3

Hello everyone,

Just before Christmas last year I sewed another Lady Skater dress – and its quite possibly my favourite. I already get quite a lot of wear out of my teal scuba one (post here) and my light weight jersey one (post here).

The nice thing about a TNT, as you well know I’m sure, is that there is no added stress of fitting woes etc. This gives extra mental space to think about creative ways of making the same pattern. But first, let me talk fabric as the fabric directed the changes I made.

The fabric was described as blister ponte but I rather disagree and think it’s actually cloque fabric knitted from two colours (pink and black). It has (for want of a better word), oodles of beautiful texture that has a baroque look to it.Joe Cover CD pics 136.jpg

I made this one using leftover fabric from another dress project so the cap sleeves were a necessity. The fabric, despite being a poly mix of some sort, is rather comfortable and cozy. Much as I love the scoop neck on the Skater dress – I needed this dress to be more covered for winter – the fabric texture and thickness won’t work in spring or summer. I decided to raise the neckline and make it a slash neckline to maximise chest coverage. I tried to make a roll neck but alas there was insufficient fabric. This had to do.

I sewed it all up on my overlocker and used a zigzag stitch for the hems, sleeves and neck. I am always impressed at how quickly this dress comes together and no doubt there will be more variations in my future.

Pictures….*the skirt is slightly off grain and I am calling this a design feature people. Design feature m’kay.

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Lady Skater Dress
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Lady Skater Dress

With this third make, Lady Skater Dress has made it into my TNT Hall of Fame! Next up – a maxi version I think…….red and white stripes maybe……

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Paece and love,

Hila

XoX

Lekala 4437: A Christmas Day Dress

Season’s greetings to all. I hope you are all enjoying Christmas Day. I am thoroughly bushed and looking forward to bedtime. We have just finished bedtime for the kids and they were so tired that they fell asleep while stories were still being read – a rare occurrence.

I thought I may have time to share a quick post on my little red dress that I wore for today. Its a dress made for The Little Red Dress Challenge which was created by RunningNStyle. Basically anyone who wanted to could make a red dress for the festive season. This challenge fitted in with my plans so I took it up.

I rather ran out of time and decided to use a Lekala pattern as I know I dont need to make a toile. The pattern I chose was Lekala 4437. Here is the line drawing

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Lekala 4437

I bought the fabric from B&M Fabrics during SewUpNorth. Its a stretch fabric that is just slightly lighter in weight than ponte. Its almost got the look of kids polo shirts , you know , the ones for school. Since it has stretch I omitted the zip. I sewed it all up on the overlocker except for attaching the collar facing. The collar facing is interfaced (I used normal interfacing) – though in future I will use a heavier weight interfacing  to give the collar more structure.

I wore it all day today until after our huge festive dinner where I indulged to the extent that I looked nearly 5 months pregnant :-). Constructionwise – it does have a lot of curved seams but I didnt struggle with these. Everything lined up beautifully.

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Lekala 4437

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I like the collar but it needs more work

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Curved seams

I am keen to try this pattern again with more time to work on making the collar better and I want to make it in a woven fabric. The collar is the feature I liked the most about this dress. Its a dress that looks good on me but I know it could be much better sewn. The instructions were really quite good on this pattern as well.

Needless to say Mr SNS really likes this dress as well which is always a bonus :-)!

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. I appreciate you. Until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Coco Dress 3.0 – Tilly and the Buttons

Hello chums,

I hope you are all enjoying December and all the festivities that come with this time of the year. Today I decided to start this post with a throwback to my second Coco top blogged in August 2014.

 

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Couture Coco

 

For some reason I didnt get round to making another Coco because I went off it. Basically this top above is one of the garments that got given away when I cleared out my wardrobe sometime ago. It just didn’t fit me well and felt baggy.

Retrospectively I now understand that there were 2 things at play here:

  1. Poor bra selection. I was still breastfeeding in 2014 and wearing bras that I had bought when my oldest was breastfeeding. They were eight years old, quite saggy with poor support (at the time I didnt think so though). My bust measurement was off because of this.
  2. Once I stopped breastfeeding my extra bust inches were all lost and I was back to my modest B cup. This meant that the top looked and felt even baggier.

Cut to more than 2 years later and I now wear better fitting bras (thanks to M&S free bra fitting service) – I tried out the Coco again. At SewUpNorth I met Pam who was wearing her striped Coco top with a funnel neck. I was quite taken by her top and the seed was planted.

Sewing it up was so incredibly quick and everything went together well. I had to cut it 2 sizes down from the 2014 version. The blister ponte is a lovely silvery grey with black embossed leaves. It has a nice texture and is very comfortable.

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Tilly and The Buttons Coco Dress

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Back view
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Funnel neck detail
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Sleeve cuffs.

I was pleased to find that I loved the fit of the dress when I tried it on. Perfect winter wear with tights and boots. I will be joining Tialys and making loads more Cocos!

I think if I ever had to recommend an easy beginner friendly pattern this would be it. I even did a Youtube vlog on it just after I finished it (at bottom).

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

 

 

Sewaholic Renfrew Pt. 4, 5 & 6

I can’t believe I only made my first Renfrew top early this year around February time. Now I have 6 versions – with still more to make.

Renfrew Pt 4

Made in polka dot poly jersey that’s been a stasher for yonks (since stash began actually) and it makes for a drapey lightweight top. I made this for the SewDots challenge, but I didn’t submit it because I decided I wasn’t particularly keen on the prizes.

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Polka dots Renfrew – makes me feel jazzy!
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Cowl neck detail

Renfrew Pt 6.

Made from some John Kaldor fabric left over from another project. I just manged to squeeze in the scoop neck version with three-quarter length sleeves. Not bad for about 3/4meters of fabric. I am happy with this. I really quite love the dramatic floral print.

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Sewaholic Renfrew
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Scoop neck detail

Renfrew Pt 5

Made in a ponte weight fabric bought in early days. I only had  one meter but I was determined to make this a cowl neck version. After much messing about – I got it to fit but had to sacrifice the cuffs and have a narrower hem band. In lieu of same colour cuffs I colour blocked with a lovely contrasting grey. I wear this a lot as layer under stuff. Rarely on its own though.

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Neutral Renfrew – love the drape of this cowl – so much body to it.
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Cowl neck detail

 

 

That will do as far as Renfrews go for this year. Will I make more Renfrews in 2017? We will have to see………Have you made 6 of one pattern this year too? 

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Colette Moneta Dress aka more John Kaldor love

Hello everyone!

One Moneta
Two Monetas
Three Monetas
Four Monetas

Five!

Ok SO I may really like this pattern. Hence I will skip the pleasantries which you can read about here ( Moneta 1, Moneta 2, Moneta 3, Moneta 4).

Let skip right ahead to fabric m’kay.

2 words – John. Kaldor.

I could wax lyrical about how much I love JK fabrics but you probably already know that. I had enough of this leftover to make the Lydia Top <link here>.

For the collar I used some scrap ponte from an old make – Named Dakota dress. I didn’t interface the collar so it’s a wee bit on the floppy side but it’s not too bad. I decided to try the short sleeve but I found that I had to shorten them. I think the sleeve is a bit too big for my upper arm so next time I make this sleeve length I should use a smaller size.

Sewing this up was a pleasure and very fast. All seams were done on the overlocker. I finished the hem and sleeves with a twin needle.

Pictures….

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Moneta dress

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Overall I am a very happy bunny with this dress.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be back soon with another TNT post. Until then, Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

XoX

The Lilian Dress by Pattern Review

Hello everyone,

I am super excited to share this post with you as part of a blog tour for the newly released Lilian Top from Pattern Review. When Deepika reached out and asked me to participate, I needed to see the pattern first and honestly I was hooked. Cap sleeves and a yoke are some of my favourite features so I was like “yes count me in. Plus I also loved the story behind the design. Here is an except from the designer Deepika:

Ever since I read about Lillian Weber, the amazing woman who sewed 1000 dresses to donate to Dresses for Africa, I’ve been yearning to do something to support this great cause. Dresses for Africa is an organization which not only clothes little girls in Africa, they do lots of other projects there, like building wells and community centers to improve lives of people in villages in Africa. And that is why I am dedicating this pattern to Lillian, hence the name. 20% of all sales from this pattern will be donated to Dresses for Africa. So when you buy this pattern, you too are joining me in this cause.

I read about Lillian Weber and I was so moved by her story that even though I was given this pattern for free I decided to make a donation to Little Dresses for Africa. Even if you are not interested in the pattern please read up on Lillian Weber – its not often I come across such a such a positive and inspirational message.

Ok. So the Lillian pattern comes as a dress and top. It is described as a knit top or an a-line dress with a V-Neck Yoke and cap sleeves. I selected  the dress because I wanted something I could wear with tights and boots. I loved this pattern so much I made two dresses, one after the other. The beauty of this pattern that it sews up real quick.

The PDF went together beautifully. At only 16 pages, its ready to cut very quickly. The directions are quite concise and even beginners would feel confident to tackle it. There is even a Youtube tutorial on the trickiest part – the neck binding. The instructions have been very well thought out keeping this a very simple and quick to make pattern. I cant stress how quickly this sews up.

For my first one I knew I wanted colour blocking.  I used my colour wheel to select what are called split complimentary colours – choosing burnt orange as my main colour then the split complimentary colours are the 2 either side of its compliment – deep blue and apple green. I chose blue for the yoke because of the striking contrast with the orange.

For my second one I used some grey ponte and lace bonded ponte that has been in my stash for far too long. Actually all these fabrics had been stashers for far too long (stasher is a noun I use for fabrics that has been in the stash for over 6 months). So yay for stash busting :-).

I drafted the poofy long sleeve lengthening the cap sleeve to the desired length – in my case it had to fit the half meter length of bonded lace  ponte. Once I had the length , I then cut and spread at 5 evenly spaced lines inserting about 4″ in total.

Constructionwise ,I stabilised my shoulder seam with fusible bias tape. I have found that this is the next best thing to twill tape for shoulder stabilisation on knits. I have used clear elastic and after a dozen washes and driers it begins to get slack.fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-635fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-625fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-622fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-621fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-669fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-668fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-667fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-617fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-616fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-651fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-645fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-655fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-555fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-538fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-579lilian-topfran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-572fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-590fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-595fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-594fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-521fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-524fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-528fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-558

I can easily see myself making loads more of these especially since I have seen some fantastic versions by the other seamsters on the blog tour – the possibilities are endless. There are plans to make a couple of summery ones – am thinking of lengthening to maxi and sleeveless..it has a seventies vibe to it no?

Thank you for stopping by, tell me which you like better the grey lace on or the colour blocked one? Oh and here it is in (wobbly) action..

A Blog Tour

Want some inspiration? These talented seamsters posted about Lillians on their blogs this week, so be sure to check them out.

Oct. 24th Jstarr4250 (Julie)

Oct. 25th Sue Parrott – Blog – http://sue-parrott.blogspot.com/

Oct. 26th GoodbyeValntino (Sarah) – Blog – http://www.goodbyevalentino.com/

Oct. 27th ecs81 (Eryn) – Blog – http://www.stylesewme.com/

Oct. 28th creatingitgap (Margo) – Blog – http://creatinginthegap.ca

Oct. 29th beanchor (Bianca) – Blog – http://thanksimadethem.blogspot.com/

 Until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 3

Hello again everyone,

Phew ! Its Part 3 of my BHL Anna dress blog arc. Part 1 is here and Part 2 here.

This final dress was made in a viscose fabric I bought on Ebay earlier this year. It was one of those late night shopping things. The fabric is very light and breathable. Once I washed it – it was so completely off grain that I gave up after an hour of trying to tease it back onto grain. I just did the best I could. The next time I buy a similar fabric I will know not to wash it first. The shrinkage was very negligible as I recall. Anyhow moving on…

My little sister managed to squeeze us in for an overnight visit in between her globetrotting life. She was severely jet lagged the short time she was with us but we had a whale of a time – as always. She is my best fried as well so when she snuck a peek into my cave and mentioned how much she loved the purple maxi dress that was hanging on my door, I immediately offered the dress to her.

She tried it on and didn’t take it off for the rest of the day – I offered to take it in at the side but she was adamant she likes it the way it is.  Being so tall and willowly she looks great in just about anything.

She obligingly agreed to a quick photo shoot using my phone camera (unfortunately big camera was out of action that weekend :-(.) WIthout further adue here is number 3….

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BHL Anna Dress back view
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BHL Anna Dress – V neck and no thigh split
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There is no neck gaping on this one 🙂

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My little sister 🙂
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It was fun being behind the camera yelling “Show me fierce!”

BHL Anna Dress

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Its not often I get the chance to spend time with my sister but writing this post took me back to the lovely time I had with her. It makes me happy that she liked something I made and has added it to her wardrobe. Especially since its also something that I really enjoyed sewing up.

That concludes my Anna trio blog arc. If you read this far then I thank you and appreciate you. It has been fun for me doing a blog arc (especially because all I have to do is copy the previous post so all the categories and tags are already selected :-). I think I will do something similar in future….Speaking of the future, I have just one last summer sewing project to share with you guys then I will move on to the fall stuff I have been working on.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing all.

Peace and love,

Hila

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 2

Hello again,

As promised I am back with the second of three By Hand London Anna dresses that I made over the summer. I posted my first one here <link here>.

I bought the fabric from Leeds Market about a year ago- so it was a stasher (term I use for long term stash residents) for a long while. I am certain that it was happy to get out. I had brought it out to make a Burdastyle dress but seeing it again with the Anna dress pattern out – it suddenly became an Anna. I had just enough to make this dress. Lucky for me the print inst directional so I could lay skirt panels next to each other. The fabric also has some stretch to it on the cross grain which allows for a nice comfortable fit.  Like the first Anna dress I finished the split and hem by hand. It was a pleasure to hand sew those finishing details.

The V neckline is possibly my favourite feature of this dress. However all did not go well in sewing it.  Despite trying my best to stay the neckline using some stay tape – there is some gaping on one side. What’s annoying is I cant figure out where I went wrong because the other side sits perfectly flat…if anyone has any ideas please let me know. I tried loads of steam and clapper action to get it flat but I may have made it worse. Still – its a lovely dress and I will wear it regardless :-).

I love the blue of this dress so much. I even wore it to a wedding with my Morris blazer. My mother in law is not one to be easily impressed but for the first time she was bowled over when I told her I had made it (she was kindly babysitting for us so we could go to the wedding). That was a cherry on top for me. She doesn’t hand out compliments willy nilly :-). Pictures!

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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress – that pesky gapey neckline
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress Waistline detail
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BHL Anna Dress Back view
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BHL Anna Dress
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Such a lovely neckline shape – one of my fave features of this dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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BHL Anna Dress
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See how one side is fine and flat while the other has a wobble
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Close up of the wobble
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BHL Anna Dress with my mustard Morris blazer
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BHL Anna + Morris Blazer
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Yep! I like this dress 🙂

And here is a clip of it in motion…

As always thanks for stopping by! I will b e back this time tomorrow with final one that my little sister adopted 🙂

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Good things come in threes: A trio of Anna Dresses By Hand London Pt 1

Hello again,

One of my winnings from Indie Pattern Month 2016 was an Anna Dress pattern from BHL. This is a pattern I have coveted for some time. So when I got it I went a little bit gaga and sewed up 3 dresses in a row!

My little sister came to visit around the time I had finished them and she fell in love with one of them. She tried it on and I gave it to her. She looks amazing in hers – she is tall, willowy and graceful ( I am the shortest one in my family – a sore point with me!).

Anyway I love these Anna’s so much. I cant add anything construction wise that isn’t already out there. There is an excellent sewalong on the BHL website which is what I used, I didn’t read the instructions that came with it.

Its a fabric hog though. Printing it and taping it up was not that much fun if I had to be honest.

I did a muslin of the bodice after tracing the size 8/10 which fit my measurement. The fit was good. What I didn’t muslin was the skirt and it turned out to be at least 6″ too long – its only later that I realised i think its drafted for wearing with very high heels. I shortened the skirt and went on to cut out the second one in the V neck and the 3rd one in the V neck. I really like the V neck. I had to hand sew the slits for a neat finish. The seams were finished using an overlocker. The hem was hand sewn as well. A good chance to practice some of the new sewing skills I am learning from the Claire Schaeffer book.

Ok pictures and pictures….very picture heavy this post. I was going to do pictures for all three Anna dresses in one post but I was late with processing the pictures so I am presenting them as a 3 part blog arc over the next 2 – 3 days. This is the first one which has a lovely story behind the fabric. When I went to the Yorkshire Spoolettes meetup back in February , I had the pleasure of meeting Karen who blogs over at thesewingmiserabilist. She was wearing this wonderful dress made out of a beautiful crepe fabric – I fell for the fabric and she helped me find it at Fabw0rks. I bought it later but spent an age dithering over what to make with it. The fabric is so beautiful – the pictures dont do it justice – the rich deep purple almost aubergine background for the fiery orchids like print. It has some stretch on the crossgrain. I love the fabric and feel fabulous in it :-). In the end it was Anna!  Enjoy!

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BHL Anna Dress
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We only had sun for a few minutes during the shoot and the oranges in the fabric really come out
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BHL Anna Dress
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Anna dress Bac View – I love how it billows as I walk
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Invisible zip LIKE A BOSS!
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Love the thigh high split
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There are always kids around the photo shoot – I have become adept at posing quickly
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Anna dress – its a fabric hog. It requires at least 4 meters.
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The kimono sleeve
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Anna Dress
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BHL Anna dress Side View
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I also love the neckline – its very well drafted.
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Close up of the neckline.

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I even wore to London over the summer…

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX