Friday 19 September 2014

Spotty Anna

The last time I made an Anna dress, I had to make a lot of adjustments to the fit to get it right. This time round I learnt my lesson, I used the finished garment measurements instead. To do this I used my Upper bust, bust and waist measurements.

There is usually only about 1-1/2 inch difference between my upper bust and bust, so I've never done a full bust adjustment, choosing to make any adjustments once the dress is made. Maybe if I find a dress that I find has a lot of issues I might do this in future.

However, I have found that it is useful for me to grade from the smaller size at my upper bust for the shoulders/ neckline to the full bust measurement. I did this on the Anna as below:

This means that I get a closer fit above the full bust line. This dress therefore now fits so much better than my previous version (before all the adjustments). It's so comfortable to wear, and I added my favourite skirt on as well New Look 6723 , this is basically just a trapeze shape which I add pleats to once the bodice is made. In order to do this I stitch the skirt sides together, and pin to the bodice (with pleats sewn in) at the side seams.

I then find the centre of the bodice and mark, and the centre of the skirt and mark. Pinning these two centre points together and then up to the point of the pleat like so:

I then create a pleat from this point by folding over the excess fabric to the inside. I then do exactly the same at the back, but instead of folding the fabric under itself, I create a box pleat by bringing the excess fabric from either side of the pleat into the middle.

Using this method, I can ensure that the pleats on the skirt and bodice match up perfectly. Using this skirt instead of the drafted Anna skirt means I can have a big lunch and not worry about the consequences ha ha. Once I got the bodice right on this dress, I managed to make it up in 2 1/2 hours! I've now made two for friends and two for myself, I'm becoming a bit of an Anna obsessive.

I got the inspiration for this dress from a Cath Kidston one I saw that was navy polka dot with ric rac on the bottom, I really liked the style, though it's probably more twee than I would normally go for. I bought the fabric from ebay though and it has already started to fade quite a bit, so I may need to replace it soon. I've found it so easy to wear to work, I think another couple in some 'sensible' fabrics may be on the cards.

It looks like the back is quite gappy in these pictures, and there is a little bit of ease here, but the dress is so comfortable I wouldn't want to make this any smaller. My other version is in a slightly thicker material, so may have needed to be brought in. But I'll tell ya all about that when I post it!

Do you like the shoes? Definitely not sensible, I decided this year was the year of the shoe. They are the perfect way to feel dressed up, and Ive only fallen in them a couple of times! (I always fall over... even in flat shoes, no real reason just that the ground likes me) I think I want to get some more fancy shoes. I figure I dont buy ready to wear very often these days, so I can splurge occasionally.


  1. Your so cute :) The shoes are lovely, I need more interesting shoes. ALL of mine are black!? How boring! x

  2. Your Anna is adorable & those shoes are amazing! The fit looks fantastic so those alterations obviously paid off

  3. Fabulous shoes!!!! Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing your perfect pleat method, they came out well and you look lovely in your new Anna.

  4. Thank you so much for your lovely comments guys, glad you liked the quick instructions on the pleating, I'll try and take some step by steps next time im doing it.

  5. Perfect! Or should I say spot on? :-)

  6. Lovely dress! Great pattern matching - Patrick and May would be proud!



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