Completed: ByHandLondon Anna

By Hand London Anna maxi dress in African Wax Print fabric

Am I the absolute last person on earth to have made this dress?  Possibly…  Except, no I won’t be, because it’s an amazing pattern, and deserves to keep on truckin’ long after the novelty value fades!  She’s a few years old now, Anna, and I believe was super-popular on release – I didn’t buy it then, because the photo-shoot pictures didn’t really seem like it would suit me, or my lifestyle.

Still, when you’ve got 6 yards of red-and-green-striped leopard-print cotton, you’ve got to make the most of it, right?  I caved and bought the pattern, and I’m so glad I did, as I can see it being quite adaptable – I can definitely get some work dresses out of it (which is what I should have been sewing instead of this, but hey…)

By Hand London Anna maxi dress in African Wax Print fabric

I cut a UK 16, and made no changes – ByHandLondon patterns seem to fit me very well, so I was confident cutting straight into the fabric.  The skirt length was determined by the (quite narrow) fabric width – I wanted the stripes running vertically, so the whole thing is cut on the cross-grain.  It turned out to be the perfect length for flats, which is fine by me!  The pattern pieces would give you a few more inches – long enough to choose between flats or heels.  I kind of like to have that choice made for me, if I’m honest…  I would like to be someone who wears heels… but I’m not.  There it is!

Fit-wise, it’s pretty much perfect, although for a more casual dress I might give it a little more breathing room.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel really dressy in this, and I can see myself getting more wear out of it than I expected!

I did my best to keep the stripes flowing vertically between the bodice and skirt, and I’m honestly really happy with them – only the bodice is darted, which means you lose some of the stripe within the dart, and then the skirt is panelled, so it was never going to be perfect, but it’s certainly good enough!

By Hand London Anna maxi dress in African Wax Print fabric

I wasn’t sure whether the split in the skirt would work for me, but it does – it’s not particularly revealing (this is the height suggested on the pattern), and it breaks up the full-length silhouette nicely.

So there we have it – a surprisingly wearable crazy leopard-print maxi-dress.  Happy days!  What have you been sewing recently that’s turned out even better than you hoped?  I hope it’s everything 😉

Have a great week, ’til next time (hopefully won’t be as crazy long…)


PS:  It came as a 6-yard piece.  I didn’t get out the roll and go ‘Yeah, I need 6 yards of this…)



  1. July 19, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Not quite the last. But looking good nevertheless less

    • July 19, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      Thanks 😉 if nothing else I’m going to make several more! It’s a deservedly popular pattern, IMO! X

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