I haven’t been blogging very much since I started teaching and taking graduate courses at the same time, but with graduate classes done for the semester and the school year winding down I finally have some free time again!
I made the Anna dress from By Hand London last year and loved it, but I was never 100% happy with the fit of the bodice. Now that I have lost some weight (about 15 pounds!) I decided to tackle this pattern again. Of course I didn’t read my previous post and started with the By Hand London FBA tutorial and quickly realized why this didn’t work for me the first time I had tried it. I can see how this particular version would be great for people who only need to make 1-2″ of adjustment but I needed a 3″ adjustment. So I went back and followed the FBA tutorial by Another Little Crafty Creation with a few differences this time. First, I started with tracing out the size 10 bodice pieces. Previously I had added 1″ of length to my Anna dress bodice but went with only 1/2″ this time, and instead of adding a 3rd pleat per the tutorial, I added the extra width to the current 2 pleats and rotated the dart out, but just cut off the extra length at the waist seam. This worked out wonderfully for me. You can also see in be below pick a slashed line from the middle, the front had ended up a little long and this fixed it perfectly.
As you can see, the bodice is nearly a perfect fit! I don’t believe anything will ever be “perfect”, but I am happy with the current adjustments and feel the only other change I need to make is to cut out a little more from the front waist (maybe 1/2″) and change the lines of the skirt portion pieces to match up with the new seam line.
The fabric I used was this gorgeous polyester stretch chiffon available here. I saw it and instantly knew I needed to make a dress out of this gorgeous fabric. I was considering the Chantilly pattern from Colette but then when I was looking through my stash I came across from Anna dress pattern and thought, this would make a perfect midi-length version. And it did!
The other changes I made were to cut off about 1″ from each side of the back center grading out to cutting off 1/2″ near the waist to get rid of the gaping I had in my first version. I also took out 1/4″ from the shoulder seam as they were slightly too wide for me. So basically, a lot of changes! Haha, ;). But they were all worth it! Below is a pic of the back bodice pattern piece.
I totally see a v-neck version in the future… I didn’t make any changes to the skirt pieces, these were a straight size 10. I am also not a fan of facings, so I cut off about 1/2″ from the seam allowance around the neckline and made 1/2″ wise single-fold bias tape from the dress fabric to finish off the neckline. I used Colette’s tutorial to make the bias tape and Lladybird’s tutorial to finish off the neckline using bias tape instead of facings. I hand stitched it down in place so as to not have any stitching lines on the bodice.
Instead of making French seams, I just used my serger this time. Definitely easier and faster!
And of course some pics of me wearing my new dress to the symphony last night, :).