Me Made May 2014

Hello my lovelies, it’s another made week here where my sewing ambitions are again massively outstripping my available time!  On the plus side though I’ve nearly nearly nearly finished stitching my Emery and just have the sleeves to insert and the hem to go…  This dress has taken me sooooo long to make and it’s not the pattern it’s me and everything else that needs doing!!  But I’ll bore you all with that when I actually finish her!

However, in other news (and now that all the April Fools malarkey has finished and my Twitter feed has blown the ending to tonights Sewing Bee – must learn to not use Twitter until I’ve had a chance to watch the show!) Zoe is once again organising the annual self sewn wardrobe curation and exhibition that is:

MMM14logolarge

I love Me Made May.  So much inspiration from so many people rocking their hand made wardrobes.  I’ve signed up and this year am aiming for a Me Made garment every single day.  This is the same pledge I made last year, but I did struggle on a few days so we’ll see how this year goes!

You can make the month as simple or as challenging as you like, depending on where you are with your self made wardrobe.  Some pledge one or two garments a week, some pledge that everything will be made by them!  It’s about learning about your sewing and your wardrobe and what you actually wear.  Documenting what you wear is down to personal preference – some join the Flickr group, others use IG, some post on their blogs.  I’m going to be doing three or four posts over the course of the month as I find it easier to refer back to later on!

If you’d like to join in, here’s Zoe’s post with all the details and where you can make your pledge!

Fabric and Friends

On Saturday, I got on the train just gone 7am and headed to London.  My plan was very simple – visit Walthamstow Market and visit Dibs.  Claire very kindly met me off the train at Liverpool Street and escorted me to Walthamstow and showed me around.  Oh. My.  I loved Goldhawk Road when I went last summer and quite frankly I also love Walthamstow but for different reasons.

22 March 1

In my whistle-stop shopping trip Walthamstow seems to specialise in knits, trims and haberdashery.  I did see a couple of places selling African Wax Print and Sari fabrics too but didn’t go in.  Whilst there were plenty of wovens on offer (particularly at Saeeds and the Man Outside Sainsburys) the strong suit really did seem to be knits.  I have to admit to not being a well versed visitor to either area, this is just my general impression!

Claire took me to the far end of the market and we worked our way back towards Walthamstow Central.  I loved our first stop where we bought fabric at £1 or £2 a metre.  I came away with a print test run on what is (we think) Rayon that cost £2/m and as there was only 2m I bought it all!  I also bought a gorgeous brushed navy twill, a very stable striped knit and a solid navy.  10m of fabric for £18.  I’d be lucky to get 2m of knit for that price locally.

22 March 2

Over the road was another fabric shop with similar prices where I bought a pink leopard print knit.  I think this will probably become a Tiramisu and a pair of cropped leggings.  We’ll see how it goes particularly as I’ve now noticed it’s got lots of little runs in it.  It only cost something ridiculous like £1.50/m so whilst it’s annoying it’s not the end of the world.  I know I got change out of a £5 note for it!

We then went into a haberdashery and trim shop where I spent £14 on thread.  12 cones of overlocker thread which are identical to the ones I use at home and paid £4 each for – these were £1 each!  The Coat’s Moon thread was 50p a spool – vast improvement on the £2 I usually pay.  Whilst I only bought black , white and navy and some moon thread to match the pink leopard knit this shop had every single colour under the sun.  Salmon pink, neon orange, sage green, dusky blue – you name it, they had it.

22 March 7

Next stop was Saeed’s.  This was a complete contrast to the other shops in the area in terms of space, general presentation and how the fabric was displayed.  I bought 3m of a digital print linen to make Sewaholic’s Gabriola and spent the most per metre I had all day; £6.  £6!!  I am sure that locally this fabric would be at least £12/m if not more.  The staff were so friendly and helpful too – I can’t recommend them enough!

As we went down the market we popped into another haberdashery where there was a wall just full of beads and sequins.  I only bought 2 bags of trouser hooks – each bag was £1.  I was starting to become completely overwhelmed by it all.  The number of trims was insane.  Pompom, braid, bias tapes, ribbons, diamante, beaded collars…

We then found the legend that is the Man Outside Sainsburys.  I bought a dress length of cotton lawn and also of an alleged silk blend.  I’m inclined to believe him as it has the most beautiful drape.  Being such a dork I didn’t even ask the price when I saw the silk – I just wanted it!  I was gobsmaked when he only charged me £5.50/m for it and £2/m for the lawn.  He also had a lovely drapey fabric with an enormous digital print of magnolia in black and white on it.  Quite frankly, a trip to Walthamstow is worth it for him, Saeed’s and the insanely cheap first shop and my favourite of the day The Textile Centre (the one with the green writing outside at the end of the market nearest the tube, hiding behind a stall selling saucepans of catering proportions).

22 March 8

It was mental how many people were in there.  It was still a pleasant experience though as the staff were doing all they could and apologising for the delay.  I came away with 3m each of an Ikat style knit in blue and purple and 4m of the same hummingbird border print knit that Karen used for her Coco.  These were all about £2/m!  They also had a sequin fabric at £5.50/m which I loved but had no idea what I’d do with.  I’ve seen a gown online though with a similar silhouette to BHL’s Anna that was a full on sequinned number so that is now haunting me.  Not that I’d have anywhere to make such a gown!  Whilst we were there we were told about their other store on Watney Market (Called Paul’s Fabrics) which is apparently twice the size…

Whilst we were there Dibs caught up with us and did some quick shopping herself before we all headed off to her home to make macaroons!  Which I’ll save for another post as this one is ridiculous already!!

Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Bat Shirt!

Seriously, it took me so long to work out how many Nah Nah’s there were in this title and I’m still not sure it’s right!  Anyway, behold the Bat Shirt!

Bat Shirt

Boy has got a serious Super Hero thing going on and this has lasted nearly a year!  His favourite hero is Batman, which I think is kinda cool as he told me it’s because he hasn’t got any super powers but is just really really clever and strong.  He has a point, although I’m sure the fact that Bruce Wayne is a billionaire or something probably helps!

This shirt was made back in January, but photographing a marauding four year old is hard!  I have no idea what he’s holding in that first photo – I think it might be an apple.  Or it could be a toy car – anyway he’s definitely not standing still!

The pattern is The Thomas Shirt pattern by Felicity Patterns.  It’s a PDF that cost less than £5 and I am so pleased with the result!  She states in the description that it’s a generous fit and she’s not wrong.  In the end I used the age 4 length and one of the skinniest cuts as Boy is not bulky – he’s like Husband and very lean.  Even so the shirt is a little big on him, but I hope that means we’ll get a year or so of wear out of it.

I followed the instructions that came with the pattern and didn’t make any changes – the yoke is a double one so the inside is all neatly finished in the same way Grainline’s Archer is.  There aren’t any flat felled seams but for a casual shirt like this I don’t have a problem with that.  The hem is just overlocked, turned up and stitched.  Not the neatest looking finish when you can see the guts but it’s plenty robust enough.  This shirt is in heavy rotation and is standing up to the consequential numerous trips in the washing machine just fine.

The fabric came from Plush Addict (who don’t seem to stock it any more) and this shirt came out of 1m.  The buttons came from eBay although I did make a bit of a mistake in that the shirt buttons up ‘girl’ style as the buttons are on his left hand side rather than the apparently correct for boys right hand side.  I wasn’t aware of this until Husband pointed it out.  Boy doesn’t care though – I’ll just try and get things the right way round when I make the next version with another Batman print!

7 Hours, 179.9Km & 5871Cal

Yep, goal 1 of my self imposed fitness challenge is complete!

Earnt Flora

As a result I have ordered Flora and I have already bought one length of fabric for her, have plans to mash her with Elisalex and Sewaholic’s Gabriola and also involve her in Sew Dolly Clackett.  Oh yes, I can NOT wait to get my hands on this pattern!  And it’s so much the sweeter for having worked for her.

For the next fortnight I’m working for Tilly’s Coco – not my usual aesthetic but the top length looks so fabulous on Oobop and I need some lovely solid coloured tops (working for this and filling a wardrobe hole?!).  I’m also planning a day in London which I am really really looking forward to.  I don’t often have a day out on my own (the last one being the Goldhawk Road meet up I went to last summer) and this time I plan to visit the legendary ‘Man Outside Sainsbury’s’ on Whalthamstow market and see what he has to offer.  I’m after fabric for Flora, Emery, Gabriola and Coco (and lets be honest, what ever catches my eye!!).

Bound Button Hole Practice

Also known as, damn – I’m very proud of myself!

You all know I was swapping out regular old button holes for the glitz and glam slightly couture bound buttonhole.  There is no way on this earth that I was going to hack holes in my gorgeous wool and cashmere blend fabric without testing this brand new to me technique out first.

I’ve had Karen’s Bound Buttonhole eBook since she launched it.  I bought it as it was a technique I wanted to try out ‘some day’ and because I love reading her blog and wanted to support her self-published effort.  Being completely frank, without that little eBook there is no way this would have turned out as beautifully as it has.  If you haven’t done so already, buy her book. It will stand you in excellent stead when you want to use this technique.

Bound Buttonholes 1

Because the Milano Cape pattern by Papercut isn’t designed with bound button holes in mind, there aren’t any markings to help other than where to make a button hole.  So I needed to determine the width of the button hole myself.  Using the notes in Karen’s book I measured the width and depth of my button and added a smidge to determine how wide it should be.  I included the shank in my measurements and I’m not sure that I should have done.  Anyone with more experience than my one button hole have any advice on this?!

Even though this was just a practice I carefully thread basted my lines after marking them with chalk to make things easier (and whilst I photographed that step I haven’t included it in my collages – doh!).  I did deviate from the prescribed welt size as I wanted something chunkier.  Instead of cutting them 2cm wide (making each lip 0.5cm) I cut them 4cm wide so that each lip was 1cm.  I like these proportions better.

Other than that, I did exactly as I was told and I am seriously happy with the outcome.  To say this practice run has increased my confidence by a billion miles is an understatement.  I now know that my buttons will fit, that the fabric presses beautifully (and smells like wet dog whilst doing so – wool, I do love you!) and that I can totally and utterly make eight of these bad boys in the real thing (eek!).

Bound Buttonholes 2

Little win, big happy!

I’ve also got to recommend the button covering service I used.  I posted the cheque, order form and fabric at 22:00 on a Tuesday night and when I came home on the THURSDAY they were on my doorstep!  It cost me £8.00 to have ten of these dual dome buttons made which to me is an absolute steal.  In short, if you’re in the UK and want the most beautifully covered fabric buttons then I can’t recommend www.buttoncovering.co.uk enough.

Next step in Mission Milano is pre-treat what feels like miles of wool/cashmere fabric which I’m too chicken to lob in the tumble dryer with a wet towel!  Anyone got any film or series recommendations that I can watch whilst I steam a mother load of fabric?!

And… Have you heard the By Hand London news? They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to start printing fabric! I’ve made a pledge… It’d be great if you can help too. You all know that I have some serious love for those patterns (2 more rides and Flora is mine!).

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Working for Flora

So, I’m sure you are more than aware that By Hand London launched their latest pattern last week, the Flora dress.  Oh, my.  Isn’t she an absolute show stopper?!  I’ve loved seeing all the tester versions across some of my favourite blogs.  And seriously is there anyone on this planet who, if asked, would turn the BHL girls down?!  And having seen some of the care packages they sent out to their testers, wow!  The BHL girls know how to look after their pattern testers!

She has a fitted bodice and full skirt that I love, but with a twist.  I love the faux wrap top and whilst I have always, always been wary of a mullet hem, this dress has converted me and I want one NOW!  But, I’ve made myself a promise to get fit and as an incentive for each fortnight I complete my 30 minute bike workout, I can buy myself a present.  Flora is going to be my first present.  I’ll tell you this, it makes me want to get on that bike and work!

In in the interim (when I’m not telling myself, xx minutes until it goes to an easier resistance, or xx minutes to go) I’ve been dreaming about which fabric I’m going to make her in.  And then Amy, who blogs at Almond Rock,posted an Instagram picture of a fabric at Textile Express and I was sold. I’d never come across this retailer before but I know Amy has used them on a number of occasions so I jumped in and bought the fabric (and some floral jersey too – well if you’re paying £6 P&P you might as well get your money’s worth!).

d8_floral_navy

It’s just perfect, Navy, floral and a lawn.  It’s going to drape beautifully and I may be a little bit in love!

If you want any inspiration though, just look at Lizzy’s TWO versions (AM and Nightshade which is a knockout), Sonja’s vibrant beauty, Dixie’s classic interpretation, Roisin’s use of a fabulous print, Marie’s classic beauty, Fiona’s Pretty in Pink version, Lauren’s vibrant summer dress, Zoe’s chic monochrome number, Nette’s vibrant red dress and Emily who selflessly made the dress for her sister!  If these incredible pattern test versions don’t get you wanting to get behind your machine and make your own version in very short order, I don’t know what will!

Gather Kits: Mortmain

Hi y’all.  Sorry for the absence on Monday it has been a crazy couple of weeks and this weekend there was just no let up.  As a result I have been floored by a cold (yep, a simple cold) and sore throat.  My body is telling me I need to give myself a bit of time for some R&R!  Long story short, work is busy, my Husband’s self employed status is turning back to employee and director as of the 1 April as we’ve taken the decision to change his business into a Limited company.  His business is stupid busy, which means behind the scenes I’m busy!  We’ve recently put in for a number of jobs and been awarded the majority of them which makes me incredibly proud of him but also brings with it a fair degree of stress as these are all on a commercial level.  Pretty damn impressive for a one man band!  At the moment I’m working a minimum of 32hrs a week in my place of employment, working 10-20 hours on Husband’s business and being a Mum as well as trying to maintain a clean(ish) house with food in the cupboards!  How I’m not crazier than I am I have no idea…

Anyway, please forgive my less than glowing face and somewhat grumpy expression, I wasn’t feeling exactly glamorous when taking these, but you’re more interested in the dress than me, so what the heck!

Mortmain

Back in 2013 Gather Kits were looking for pattern testers for their first pattern ‘Mortmain’.  I stuck my hand in the air and was lucky enough to be picked!  This is actually my second version of the dress as the first one is now too big (wahoo!).  I made it using a teal plaid wool (I think, it was from the charity shop and presses like a wool!).  I did my usual FBA (please forgive the bust darts that look like they’re heinously placed – I’m wearing a different bra to the one I fitted this in) and sway back adjustment.  I also chose to fully line this rather than just use the facings and also swapped out the exposed zip for an invisible one (but I forgot to take back view photos – sorry!).

Because I chose to line the bodice with white cotton, I didn’t want to run the risk of this peeking out around the neck or armholes.  So I carefully pressed the edge of the facing under and edge stitched it to the lining.  I’m really pleased with how close I got the edge of the facing and how close to invisible it is!  To get a really good finish on the lining I followed this tutorial.  I then catch stitched the lining to the waist band of the skirt.  This enclosed where the skirt meets the waist band too.  I lined the skirt by duplicating the skirt pattern piece and creating the box pleats with both the outer and lining fabric.  I think I got the plaid lined up pretty well!  The lining was finished with my overlocker and I overlocked and pressed up the skirt hem before catch stitching it by hand.

Mortmain 2

I love working with plaid – it’s a challenge but when you get it right it’s really satisfying too.  You can also have fun with the direction so I cut the waist band on the bias and used some lightweight fusible interfacing to stop it stretching out.  It gives this work appropriate dress a little bit of a twist and some added interest.

This pattern is a great basic and the box pleated skirt manages to have a full hem that I love with out being too bulky around the waist.  The separate waist band nips you in and gives a lovely shape.  I used the instructions to insert the exposed zip on my first version and they work really really well giving a fabulous finish.  All in all I’d recommend this pattern and not just because I was lucky enough to test it!  It’s a great building block and with the sleeve options with their cute cuff detail it has so many possibilities!

Imagination is the Beginning…

Seasonal sewing?  Pah, that’s for organised people.  Or those that sew with a plan.  Not me, then!

As February comes to a close and snowdrops, crocus, iris and even daffodils are starting to make an appearance in the garden, spring may, just may (don’t want to jinx it!) be on its way.  Which is, of course, the perfect time to start making a thick, lined wool cape.  Yup.

This has been simmering away in the back of my mind for a while.  The seed was sown by a rather beautiful and sophisticated colleague at work who has been wearing a cream with brown plaid cape with sleeves and a funnel neck all winter.  I love the funnel neck that has a big buckle to thread a belt like closure through on the collar.  This inspiration has been percolating for a while and I’m now well into the planning stages of my own cape (hastened I might add by the zip on my ski jacket giving up the ghost – another thing for the repair pile!).

Milano Cape 1

I’ve always wanted to make a cape ever since Tasia posted her version of Simplicity 5669.  It’s a pattern I even have in my collection, bought with the full intention of making that cape one day.  The image I have in my mind’s eye though is much more swirly, has more movement.  I then remembered Papercut Pattern’s Milano Cape, part of her first collection “Imagination is the Beginning of Creation”.  The collar is more suited to being accessorised with scarves and snoods, it had the movement I was dreaming of and the welt pockets and double breasted style lends its self to creative embellishment!  You guessed it, I bought the pattern.

There aren’t many versions of this cape blogged; in fact I can find only two!  Amanda of Bimble and Pimble’s version and a sample made up for a class.  My only doubt, if you will, about the pattern is the size of the neck.  It’s pretty darn wide and Amanda fitted her lovely self and her dog in that neck hole!  I want something more closely fitted there so I suspect I will be altering the pattern to suit.  Whether that means using a smaller neck line or grafting on the collar from another pattern I’m not quite sure yet.  S5669 that inspired me all that time ago may be the solution!  I could also try my hand at pad stitching to shape the collar…

I know I want this cape to be fully lined, like Amanda’s and Tasia’s.  I’ve been stash diving and come up with a reasonably heavy crepe backed satin in a lustrous plum/magenta colour.  It’s a pinky-purple I guess!  Drafting the lining should be pretty straight forward and I intend to use Amanda’s method of tracing the outer, laying the facing over the top and tracing them then adding a seam allowance before cutting the facing area away.

I’m also going to do something different with the button holes.  I want to use bound button holes as it’s a technique I’ve never tried.  I have one of those Dritz bound button hole jigs that I won on Casey’s blog a long long time ago, as well as Karen’s eBook on how to make a bound button hole.  It’s those little tailored touches that I want to have a go at (like the possible pad stitching on the collar).  I’m going to get some bespoke buttons made too as I can’t find any I like and if I’m going to the effort of bound buttonholes, the buttons needs to be a bit special too!  I briefly considered covering them myself but that’s fiddly and I’m rubbish at it.  The prices buttoncovering.co.uk are extremely reasonable and they know what the heck they’re doing so will produce something I want to use.

I’ve been happily researching all sorts of techniques and construction methods and Poppy Kettle’s single welt pocket tutorial is the one that makes the most sense to me!  It also shows how to add a pocket bag which I’m keen to do as the pattern its self requires the pocket to be topstitched to the cape, which I don’t want to do.  I also intend to add some piping to the single welt pockets using some of the lining fabric, a little like Steph did on this pocket a while ago.

Milano Cape 2

So I’m pretty much there and nearly have all the materials I need to make a start.  I’m just waiting on the fabric I eventually chose to arrive after getting a number of swatches sent through the post.  I wanted a wool melton in either a dark grey, black or navy as these are all ‘neutral’ colours for me.  I wanted it to be soft to the touch, reasonably thick and drape well.  Most of the samples had the drape and texture but were too thin.  Another was too thick and didn’t drape the way I wanted.  I’ve found my fabric though, courtesy of eBay and if you believe the description the fabric is of Italian decent.  Whatever it is, it’s what I was dreaming of in a deep inky navy that’s almost black.  There will be a lot of steam in my future when it comes to pre-shrinking all 4m of it!

I hope you don’t mind but as this is the first thing I’ve made with a lot of these techniques and even vaguely tailored, I’m going to be documenting the process and my research and sources for the techniques I use!  Oh, and there’ll be the usual sort of thing interspersed through it all – I suspect this will be a slow burner, done a little at a time…

Charming Cami Dress

Ugh, my blog post titles are far from poetic!  However, it is high time I shared with you my version of Pauline Alice’s Cami Dress.  It’s been in my wardrobe quite a while now (since September!) as I made it pretty much as soon as the pattern was released – I’ve only just photographed it though hence why you only get to see her several months down the line!

I made it in some Tula Pink fabric from her ‘Prince Charming’ range.  There are turtles, butterflies, girls in swings, waves and all sorts going on in the print.  I love the turtles the most though!

Cami Dress 1

Me being me, I had to mess with the pattern.  Sometimes I do this because I have a certain idea in mind, sometimes because I don’t like certain details.  In this case it was a mix of the two!

The two changes I made were to the finishing of the sleeves at the cuff and the shape of the skirt.  For the sleeves I used the cuff pattern piece from By Hand London’s Victoria blazer as I love the way it finishes the seam edge so neatly, but also provides some interest as well; particularly in the contrasting fabric.  The second change was to ditch the gathered skirt for a flared A-Line version.

I drafted the skirt myself using the technique in the Craftsy class ‘Design and Sew an A Line Skirt’ and then slashed and spread from the hem to the waist to get the biggest flare I could at the hem.

To match the contrast of the cuffs, I also used the navy contrast on the inside of the collar.  This is actually the second collar I made as I screwed the first one up completely.  Thankfully Four Square Walls published her collar tutorial just as I decided to rip off the first version and saved my sanity.

Cami Dress 2

Other, minor tweaks, I made were to put more buttons on the bodice as the FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) adds length and the number specified in the pattern didn’t look quite right.  I’ve got one of those amazing simplex guides that makes easy spacing of things like buttons an absolute walk in the park.  I also added a button at the cuff because I liked the way it looked!

Finally, I inserted the side seam invisible zipper in upside down.  This means the tab is at my hip rather than up under my armpit when I’m wearing the dress.  I find that the tag and inflexibility of the slider really irritates me if I insert it the ‘normal’ way up and inserting it so it closes by zipping downwards is an easy fix!

Next time (and there will be a next time) the only change I intend to make is to ditch the pockets.  Yep, ditch them.  Because of the side zipper it makes the placement of the pockets a little awkward as they’re an inch or so too low for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I generally love pockets, but because these aren’t quite in the right place for me I don’t use them.  I know there are other pocket treatments that could work, but frankly I pretty much always have some sort of bag with me so leaving them off isn’t a massive issue!

Phew, I had more to say about this dress than I thought!  I hope you’ve all had a good week.  I’ll be glad when this one is done.  Work has been busy and exhausting and I got my exam results today and now I know that all the work I put in paid off!

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I’m also pattern testing (So. Much. Fun!) at the moment and have a full on weekend planned which included catching up with friends and their little people, swimming, more friends and helping Husband put together three enormous (for us) tenders.  Safe to say life is exciting and challenging at the moment.  One thing it isn’t is boring!

Anna the 1st

Click image to go to source

Happy Valentines my lovelies!  If you’re into this particular day, I hope you’re having a wonderful one and if you’re not, I hope you can side step the mushy stuff and maintain your sanity!  Husband has a card and some After Eights, and I’ll cook something nice later but that’s the limit in this household!  As I’m writing this on Thursday evening I have no idea if he’s remembered or not (I suspect not… But that’s him and it doesn’t bother me).

As the sun was shining yesterday and I was working at home, I used my lunch break to finally, finally, photograph the first By Hand London Anna dress I made.  This is by no means a recent make of mine – more like last summer shortly after it was released!  It’s a really happy, summery dress – mainly because of the fabric (mermaids, fish, whales!).

Anna 1

I did my usual FBA and sway back adjustment on this as well as Sonja at Gingermakes back neckline gape fix.  I used french seams where I could and  I catch stitched the sleeves for a lovely, flexible finish.  I also used a few tricks I’ve picked up to finish the facings and the facing to zipper.  This dress taught me that I needed a little more length in the bodice as the waist was a smudge too high and the pleats were also well into the bewb area rather than under them.  Something I didn’t catch when I actually toiled the bodice of this!

To finish the facings I sewed the facing to the interfacing, right sides together, pinked the seams and then flipped the interfacing over so that the glue side was against the wrong side of the fabric.  I then pressed.  This makes a really beautiful finished edge on the facing and takes a very short period of time to do.

Anna 2

The other finishing technique I used was where the facing meets the invisible zip at the back.  I use the Fashion Incubator method, which always gives me a really nice finish – In fact I use her insertion method too where you sew up the seam below the zip BEFORE you insert it.  Generally a fantastic resource for all sorts of things – beware you will loose hours but gain tons of knowledge!

I like this dress – although it is a little sheer!  Care is needed with underwear colours and situations where you’ll be back lit.  And strong gusts of wind as this skirt will catch a breeze as easily as a circle skirt!

So, there we are.  My 1st Anna dress.  A short and sweet post as this dress is already so well documented on the inter webs!

PS If you fancy winning a rather lovely brolly or a pattern of your choice, let me know in the comments of this post.  I’ll pull a winner out of the hat on Monday!