Monthly Archives: January 2014

Love at first sight Anna


Anna dress

Anna dress

I know I’m not her first sewist & I surely won’t be her last, but Anna was definitely made for me πŸ™‚


Obviously she’s been very popular and I love how everyone has made versions of her that suit them perfectly. For me, though, it was the original black maxi version with the thigh high split that stole my heart, just as she was… it was literally love at first sight.


Every good love story has a great meeting and ours is no different. When I first saw Anna I wasn’t looking for a sewing pattern; I found her through a completely unrelated search, and she took my breath away. I thought she was probably some designer or celebrity’s but I had to see so I followed the link to where she lived. It took me a minute to realize she was a sewing pattern and another to realize I was on the BHL site, but once I did I snatched her up and we’ve been together ever since.

At that point I hadn’t seen any other Annas made up, as she was brand new, but obviously there’ve been tons since then, so why did it take me so long to make her?

I could make many excuses; I work full time plus manage a freelance career, I commute 3.5 hrs a day, I was in a sewing funk, whatever… but the truth is, the time just wasnt right; I knew I needed to be inspired to do MY Anna justice.

When it was time, I wondered what fabric I would use so I searched my stash, skeptical I had enough meterage of anything (my usual is 2m for anything I buy on a whim) Then I remembered this amazing British linen I had and had saved because I really wanted to make something special with it… well, if Anna wasnt it, nothing ever would be!! I checked & sure enough, I had JUST enough to make her so it was serendipity all the way!! πŸ™‚

For adjustments I traced a sz 8 and did my usual FBA, rotating the bust darts into the pleats to keep the clean look at the top. I anticipated having to do a correction to fix back neck gaping but the muslin was great without it – yay! πŸ™‚ The final version does have a bit of looseness in the back and front neckline but it’s not a deal-breaker. I Β chose to hand stitch the split but machine stitched the hem. I only took a couple inches off the hem; it’s rare to find a maxi dress I don’t have to lengthen! πŸ™‚

The fit is lovely & flattering, and the fabric is neither too thick nor too thin; it has an elegant drape but still has enough body to hold its shape; it’s smooth and comfortable, warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm – it’s heavenly. It was lovely to sew, too, but had a tendency to shine a bit when pressed so I used a press cloth to avoid that. It also doesn’t hold a crisp press easily but its other virtues more than make up for it πŸ™‚

I’ve worn my Anna twice – both times to work Christmas parties (but only JUST got photos of her today durrr) – and because of the cold weather I paired her with warm tights & boots, but I could easily take her into spring or even summer by going bare legged & wearing cute sandals or espadrilles, and as you can see in these pics, she looks elegant and chic in black heels with nude stockings. She stood up to dinners, drinks, desserts, dancing, walking, late nights and karaoke… Anna is a true party girl – and she looks just as fabulous at the end of the evening as she does at the beginning πŸ™‚

I know those two dates won’t be our last – Β it’s definitely true love πŸ™‚


My Miette! :)


My first cardigan – finished – YAY!!

(goofy pose courtesy of my lovely man, who when I did this in jest said he liked it so this one’s for him because he loves me enough to photograph my makes when there’s dinner waiting LOL)

I’ve been simultaneously also making a Sedum so it probably took me longer than it should have, but I have issues with knitting project monogamy LOL.

I found this pattern to be a little intimidating for a first cardi – even though I’ve already made a pullover top, some of the instructions required a little leap of faith (what? you want me to BREAK MY YARN??) but the pattern is flawless, so if you knit it, trust it – it’s sound πŸ™‚

The sizes go from 34 to 38 and I’m finding a 36 typically fits me the best so I had to do some math… ok a LOT of math to get this one to fit. So basically it’s a 34 at the beginning/yoke, with increases to the 38 bust but with the stitches re-configured so there’s more at the front where there needs to be and less at the back where I don’t need them. Yeah it’s confusing. You should see my pattern sheets. It looks like a deranged particle physicist got a hold of them and madly scribbled formulas all over it. I’m not sure how I managed it but it worked somehow LOL. I also added an extra repeat of the pattern above the bust darts so they actually appear below my boob, and give me some much needed extra length to COVER said boob.

The yarn is Soft Donegal – a lovely merino tweed with a richly saturated dye, a relatively new product at my LYS – 88 Stitches. It was expensive but um yeah… look at the colour. I had to have it πŸ™‚ No regrets πŸ™‚

Side note: one thing I really like doing to justify my love of expensive fabrics (and now yarns), is compare similar garments in similar fabrics in RTW – dudes, that’ll make you feel good about expensive habits, lemme tell ya. Hats alone are going for $70 – imagine what a pure merino little number like this would go for – and it wouldn’t fit nearly as well πŸ˜‰

I wore it like the above pic to work (this is me after work, and after making dinner and lunches and then working some more LOL… plus I need a haircut something fierce so don’t mind my rumpled-ness) but even despite that, the sweater still looks great so that’s cool! πŸ™‚

I took a pic with it all buttoned up just for grins but I probably won’t wear it like this unless it’s with a cute skirt or something… which, incidentally, I’m supposed to be sewing and is sitting on my sewing table half finished, collecting cat hair, but I am currently battling my hatred of zippers LOL.


And now the aforementioned Sedum, in progress, with bonus CAT: