I know I’m not her first sewist & I surely won’t be her last, but Anna was definitely made for me :)
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!! :)
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! :) The final version does have a bit of looseness in the back and front neckline but it’s not a deal-breaker. I 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! :)
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 :)
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 :)
I know those two dates won’t be our last – it’s definitely true love :)