More Sewing!

If you were waiting for a “getting settled” update, I’m sorry. I am currently not so happy with my surroundings (I’m easily affected by weather, it turns out):

Grey, grey world

It’s cold(ish), grey and rainy outside. Also, since we changed to winter time the day has become considerably shorter, it being dark at 4.30 already. And it gets worse every day. I’m even looking forward to Christmas because that means it will get lighter and lighter every day after that. But enough of the whining. I manage to keep myself happy with (you guessed it!) sewing. So let’s focus on the happy thoughts, i.e. the new clothes I made.

First up, the inevitable By Hand London Anna dress. I’ve seen so many gorgeous versions out there. Most notably nishiink’s Tropicanna, Deer Anna, and the Lovestory, as well as, all of Sewbusylizzy’s versions. Seriously, go google image the Anna dress.

I had read that most people had troubles with the back neck gaping, plus I wasn’t sure about sizing, so I made the following version as a wearable muslin out of some stash fabric:

A Purple Anna – Made from viscose flannel

A Purple Anna – Side

A Purple Anna – Back

There is some gaping, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I cut a size 8/12 on top, tapering to a size 10/14 on the waist, using a size 10/14 for the bottom. I could have stuck to a straight size 8/12 for the whole dress, as I took it in quite a bit at the back in the waist and skirt afterwards. I should have done a swayback adjustment, as there’s a little pooling in that area, and the hem is unintentionally hi-lo. However, all in all I like it, but I’m not as enthusiastic about it as other people. Maybe it’s the dark and boring fabric, maybe it’s that I’ve seen too many versions by now, who knows.

As you can see, I’m wearing the Anna layered with a long-sleeved shirt. As I don’t have enough of those, I went ahead and finally made some. I had recently seen some nice renditions of the top 123 from Burda Style issue 09/2012, so chose that pattern. It was a rather fast make, taking me about 3 hours including tracing.

Burda Style 09/2012 – Top 123B

I made my usual Burda size 36 (which is 1 size smaller than the measurement table suggests). However, I should have gone with the size 38, as it is a bit snug. But I’ll mostly wear it layered under dresses, so that’s not such a big issue. I really like the neat look of the front neckline, though:

Burda Style 09/2012 top 123B – Neck detail

This is achieved by sewing in a facing. Unfortunately I messed up the back facing a little bit, so the keyhole opening doesn’t lay flat:

Burda Sytle 09/2012 123B – Back view

Again, not an issue under dresses. But then I wondered if a simple neck binding would also work (it does) and made another version just now. This took me even less time, having done the tracing already.

Burda Style 09/2012 123B – 2nd version

I widened this one at the side seams by about 1cm on each side, so it fits less snugly. The neckhole is big enough for my head to go through, and while it’s not as neat with the binding it’s still pretty nice:

Burda Style 09/2012 123B – Neck binding

The light grey one is a cotton elasthan blend, the darker one is an extremely soft and cozy cotton double-knit (which unfortunately doesn’t have too much recovery). The shoulder inserts for both are from some mystery fabric I got from the remnants bin. I rather like the textural detail it adds.

Both the Anna, and the tops were fairly quick makes. Something which I cannot really say about this next make. Ever since it was published in Burda Style issue 08/2011 I wanted to make this dress:

Burda Style 08/2011 dress 119

But I knew I wanted to line it, and waited for inspiration on how to go about that. Moreover, I wasn’t able to find the adequate length and colour invisible zipper. Then I decided one day late in September that instead of thinking about it, I would have to just try and wing it. So I worked on it pretty much through all of October. While cutting and sewing the shell and lining separately went really well, attaching the two to each other gave me some headache, but It turned out ok in the end. I even managed to find a zipper in the exact same colour, but it was neither the right length, nor invisible. So I tried my first centered zipper ever:

Burda Style 08/2011 dress 119 – Back

It’s ok enough, but I prefer the invisible one.

As I said, I lined it and decided to play with that a bit. I chose a sunny yellow striped acetate and used red bias tape on the facing edges:

Yay, colour explosion!

I also used the lining fabric for pockets, which I added using the pocket pattern piece from my Saltspring.

A Glimpse of the Sunny Pocket

Nobody will ever see it, but I know that there’s a bit of sun with me when I wear it. Which I did for the first time today. It’s nice and warm, as the turquoise fabric is cotton flannel. It’s quite cofortable as well, even with the high neck.

Again I made a size 36, with a 3cm seam allowance at the center back seam, which I ended up needing, so again I should have gone up a size. Let’s hope I’ll remember next time I make a Burda pattern!

Oh, can you believe that I forgot to include a garment in my September roundup? And it’s even one I love!

But that’s it for now. I’ll try and come up with a cooking post soon, as we’ve been having guests over every week recently, and I have been cooking up a storm!


9 thoughts on “More Sewing!

  1. So sorry to hear you’re not enjoying the cold dark days & nights (we are clearly supposed to swap countries as the hot, humid days have been getting to me!) & I really hope they start lighting up with twinkling Christmas lights (& actual light after Christmas!) soon. If you want any stories about constant sweating (yuk!), coat envy, or burnt eyelids, just let me know & we can exchange seasons vicariously! It looks like you’ve been wearing some beautiful bright colours though which should definitely help!

    Thank you for the sweet comments & links! Your purple Anna looks awesome & the layering up is genius! I don’t actually know what a swayback is (hmmmm – am I giving away that I’m actually rubbish at sewing?), but the fit looks great to me & I love the colour! Isn’t it a quick pattern to put together? Always a plus in my book!

    I’ve had my eye on those cut out Burda tops for ages, but never got around to making them – your versions may have given me the kick I needed to do so! And the blue dress and pinkish top are so jolly! I do love bright colours! I wish I could finish my stuff as well as you do, but I’m much too lazy… 😉

    Sorry for taking over your comments with my ramblings! I’m trying to psychically send you some sun now… ☀️☀️


    • Thank you so much for the sun! It was much needed and appreciated! So I’m up for imaginary swapping countries! I took a sauna today, to get a feel for too hot and humid. Coming in from the cold, it was heavenly!
      I think they started the twinkly lights recently. I’ll go and take pictures for you! In fact, the lighting concept of the city is pretty awesome, so I might write something about that…

      Thanks for the compliments! I wouldn’t know what a swayback is if I didn’t have one. It’s basically when the lower back is curved (inwards) so that the behind portrudes a bit. Nothing big, really, it just means that trousers always gape at the back, and that skirts on dresses make weird wrinkly lines. The dress is indeed easy to construct and I might make one with a stiffer fabric, just to see how that behaves on me (maybe a two-tone one?).

      (I wish I knew how to transport weather across the internet! If I did I’d send yousome snow!)


      • Hurray! I’m so glad it arrived! I went to the cinema (the coldest place in Singapore) at the weekend to experience freezing cold and even had to wear a cardigan! Perfect! Thank you for the snow emoji! I’m not on my phone so I can’t send you more suns, but I will do later! Twinkly light photos sound lovely! Yes, please! Maybe I could take some hot sweaty photos of tropical Singapore (I think we’re going to go to Bukit Timah’s rainforest this weekend…) for you? Zero degrees with sunny skies sounds amazingly good! Here it’s rather grey (maybe we swapped skies, but not temperatures?!) with lots of rain making it a very nice and cold 26 degrees! I’m beginning to worry that I may be getting too used to all this humidity…!

        Ahhh! That’s what a swayback is! I think my large bottom fills out any space behind me and my hunching over (I may have read too many books as a kid…) prevents me from having one! I sound like a very scary looking person now, but I promise I’m not! 😉 A two-tone dress sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see it!


  2. Lighting candles help make the grey-ness feel friendlier. But who am I kidding, those pretty fabrics are better than a dozen candles. 😀 I LOVE that last piece. I think it looks absolutely gorgeous on you! A sunny pocket is so adorable and makes perfect sense! Those tunics look very sharp and fashion forward too.


  3. The grey may be getting to you, but YOU are a ray of sunshine in these beautiful garments. Love all of them and hope you keep making colorful clothes to get through the worst of the winter. We are in Oregon (USA) and our side of the state is generally sunny but COLD. My husband and I travel to the desert in the winter as he gets SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Have you tried a full spectrum lamp?


    • Awww, thank you so much!
      We didn’t buy any of thos lamps yet, but I’m seriously considering it. What is keeping me from getting one is that I have no idea what to look for. 😦


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