Anna, Au Revoir

Remember the UK summer of 2013?  Empty sewing rooms gathering dust?  The silence of the sewing blogs?  Everyone finally wearing their summer dresses in the sunshine.  (*sigh*) Days of heaven…  It’s less than two weeks since these pictures were taken, yet  Anna is already tucked well inside my wardrobe, her long hem gathered at the bottom in a sad, forgotten pool. 

I only got to wear it twice.  The first was in the company of my children and oh, how they cramped my style: lifting up the hem like it was a tent flap and laughing mockingly as they attempted to dive in.  To be fair, I think they were traumatised.  Mummy – who by rights should have been in the kitchen, shedding hairs over her fleece whilst frying them things – was instead wearing a dress like off strictly, her meaty thigh exposed for everyone to see (yes, this maxi dress comes with an obligatory thigh split).  I imagine this is how scandalised Cher’s poor children must have felt when their ma released the If I Could Turn Back Time video… 

Tips for Anna Maxi:

1 Unless you’re a rower, the back will probably be too big for you.  Make a muslin, at least for the bodice.

2 Don’t use a solid.  Or if you do, make sure it has drape to break up all that volume in the skirt.

3 If you insist on a solid, and cotton and you opt for a slash neck with no thigh, you will look like a nun.   

4 The V-neck looks great for showing off jewellery or collarbones but it must be controlled.  Ruth has some sensible advice hereMy tip: stay-stitch before you cut. 

5 For anyone under  a certain height, Karen recommends lopping off a good 9 inches from the skirt pattern to save fabric.  I’m a 1.62m shortie and I lopped 25cm.  To that I’d like to add that when you make the skirt shorter, to keep things in proportion you’ve got to somewhat raise the split.  Unless your best feature is your knee. 

5 There’s a typical indie-pattern typo in the picture on Page 14.  Page 15 shows the correct order which is alphabetical.

6 For anyone under a certain age and UK educated, beware that By Hand London provide most of their measurements in Inches – possibly because they are targeting this at a larger US market.  Get parents to provide you with an imperial measurements tutorial and counselling. 

And talking of children in need of counselling, that reminds me: 

Location: Upnor Castle

Thanks to Jo D 🙂

22 thoughts on “Anna, Au Revoir

  1. Fabulous dress Marianna. If it makes you feelany better I only managed to wear mine once.
    Do you think my idea of a needle cord winter Anna will work?

    • Yes, definitely a winter one necessary!

      Although he didn’t get a mention, I’m also very grateful to your Mr D for voting in favour of the thigh split (otherwise, your dress and later mine might have been just a little too ordinary).

  2. Take no notice of the kids – they should look that good when they are your age (whatever that is and I don’t know and am not guessing either). Sit astride that cannon!
    It was, indeed, a very short summer this year even in the S. of France. It didn’t start properly until mid-July and I had to put on a pair of jeans today instead of shorts!!
    As for ByHand’s inches – I am U.K. educated but definitely not under a certain age so I’m alright with that.

  3. I thought that’s what parents are for…traumatising and embarrassing their own children – I’ve tried my best over the years. I don’t think your children will distressed at all about you in your Anna – they will be positively proud and so should you – glowing!

  4. They say maxi is back to the delight of textile industry.
    Your dress is super. My friend, sitting next to me now, thinks it’s great to wear it when you don’t have time to shave your legs. ( Lucky me, my legs are hairless by nature. )
    In my life I’ve tried many things and have achieved a lot but I definitely failed in cooking ( edible but not eatable ) and sewing so your blog left me with a glimmer of hope but that was all. However, I’m an avid reader of it as it oozes with great humour.
    Looking forward to next one.

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