I made my first By Hand London Anna dress a couple of months ago and I absolutely love everything about it and resolved to make another one very soon.
I was lucky enough to get some money for my birthday earlier in the month so headed to Liberty at the first opportunity and bought a couple of metres of one of their new collection cotton tana lawns – Earthly Delights.
I thought it would be perfect for another Anna and as it is on a black base, it would still be good to wear in winter with tights, but I decided to make it fully lined so I wouldn’t have to worry about it riding up.
For the previous version, I had done the slash neck option but I decided to try out the v neck for this one. Having looked at a few pictures of other people’s makes on Instagram, I took the decision to take the v down about half an inch as I thought that would look more flattering. I think I might split the difference though next time, as it is maybe a teeny bit low for work, without a cami underneath!
The other major change I made, was to abandon all of the facings and line the top instead. I think this gives a much nicer finish, and as I wanted to line the skirt, it made much more sense. I managed to engineer it so that I could machine stitch all of the seams to make it a really clean finish. if you would like more details or a tutorial on how I did this, please let me know!
The Liberty lawn was such a pleasure to work with – if you’ve been working with slippery or difficult fabrics for a while, it is such a refreshing change to work with something that just behaves itself!
The biggest challenge I had though was when it came to pattern placement. The fabric contains lots of fruits and vegetables that, if placed incorrectly could be quite comical. There are some very phallic looking carrots and some very “yonic” looking fruits – look at me, I learned a new word. Basically, I didn’t want to end up with any of these in the wrong place but it did create the hashtag #secretvajayjay!
I also had to avoid any melons on my er, melons!
Amazingly, I managed to avoid all of the pitfalls although cutting out did take a lot of thought and consideration!
Had I bought the fabric online, I may have been more clued in, as the website describes it as capturing “a hidden fairy-tale world of thick foliage and luscious fruits, presented with a delectably twisted sense of humour”!
So yes, secret vajayjays aside, I have a lovely new Anna dress and it is one of my favourites!