Lady Luck dress (My first Anna)

Yes I am very late to the party, and early for spring with this green polka dot Anna. Isn't she lovely? 

The Lady Luck dress, By Hand London's Anna pattern
The green polka dot fabric was so hard to photograph well! I haven't quite managed to capture the exact colour. The fabric was a bargain from B & M fabrics in Leeds Kirkgate Market. This one's a lovely quality cotton.

Also may I please say that I really do think it looks much better in real life! Here I'm spotting a bit of crinkling, I think it's the way I'm standing!

Lady Luck dress with bargain Zara sale shoes
This is the first By Hand London pattern I have sewed and I adore it. From the packaging, to the lovely pattern and fab instructions - I truly could not pick any fault with it. 

I whipped together a muslin with sewable tracing paper first - the fit was all good apart from the side seams and back darts not matching the skirt seams. Hmmm. 

I discovered that the issue was partly that my waist "dips", and so I straightened that up. But the side seams were still not straight. 

After a bit of manipulation I managed to right them. What I did was draw a line where the bodice  side seams should be, in order to be straight and match up with the skirt seams. Then I cut along this line, and retraced my patterns adding seam allowance. It worked out pretty well! 

I also had to remove a fair amount from the centre back, and then I moved the back darts so that they matched up with the skirt panel seams. 

Moving the back darts
Thanks to all those alterations, all of my seam lines matched up...

The invisible zip went in really easily! Wooohoo! I do love the neat look of an invisible zip. 

It looks like here I might have a slight pucker at the bottom of the zip. But it's not all that noticeable is it?

I french seamed the shoulders and overcast the other seam allowances. I did a plain double fold hem. 

I was all ready to blog this. I put the dress on, pleased as punch, took some pictures and then went "oh". 

Try not to be distracted by the gorgeous patchy kitten
The flipping sleeves were just really really annoying me. They looked massive and stuck out from my body loads. Also I had clearly missed some glaringly obvious neckline gaping at the muslin stage. Gah! I will have to live with the neckline on this version but couldn't live with the sleeves. 

I sewed them up the side seams a bit more, making the arm hole smaller and bringing all that fabric on top round my arms a bit. They still looked big. So I sewed side seam up a bit more. Still big. 

The face says it all
It was at this point when I started to doubt my sanity. Was I being too picky? I went back around blog land and Pinterest looking at all the lovely Annas people have made. And not one of them had big sticky-out sleeves. Not only that, but no-one had even mentioned the sleeves being an issue. 

So I went back and sewed those side seams up further for a third time, and this time... problem solved! It was like magic! Now I officially adore this dress and am singing up to the I Love Anna Club. 

Hooray! Ree: 1, Massive Sleeves: 0
I see many Anna dresses in my future. Looking at these pictures I think it's worth doing more alterations, or perhaps tracing the size down for my next version. I did have to take quite a bit out of the centre back and I need to sort out the neck gape. BUT I still blooming love this dress, and am really proud I made it!

Can I wear it always? 

I just flipping love this pattern! It's one of the nicest shaped dresses I've ever put on, let alone made! I debuted the Lady Luck dress at my birthday dinner last night, and she was a resounding hit. Already cutting out version number 2...


  1. It's really lovely on you! It fits you beautifully and is so flattering. Great job!

  2. It's really lovely on you! It fits you beautifully and is so flattering. Great job!

    1. Thank you Danielle! A special thank you also for being my first commenter! I love the flattering lines of the Anna. Working on version 2 today!

  3. I had to alter mine too, second version made a smaller size, then still there is excess fabric at the neck and it sits high too, sleeves also crumple. I don't think I'll sew it again!

    1. I haven't made an Anna in ages, but I am planning to make one soon. I'm definitely going back to the fit and doing more alterations first! x