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Are you ready for the Anna Dress Sewalong?

Yoo hoo we're baa-ack! We've had a wonderful Summer break - between us we've covered the UK, US and Europe over the last few weeks, just about recovered from the Notting Hill Carnival and now we're back and raring to go! We've got some ridiculously exciting things to look forward to over the next few months (all to be revealed soon...), but first and foremost - it's the Anna Dress Sewalong - who's in??


Hell yeah, I’m in! Tell me more…

The first post will be going up on MONDAY 16th SEPTEMBER, so if you haven’t already, you still have time to get your pattern and supplies. We’ll be publishing two-three posts per week, aiming to have our Anna Dresses finished by mid-October (Hallowe'en themed fabric anyone...?). Seeing as the Anna Dress is a pretty simple and straightforward make, we're going to be beefing up the sewalong by delving into some more advanced techniques such as sewing with silks and sheer fabrics, French seams, full linings and even some tips n tricks from those of you who have already made the Anna - and if you have any you'd like to share, please get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter so we can be sure to include your tips in the sewalong!

How do I get involved?

Really all you need to do to get involved is just sewalong with us! Obviously, we love nothing more than seeing your By Hand London creations, so if you’d like to share your progress with us and the rest of the world – sharing is caring after all – please feel free to post on your blogs, show some love on our Facebook pagetweet us or Instagram @byhandlondon using the hashtags #byhandlondon, #annasewalong and/or #annadress, join our Pinterest community board or upload your pictures to our Flickr pool.

How will the posts be broken down?

  • #1 – Choosing the right fabrics and notions for your Anna Dress
  • #2 – Tracing the pattern; full bust adjustments (FBA); cutting and marking your fabric
  • #3 – Assembling the bodice; talking about French seams
  • #4 – Neckline facings, plus a guest tutorial!
  • #5 – Assembling the skirt; perfecting the thigh high split
  • #6 – Joining the skirt to the bodice; full linings
  • #7 – Zippers, hems and finishing touches
  • #8 – Round-up party!

*If there is anything we haven’t covered here that you would like us to include, please let us know as soon as possible!*

Anna Dress Sewalong - By Hand London

I’m getting excited. What do I need?

  • The Anna Dress pattern.
  • Fabric. Please check the fabric requirements on the back of your pattern folder or on our product page for advice on how much fabric to buy. Please bear in mind that if you are using a fabric with a directional print or significant nap (like velvet), you will need a lot more fabric in order to cut the skirt panels all facing the same direction... We’ve recommended lightweight woven fabrics with a nice drape such as: rayon, silk crepe de Chine, silk twill, silk charmeuse, chiffon, wool crepe etc. However, stable fabrics will work too, such as: quilting cotton, lawn, batiste, shirting, voile, Broderie Anglaise, silk habotai etc. Please make sure you pre-wash your fabric before cutting! Nothing worse than spending all that time making something beautiful only for it to shrink in the wash… Been there, folks. Never again.
  • A couple of spools of matching thread – it’s always a good idea to get this when you get your fabric (or bring a swatch of your fabric with you) to get a good colour match. You may need two colours if you choose to fully line your dress and the shell and lining fabrics differ in colour.
  • A 22 inch invisible zipper.
  • Various dressmaking supplies: a sewing machine, fabric scissors/rotary cutter, paper scissors, tracing paper, pens & pencils, pins, a hand sewing needle, a tape measure, tailor’s chalk, an iron.

We can't wait guys, and judging by the flurry of unspeakably beautiful Anna's already out there, we have a sneaking suspicion that this just might be our best sewalong yet! Please help us to spread the love and encourage one and all to get involved by grabbing the official Anna Dress Sewalong badge - simply save the image below to your computer and attach the following link to the image in your blog layout. Clicking on it will swiftly take you to all posts in the sewalong.


The Anna Dress is such a peasy make, with such impressive results, so let's see how many more budding sewists we can covert!

Comments on this post (43)

  • Sep 16, 2013

    Woohoo I’m in – hoping my Anna pattern will arrive in NZ in time! I’ve got my supplies already, though :)

    — Magpieness

  • Sep 20, 2013

    Yay! Hurry up Mr Postman… :)

    — byhandlondon

  • Sep 20, 2013

    Absolutely! :)

    — byhandlondon

  • Sep 13, 2013

    Yippie, All badged up on my blog and ready to go with fabric and pattern in hand. I can’t wait.

    — Casandra

  • Sep 13, 2013

    Anna arrived! Yipee! All ready for the sew along. :-)

    — clare

  • Sep 16, 2013

    I’m in! It’s Monday evening here in Melbourne so I’ll be looking out for the post soon :) Have the pattern and too many fabric choices!

    — Funkbunny

  • Sep 04, 2013

    After I saw Lauren’s, Sonja’s, and Oona’s I went online and bought the pattern! I can’t wait to start the sew along! I’m super excited! :) Now, the only problem is deciding on which fabric to use from my stash. I’m on a fabric ban for the rest of the year. :(

    — The Nerdy Seamstress

  • Sep 05, 2013

    Just purchased! I’m keen for the French Seams, I’ve tried them once and actually can’t remember how they turned out, it was that long ago! Keep us in the loop with sewalong too, hope my pattern arrives in time!

    — Veronica Darling

  • Sep 10, 2013

    Im so in!! I just received my pattern yesterday, thank you girls! I have fabric ready and I’m really inspired by all the beautiful Anna’s I’ve seen around. Yay!

    — Joelle

  • Aug 31, 2013

    Hi Tanya! Yes we will definitely add something in to help with bodice lengthening :)

    — byhandlondon

  • Sep 01, 2013

    Squee! I have the pattern and have just purchased my fabric to strike out on my own…might just wait for the sew along so I can confidently proceed, especially given you are doing an FBA whiwill require! Timing couldn’t be better – THANKS :-)

    — Deb Cameron

  • Sep 01, 2013

    Count me in! Just finished my Victoria blazer and am itching to get started on the Anna!

    — Meg

  • Sep 02, 2013

    Wooohooo, this is so exciting and I can’t wait to see even more beautiful Annas! I’ve finished my first version, an Autumn Anna, which I’ll be blogging about soon. I lurve it!!!

    — Marie

  • Aug 30, 2013

    I’m in! It’s my birthday on 15 September and I think that Birthday Santa will be bringing me the pattern, so I just need to find the perfect fabric. Can’t wait :)

    — Amy

  • Aug 31, 2013

    Pattern is ordered, and so are fabric swatches — CANNOT wait to make this dress. Or y’know, 5 of them. ;)

    — Sara

  • Aug 31, 2013

    I get myself in such a pickle lengthening the bodice! I can never extend the pleats (or darts in the Elisalex) and match the skirt panels/darts properly. Any help for us tall girls in your sewalong please…?

    — Tanya

  • Aug 29, 2013

    Yay! Count me in! I’ve got some silk that I hand dyed, but I’m hoping to make an Anna out of that fabric before the sew a long and then make another one!
    The Victoria blazer sew a long was super helpfull, so can’t wait till this one starts!

    — Kim

  • Aug 29, 2013

    Hurray! I’m in! It was a toss up between Anna and another pattern as my next project, so Anna has just won. :)

    — Lynne

  • Aug 30, 2013

    I’m in!

    — Carly

  • Aug 29, 2013

    Hey I just have received my pattern yesterday! :) So you can count me in! I just have to find my fabrics :)

    — emilie94410

  • Aug 29, 2013

    Hi! Yes, it is possible to extend the kimono sleeve to 3/4; it will have a very slightly batwing shape as the sleeve is not set in, but this was a very popular laid-back style in vintage patterns around the 40s-50s. We’ll see what we can do about adding a bonus tutorial! Thanks :)

    — byhandlondon

  • Aug 29, 2013

    Need fabric!!!!! Can’t find what I want for Anna…

    — ZoSews

  • Aug 29, 2013

    I am tempted by the inclusion of a FBA. Let me get this straight – then I should pick a size based on waist measurement and big up the bust with the FBA, right?

    — bani

  • Aug 28, 2013

    I am so happy that you are doing this!! I chose the Anna pattern as part of a prize I won in an online competition but as I am still pretty much a beginner I haven’t worked up the courage to do anything with it yet so the sew along is like a dream come true! I might sill make it as a muslin first time round though :)

    — Lynne Watson

  • Aug 29, 2013

    YAY!!!! This leaves time for me to get the pattern! I think this is the one to use my gran’s vintage rayon lemon print! Excited!

    — Wanett

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