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Monday, November 11, 2013

Sew White Dress

What's this?

An actual dress, you say?

For the first time in... well, I'm too lazy to go back and look - let's just say it's been a loooong time. I made a dress. For myself. In fact, it took so long that the dress is just slightly out of season.

For my first foray back to sewing, I eagerly set out to make the Anna dress from By Hand London.  I snatched up the pattern and tried to plot out what fabric to make it in. I looked around my sewing space before I ventured to my local fabric shop, and saw a few yard of white eyelet that I had picked up.  I was inspired to buy this fabric at one point because I saw a black lace dress that I totally thought I could make myself. Except, I couldn't find lace that I wanted to use, or it was too expensive. And then it wasn't black. So I looked at eyelet instead. But still... not inspired by what I saw, and black eyelet is not so easy to come by. So I switched it to white. And then I finally found this eyelet design and bit the bullet. So, it's not what I originally intended, but it could do the job.  I had never used a pattern from By Hand London so I decided I wouldn't be too heartbroken if it didn't work out.

I picked up a thin, white cotton fabric to go underneath the eyelet. We wouldn't want it to be see-through, now would we? I treated the lining as if it were one with the fabric. It made it easier to cut out and assemble the dress, and I didn't want to have to deal with the logistics of a lining.

The pattern was super easy to put together. The hardest part for me was remembering how to do a pleat (I looked up the designer's tutorials, just to make sure I did it right) and installing my invisible zipper. It had been a long while since I did one so I didn't want to make any mistakes. I took it slow, and referred to Colette's sewing handbook instructions, just to be safe.

Now, in California, I could totally wear this dress in the Fall. Except for the whole 'no white after Labor Day' but is that still a thing? Since I've been planning this dress for a while, I probably could have worn it in the early Fall... except we are far enough into the season here in North Carolina, that it's pretty chilly. I could wear it with a sweater, tights, and boots... but I'd probably still be a little cold.  So this will probably get tucked away into my closet until the Spring. But I do like it, and overall the fit seems to be good. I was worried that it wouldn't fit, but it feels perfect. The pictures make it look like it's straining at the bust, but I didn't see that in person, and my hubby denied it too. Regardless, by the time I wear it in Spring, I won't be breastfeeding anymore so I have a feeling the size will be different in that respect. Is that TMI? Trying to be realistic.

So, it's a lovely dress! I will definitely make it again, though I think with the v-neck option instead. Now I need to get realistic about cold weather sewing options. Do you have any recommendations of favorite patterns? Maybe the new release from Colette will be something fitting...

The Facts
Fabric: Approx 3.5 yards cotton eyelet, from stash
Pattern: Anna from By Hand London
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 16" zipper, hook closure
Time to Complete: Approx. 4 hours
First worn: For photos
Wear again: When it's warmer


  1. Cute, cute, cute! Isn't it nice to finally sew something for yourself after baby? My Sprout is 5 months old and my sewing is still all about him. Someday...

    For the record, Emily Post...or maybe it's her daughter now...has said that the No White After Labor Day rule is grossly misinterpreted. You can wear white all year 'round. It's the fabric that makes the difference - cottons and light linens in summer but white wool or white twills, gaberdines and polyester's - any winter weight fabric, really - are perfectly acceptable in fall and winter.

    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, it definitely takes a while to get back into sewing after little one's arrival! But I hope you get back into it soon. :) I've picked out a bunch of patterns of stuff for him that I can't wait to try - just as soon as I'm done with all of my craft fair stuff.

      Oh and thanks for the heads up on Emily Post! This is probably more of a summer fabric but as it's way too cold now to wear it, it probably will be reserved until then after all. ;)

  2. Super cute on you Christine! Good luck at the craft fair!

    1. Thanks Justine! I can't wait to hear the results of your fair too! I love the dress you featured on your blog. I would snatch that up in a heartbeat if I could guarantee my next baby was a girl. ;)


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