Prompted as ever by a sewalong (although I ended up not following it as I was too keen to get her finished) and by all the gorgeous versions I have seen popping up everywhere, in particular, Lizzy's, Roisin's and Fiona's, I wanted to make a winter Anna. A summer version would be gorgeous but I had pretty much missed the boat on summer makes by the time I got my act together and ordered the pattern! I went for the midi version with a slash neck - I feel like this could be a better fitting version of the Colette Peony, which I love the shape of but have never worked out my fitting kinks!
I chose a wool blend from Minerva Crafts in french navy and found it really easy to work with - it feels similar to a couple of 1960s vintage dresses I have. although I did have to use a pressing cloth (as the slightly shiny patch over the back bodice dart will testify). To be able to wear it with tights, I decided to line it, and used a poly satin from Fabricland (previously used this fabric to line my Anise jacket).
As a few bloggers had commented that the bodice was fairly short, I lengthened by 3" as i would usually do. The waistband sits about 1" above my natural waist but I think this is in line with the design. My usual small FBA was needed. I wanted the skirt to hit on the knee rather than midi length as this is more flattering for me, so I left the length as drafted.
I could actually have got this out of 2 metres of fabric, even with my length adjustments so since I bought 3 metres (Minerva only work in whole metres as part of keeping prices down) I have enough left for a skirt hopefully.
After cutting out all the gored skirt panels from lining, I realised that I could have cut the lining as one piece and saved myself all that seaming and finishing, but never mind! I sewed the darts and pleats down just at the waist to allow for breathing room.
As I didn't plan originally to line it, I failed in avoiding hand sewing - using the Cambie lining tutorial I could have attached the zip to the fabric and lining by machine, but I had sewn up the side seams by this point so too late! So I slip stitched the lining to the zipper tape by hand. On a positive note, the invisible zip went in like a dream.
I also hand catch stitched the hem of the dress as I preferred the look. I tried to finish the lining hem using the rolled hem setting on my overlocker, but the fabric was fraying so badly that the hem was pulling away from the rest of the skirt. Normal overlocking worked fine.
I really love this dress. I think it needs a belt, brooch or bright tights to liven it up (went with belt and tights when I wore it the day we took pics) as it's a plain colour but I can tell I will wear it loads this winter. Can't wait til spring when I can make a few more in summer prints and light fabrics (oh and a maxi version too)!