The Happiest Anna Dress

Hello hello! I’ve got a few things to share today so I’ll try not to ramble.

First up, my Anna obsession continues with a new version of the By Hand London pattern. This is my third attempt with a gathered skirt and numerous fitting tweaks. I’ve reduced the gaping at the front and back and added a little more room under the arms.

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

The fabric is a luscious viscose challis from Elliott Berman Textiles in NYC that I bought on my trip earlier this year. When I saw the vivid florals I ran straight over to the bolt and it’s the best quality viscose I’ve felt. Apparently it’s Italian which is a shame I went to America for European fabric but I’d never have found it over here.

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

Sizing-wise it’s a crazy hybrid of three sizes. I used 2m of fabric, kept the neckline facing and used black bias binding for the armholes. Gosh I luuuurve it. I wore it out for an early birthday dinner on Friday with my family and it was very forgiving when I ate ALL THE FOOD. Plus the fizz we drank. Oops, thank goodness for gathered waist dresses. I wore it again on Saturday night to a friend’s 40th party – who else does this when they’re obsessed over a new make??

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

On Sunday I was surprised by an early birthday present as my lovely partner Jimi proposed… while I was wearing my star print Anna dress! (Still to blog annoyingly so here’s a terribly cropped pic of it.) We then ran off for a stay at Oulton Hall spa to get pampered and eat a load more delicious food. Seriously though it’s been overwhelming how many lovely comments we’ve received about the news. Did you know Jimi and I have been together as long as I’ve been sewing? We’d been together only a short while before I started evening classes and he’s always been my personal cheerleader, enabler and photographer. And although we are already fiercely committed to each other and marriage won’t change that, planning a wedding and our life together once we’re hitched is too wonderful to put into words right now.

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

As if the weekend wasnt going fantastically enough, I was also lucky enough to receive a vintage treadle sewing machine and a complete copy of Ann Ladbury’s Liberty dressmaking book with patterns for 12 garments inside. Check out the video of my machine on Instagram! Plus I was gifted some delicious gin (Adnams of Southwold and cucumber gin – perfect for a machine-side drink), sewing vouchers, new converse and perfume. Phew!

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

So I still have several garments to blog so this my site won’t end up completely wedding-centric. Chatting to a few people this weekend at the epic Sewing Weekender hosted by the Foldline and English Girl At Home there was some interest in me sharing my handmade wedding dress plans. Because yes I’m definitely going to attempt making the dress. Though deciding what to make is seeming impossible right now. Stay tuned for more about the Sewing Weekender first though hehehe.

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

Also if you have any books or sites you’d like to recommend for working with bridal fabrics or diy weddings please leave them in the comments. I do know quite a few bloggers have made their dresses so will be going back to those posts. So for now here’s me and my future hubby looking mature and responsible as 32 year olds.

almond rock anna dress by hand london elliott berman textiles

(17) Comments

  1. Congratulations, Amy! And yesyesyes please share your wedding dress journey!

  2. Mary says:

    Congratulations to you both and a belated Happy Birthday ! Also, your dress is beautiful and the fabric truly gorgeous.

  3. Gorgeous fabric, I’m a sucker for a floral on a dark background (and congratulations!)

  4. Patti H says:

    Bridal Couture by Susan Khalje

  5. Katie says:

    Congratulations! I made my little sister’s wedding dress (my mother made mine!) last year. Everyone recommended “Bridal Couture,” but I had a hard time finding a copy of it that was reasonably priced. I ended up buying “The Wedding Dress” by Becky Drinan. I made a lace-covered strapless sheath dress for my sister with a built-in corselet, and Drinan’s book had wonderful instructions and great patterns to base the design on. The dress was beautiful, if I do say so myself!

  6. Huge congratulations, look forward to seeing the making of your wedding dress.

  7. Congrats again to you both! Such wonderful news 😀
    And a wonderful frock!
    And wonderful gin!

    Wishing you both all the best 😀

  8. Congratulations again to both you and Jimmy! You are such a gorgeous couple. I’m glad you’ve had a stellar birthday weekend and wish you so much love and happiness in the future!

  9. Congratulations! Such an exciting time, enjoy the whole wedding prep process 🙂

  10. Congratulations! I wasn’t brave enough to make my wedding dress (getting married this year!) as I don’t have enough sewing experience behind me but I am making my bridesmaids’ dresses and a ‘Groomswoman’ dress for my other half’s sister. I even taught my other half to sew and he’s making matching ties! The handmade touches make it feel so special. Good luck!

  11. You defo need to get onto Vicki at Minerva for wedding dress advice! Do you remember her gorgeous beaded lace dress? I didn’t feel confident enough to make my own – even though no one else would notice the wonky bits I just imagined me fretting about them all day! https://www.minervacrafts.com/blog/projects/wedding-pictures

  12. It sounds like you had the best birthday weekend ever Amy! I’m really looking forward to seeing your wedding dress progress now

  13. Awesome! I love this Anna you’ve made and am so excited to see your work on a wedding dress!

  14. Jess says:

    Many congrats Amy. My hubby and I got married last month after 14 years together. I made my dress using the Thread count 1604 pattern which had an elasticated waist. Good job as we ate a huge lunch at a local restaurant and then headed home for a wedding tea with two cakes and meringues!

    Documenting your wedding dress make is great as it will encourage others to have a go at creating what they have always wanted whatever the style.

  15. Wonderful news Amy, big congratulations to you both! And looking forward to seeing your wedding dress progress – I never tire of reading about handmade wedding dresses! xx

  16. Huge congratulations, Amy, enjoy this special time! I made my wedding dress and have to say I really enjoyed sewing it! I definitely found it helpful to go trying on dresses first. It gave me definite ideas about what I wanted my dress to be like and also gave me the confidence that I could do it. I found Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B Shaeffer to be extremely helpful! I wrote about my whole process here: http://ree-sewn.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-wedding-dress.html . All the best with your wedding planning! And happy belated birthday! xx

  17. congratulations on your engagement, and what a lovely dress, the ring isn’t to shabby either!

    Had you guys discussed getting married or was it a complete surprise?

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