Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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By Hand London hack: Turning the Anna dress into a skirt

DSC_0797 editedYou all know by now how much I love the By Hand London sewing patterns. The Anna dress is a firm favourite, with its beautiful A line skirt. Having made quite a lot of dresses lately, I thought it was about time I mixed it up and made something different. I really love the shorter skirt from the Anna dress and it’s a great length for wearing to work, so I thought, why not make it into a skirt of its own?

I was lucky enough to be given some fabric remnants from the sewing editor at work and managed to cut out the skirt pattern using pretty much all of the fabric (I had to be quite crafty with my cutting skills). I altered the waistline and added in a shorter zip and here you have it, one Anna skirt.

I followed my normal size but somehow the skirt ended up being far too big, so I had to bring it in quite a bit. The length is great and I really love the print so overall it’s a really lovely skirt to wear, but next time I’ll definitely be a bit wiser when cutting the strips and measure my waistline correctly.


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New pattern from By Hand London

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Independent sewing company By Hand London has released a new pattern. Inspired by their friend Zeena Shah, the BHL girls have created the Zeena dress, with its full skirt and pretty kimono sleeves.

Zeena comes in a short or long length and has a box pleated skirt and hidden side seam pockets. The great thing about the dress is that it’s a quick make and the girls say it is their easiest and fastest sewing pattern to date.

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So far there’s only a few examples online; one from Ooobop and another from Fiona, whose checked version is lovely. I’m excited to see more versions popping up over the next few weeks though. Especially as it can be downloaded straightaway.

The Zeena dress can be purchased and downloaded here.

Are you planning on making a Zeena dress? What do you think of it? I’d love to know!

 

All images are courtesy of By Hand London

 


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Some sad By Hand London news

img_4664I’ve just read some incredibly sad news from the By Hand London girls this morning. The brand will no longer run as it has been and the girls will be moving on to other projects while working on By Hand London as a sideline.

This is a huge blow for the sewing industry, but also understandable. I know firsthand the costs of living in London and being self-employed so I can see where they are coming from, but still, By Hand London is one of the leaders of the UK sewing industry and I will be sad to see it go.

There are a number of paper patterns still available to buy and all future patterns will be released as PDF patterns only. I really love the range of patterns from By Hand London – each one is so on-trend and I remember feeling really excited about the brand when I first discovered it. But, things change and I wish the girls well as they are all lovely. I really hope we’ll see more of By Hand London soon!


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A for Anna

DSC_0469Although I’ve been a fan of By Hand London patterns for a few years now, I’ve never sewn up an Anna dress. That changed this past week, when I finally got round to sewing up the fabric and pattern that White Tree Fabrics sent to me before Christmas.

I find the Anna dress a really wearable pattern and it’s quick to sew up too (perfect for beginners), so I’m surprised I haven’t made it before. I love the A line skirt and I love the length so I know I’ll wear this one again and again.

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I’m not too keen on the sleeves and neckline, which is what I think put me off to begin with. It’s not that I don’t like them. I do, it’s just that I don’t really wear cap sleeves and this kind of dress isn’t my go-to dress of choice. But I have really enjoyed making it and I imagine this will be one I choose to wear when I’m looking to wear something different. It’ll also be good for work.

I used the Tilda Olivia fabric in red as I have a shortage of red dresses and wanted to go a little out of my comfort zone. I’ve used Tilda fabrics before and they’re so nice to work with.

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Much like the other patterns I’ve used lately, I really like the fit of this dress. By Hand London patterns generally make great dresses and the Anna, one of their earliest patterns, is equally as lovely as their other makes.

I will certainly be making another Anna. I just need to work out which fabric to use next.

Pattern and fabric kindly gifted to me from White Tree Fabrics


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The green gables dress

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Can I firstly just say I love everything about this dress? The style is perfect for me, it fits really well and I love the fabric. Since making the birthday dress last year, I’ve wanted to use the Vogue V8723 again and, although I mixed it with By Hand London’s Elisalex here, it’s not quite the same as making the full version.

I think the skirt in this version is slightly less gathered than in the birthday dress, but I think I almost prefer this version as it feels more wearable. It actually looks quite weird in the below photos (and I promise I have hemmed it properly), but in reality it looks ok.

Since I made it before Christmas, I don’t actually remember what it was like to sew up but I’m sure I’d remember if it was a nightmare. Plus, I always think that sewing something the second time around is easier, as you’ve made the notes/adjustments you needed to the first time.

The fabric I used is from one of my favourite fabric stores on Ebay, but I’ve seen it in other places too. Here‘s the link. I love its colour and it really suits the pattern. I’m so happy with the way this dress turned out and I know I’ll wear it again and again!

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In honour of Anna

I’m currently sewing up my first Anna dress for White Tree Fabrics. It’s not a style I particularly wanted to make when it first came out to be honest (I always preferred the Elisalex), but the pattern has definitely grown on me and I’m excited to sew it up now. I have some lovely Tilda fabric* and I plan on making the shorter version. Perhaps I’ll even make the maxi version for the summer.

The Anna dress has recently moved up my to-do list, purely because I’ve seen a few really great versions online lately (most recently Roisin’s version). So, having taken to Pinterest, I’ve chosen a few, really inspiring, Anna’s. Maybe they’ll even inspire you too. Please click through for links to the original pins and blog posts. All images are courtesy of the bloggers, of course.

1. Anna from Paunnet‘s beautiful navy blue Anna dress

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2. This lovely graphic print maxi version

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3. Jenny’s two-tone Anna dressdb0f2fd3fe28a4b8196ea7787a724b98

4. And finally, Roisin‘s floral number

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I’d love to see more of your Anna dresses, so send links this way please. In the meantime I’ll let you know how I get on with mine.

*Given to me by White Tree Fabrics as part of their blog team


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Pattern mixing: Elisalex meets Vogue V8723

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A little while ago, I took part in this competition run by the lovely ladies from By Hand London but because of London and work in general, my laptop breaking, Christmas, New Year and various other things, it’s taken me a while to post it.

The brief for the competition was to make a modified version of any By Hand London pattern and so I decided on using the Elisalex pattern. It is probably my favourite By Hand London pattern as it’s so classic and vintage in style, plus I love the shape of the skirt.

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Having made an Elisalex dress fairly recently, I thought I’d forgo on the skirt this time and just use the top pattern. I mixed this with the skirt from my new favourite pattern (Vogue’s V8723 of course) and used a sweet hedgehog fabric which began life as a duvet cover.

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A close-up of the hedgehog fabric I used

I really like using duvet covers and sheets as fabric as they’re cheap and versatile. The quality of this type of fabric isn’t always great as it can tend to be quite thin, but as long as the dress is lined it’s generally ok. Plus, duvet covers and sheets also work really well for any muslins you make.

I’m really happy with this dress. I love the fit and it feels summery and wearable. Initially, I added sleeves, but they didn’t look right this time, so I took them out. Plus, the pattern matching doesn’t look too out of place and that’s always a winner, right?