Today's less than energetic post is brought to you courtesy of The Longest Week Ever. Seriously, the greatest cure for insomnia is training in new division at work - I'm learning loads of new information and it's exhausting. Interesting, necessary, pretty cool, but exhausting. Last night I had to force myself to stay up until the wee hour of 9:30 (thank you, online fabric browsing) then I crashed out hard for the night. There's still a bit of residual tiredness hanging on today, but there's a birthday party tonight and cycling in Seattle tomorrow...no rest for the wicked!
Enough of that, on to the dress. Months and months ago, I came across a stupidly adorable fabric while cruising the quilter's section of my local JoAnn's (boo on you, boring apparel fabric). As they were having yet another 30% off sale, I snagged it to add to my fabric hoard. Every few weeks I would pull it out, mull over a pattern, then put it back.
|Sweet little owls and music notes - behold the cute|
Enter the Anna Dress. Let's take a moment to sigh wistfully over her splendor, shall we?....
This is only the second time I've used this pattern, and I absolutely adore the bodice. My first test was the boat-neck style, so for this I wanted to try the V-neck (I've committed to using the Anna dress for the OWOP challenge, so I am pushing myself to try and style it differently on each go). Because of the horizontal pattern of the fabric, I didn't want to use a 1/4 circle or gored skirt, and I've made several gathered skirts lately, so I went with the 4 pleated flared skirt from the Almost Fail project - Simplicity 1418. The pleats in the skirt actually match up with the front pleats and back darts in Anna with surprisingly little fuss, and the shape of the skirt holds up to horizontal stripes without any odd distortion.
As this is such a simple pattern to put together, I didn't need the instructions at all for this one. The kimono sleeves are rolled a 1/4", pressed, then rolled a 1/4" again, pressed and topstitched. The neckline is finished with bias tape that is clipped, turned, then topstitched in place (fuck you, facings). For the V portion of the neckline, the bias binding overlaps slightly, then I clipped straight into the V to accomodate stretching. This also helps it stay where it belongs instead of creeping to the outside like facing ALWAYS DOES.
|I swear, I'm smiling right AFTER the timer goes off...|
The seams are pinked, the hem is serged, then turned and topstitched. All in all, super simple and straight-forward. After my pattern test, I did take about 1/3" from the center back, which tightened up the excess pretty much perfectly (yay, sway back). I also used a 1/4" seam for the waist, just for personal preference only - I like my waist to sit a teeny bit lower, and lowering the shoulder seams isn't the appropriate solution since everything else is bang on.
And let's pause for a moment to appreciate the shoes.
|Miss L Fire purchased from Amazon|
What do you think, Spongebob Cthulhu?
|Spongebob Cthulhu says "they're rad"|
He approves. Damn straight, they're fabulous.
What I love so very much about Anna is that, even though it is easy to put together, she gives you such a sophisticated shape. It's similar in fit to my beloved 2444, but the kimono sleeves and neckline variations make it a completely different look. Next up is the maxi dress variant with a gorgeous linen blend that has been in my hoard for years!
|Offset pattern again--sorrynotsorry|