Ohhh By Hand London, you've really done it again. May I introduce you to my favourite make to date, the Anna Dress.
The Anna is a paneled maxi dress with an optional thigh high slit (how could you not go for the slit though right?) The bodice features double pleats at the bust, kimono sleeves and two neck variations - I chose the slash neck over the v-neck because I thought it really suited the kimono sleeves and I wanted as much of this beautiful fabric to show as possible.
Let's talk about this gorgeous print, shall we? This is the floral/palm rayon satin from Blackbird Fabrics and I believe Caroline of Blackbird referred to it as "luscious." While that's one of those words that gives me the creeps (like "delicious" and...ugh..."moist"), I gotta say, she was 100% right...this fabric is freaking luscious and no other word will do!
It has a satiny feel but a matte finish (winning combo in my book). It has a gorgeous drape - perfect for a maxi dress - and is nice and soft and mostly opaque (I wear a slip with this dress though just in cases!) ;)
In terms of construction, the Anna came together nicely. I made a muslin of the bodice and made two adjustments: an SBA (on the BHL Anna Sewalong) and a back neckline adjustment (using this post on Ginger Makes) to remove some excess fabric from the back (same issue I had with my Elisalex). My final version still has some excess fabric (the muslin fabric was much stiffer than the satin) but I can live with it.
I used French seams on the shoulders but not the bodice side seams (as I usually have to take side seams in while fitting). I also used a French seam on one of the skirt panels, only to find that this fabric can have a really frayed edge and these tiny little fabric fibers were poking through the seam...boooo! So for the rest of the panels I just serged the edges and did a regular old seam...and I'm happy with it. I did hand sew the slit though - it took forever but was totally worth it.
Instead of a hook and eye above the zipper, I decided to add a button and button loop. My grandmother had recently given me 3 giant tins full of old vintage buttons; I chose this pearly iridescent button and used Coletterie's tutorial on how to make a button loop. I'm super happy with this little detail.