I’ve fallen in love with the By Hand London Anna Dress this year and yes I know I’m late to the party. Not only is it really easy to fit, it’s also really versatile in terms of formality. I say this because I’ve seen other people’s casual summer versions but the truth is, as much as I try to make casual clothes, I’m always drawn to the leg slit midi version of the Anna. So while it’s not necessarily office appropriate I decided yet again to make a swooshy ankle grazing Anna in Rifle Paper Co rayon with two, yes two, leg slits. I also thought this was a relevant pairing since I made this in the month that I met stationery royalty Anna Rifle Bond. Side note: my mouth was so dry I couldn’t speak properly.
Another note on the fit of this pattern, I went to the By Hand London Bodice Fitting Masterclass at New Craft House in September and Anna was one of the bodices we learnt to adjust. It’s one of the simplest, so for me it was only a case of extending the bust darts up by 1 inch and grading up to a larger size at the shoulders. I made one before the class and this one was made after. I can definitely tell the difference in fit and the larger shoulder size is much more flattering and comfortable.
As ever, the Rifle Paper Co rayon was a dream to sew. I French seamed the skirt and lined the bodice with a slinky gossamer crepe so it feels like pure luxury.
Despite the double leg slits I have worn this for smart/casual dinners out. It looks as good with heels as it does with tights and boots and while it’s not everyday wear, it did end up more versatile than I first thought it would be.
This definitely won’t be my last Anna; it’s a dream to make and to wear. Can’t wait to make some summery versions too.