By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress

I bought the Hannah wrap dress a while ago but hadn’t found the right fabric until I saw this cotton from New Craft House. New Craft House have the best selection of ex-designer deadstock fabrics, and the fact that they are limited quantity and sustainably sourced, makes me feel 99% guilt free when buying them! Although I hadn’t made the Hannah dress pattern in full yet, I had used the bishop sleeves for a few makes already. For this make, I wanted a summery tea dress style so I chose the tulip sleeves and midi skirt (I also only had 2m of fabric).

I guess I’ve put off making a wrap dress, this is actually my first ever wrap dress (except for the By Hand London Orsola that wraps at the back). The main reason is because I had it in my head that it wouldn’t suit me because I’m small busted, and I think this is something that’s just been instilled into me because high street wrap dresses have never fit right, they gape and make you feel like you need bigger boobs.

I did two alterations to the bodice to make sure it fit right at the bust; a small bust adjustment and increased the neckline height. For the SBA I followed the tutorial from By Hand London. I went to their Bodice Fitting Masterclass last year at New Craft House and learnt how to do an SBA – it was the most enlightening and fantastic course and I truly recommend it. However if you don’t have the budget for it or aren’t in London (OR can’t leave the house, like now!), they released a Bodice Fitting Guide which has a step by step. They also have a tutorial on their blog for a full or small bust adjustment for darted bodices. You can use any of these to follow a step by step for FBA or SBA. I really recommend to not skip this, and I’m an impatient person so I understand the temptation. The SBA was so worth it, and it looks a thousand times better than it would with a gapey neckline.

I did a ½ inch SBA which means I reduced the overall bust measurement by 1 inch (1/2 inch on each side). I also graded between a size 10 at the shoulders to a size 8 at the bust and waist since my shoulders are “broad” for the pattern and I wanted the sleeves to sit right.

For the neckline, I just cut it out about 1.5cm higher following the same shape, just in case I wanted more coverage, as I knew I could always trim it off if I didn’t. I didn’t end up trimming it and I quite like the neckline as it’s not too modest but not too low cut.

I messed up on the rouleaus as I didn’t read the instructions – classic – and sewed them double the width – I quite like this on the outer bows but obviously it’s a bit bulky on the inside, so I would change that for the future (and follow the instructions!)

Overall, I absolutely love the pattern and I’m already dreaming up a version with a bit more leg, which I’ll make by curving the front and inside skirt pieces. Something I unexpectedly love is the tulip sleeves, and I think they would look amazing in a sheer fabric or lace, so that’s definitely one for the list too.

5 thoughts on “By Hand London Hannah Wrap Dress

  1. Hello Kate, that is a beautiful dress and it looks perfect on you.I have small boobs also and I am determined to make a wrap dress.

  2. Hi Kate,
    I think you made such a beautiful version of the Hannah Dress! I have always seen the Hannah dress envelope and wasn’t that into it, but after seeing your version I really fell in love with the dress!
    I would also like to make one and as you did, I have to grade from a bigger size at the shoulder to one size smaller at the bust. Where did you make the change in sizes? In the armhole or at another place?
    My second question is regarding the neckline. I love how you raised it, but I didn’t completely understand how (sorry, beginner here). There is a tutorial of byhandlondon, but I don’t like the shape of their raised neckline and yours looks so incredibly pretty. You wrote that you cut it out just 1.5cm higher, following the same shape. I didn’t really understand that. Would you have a picture of that or could you explain me more how i can alter the front pattern piece neckline so that it looks exactly like yours?
    I would really appreciate the help, as I said, your dress is just absolutely wonderful!
    Have a nice day!
    Julie from Turkey:)

    1. Hi Julie. Thank you! So to grade it out, I wanted the shoulders to be a size 10 but the waist to be a size 8. I cut the sleeves as a size 10 and therefore I had to cut the shoulder seam and armhole as a size 10. I then graded to the size 8 from the armhole to the waistline. For the neckline, I wanted to keep the neckline the same at the shoulder so I basically started cutting the pattern piece from the shoulder but gradually graded out to 1.5cm at the bust and then back in at the waist line. It basically means that the waist and shoulder are the same as the pattern but there’s a bit more coverage on the bust area. It’s not super scientific though 🙂 hope that helps and good luck with your sewing

      1. Yes, that helps a lot, thanks! And thank you for answering so fast! As a beginner such advice is really valuable for me, I will do as you said and hopefully it will turn out as pretty as yours:) Thanks again and happy sewing!

  3. Such a lovely dress, fits and suits you perfectly. I too am small busted, this is the dress I have been looking for, after reading your advice on the adjustments it has answered all my questions, thank you.

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