I’ve made a few hacks of the By Hand London Anna and Flora dresses. I think I like it so much because of dresses from the 90s; dresses I remember my mum wearing and dresses like THAT mint green dress from Friends.
I bought this fabric on a bit of a panic and a whim from Sister Mintaka. When the new Rifle Paper co fabric collection Primavera was released it sort of vanished in a day so I was lucky to get this rayon.
I didn’t realise how much I’d love the little oranges and mint green combo, it’s such a lovely summery colour palette. I was conscious that I didn’t want it to look too twee so while I toyed with other patterns like the Tilly and the Buttons Seren, I came back to the simplicity of the Flora and Anna as I thought it would turn out more understated and let the fabric stand out. Also, that would have involved choosing buttons as well and I was having a hard time making a decision anyway!
I’ll do another post on pattern hacks in general but the Flora and Anna isn’t really an easy one because the Anna skirt panel seams are narrow compared with the Flora darts. I imagine they would line up better with the By Hand London Kim bodice. I’d normally try to edge the skirt pieces in order to meet up rather than the bodice because I don’t want to change the shape of the bodice. For this one they don’t meet perfectly as I also used french seams on the skirt and didn’t think about all things at once! But I don’t think it matters too much.
The only major hack I did to the bodice, except for bringing the neckline down about 2cm and the straps 1cm wider, was to the back. I wanted the back to be a feature and quite low, and I thought it would be nice if it was cut on the fold so I didn’t have any oranges cut in half by the zip. I simply cut the back bodice and back skirt panel pieces on the fold and put in a side zip. When cutting I overhung the pattern piece by the seam allowance so i was essentially cutting it a bit smaller due to there being no seam at the back. I don’t think I needed to but I did add a little at the side just in case it was too small. I still had the side seam allowance anyway which was enough to put the zip in.
And here she is, the dress I’ll spend all summer in. It’s such a lovely fabric, although a littttttle bit sheer so flesh coloured underwear is required. Just need an Aperol spritz and I’m in Italy.