I’ve made a few By Hand London Hannah dresses now and I have to say it’s my favourite and most worn pattern since lockdown. I love wearing a Hannah dress for work calls because it looks presentable enough but also is super comfortable sitting down all day. I’ve made a few with the tulip sleeves which I love but are a bit more on the summery side. I wanted to finally make a Liberty one and couldn’t resist this ‘Thorpe’ print which is the perfect mix of summer and autumn colours. I bought it from Minerva when they had 20% off so it was a bargain for Liberty.
Another thing I love about Hannah is the process. I always do the fiddly bits first like making binding (or sometimes I buy it) and making the waist ties. I’ve made a few of these now so I’ve decided on the order I prefer to make it in rather than following instructions.
As with my other Hannah’s I added 1cm to the neckline and did a small bust adjustment. I recommend By Hand London’s bodice fitting companion for this.
For the sleeves I wanted some subtle puff sleeves that would still fit under a cardigan. I began with a regular fitted sleeve pattern piece, traced it and marked out vertical lines every 5cm. I then cut those lines up to the top (but not straight through) and spread them about 1.5cm between each. For a more puffed sleeve you would add more between each one. I then did a toile and realised I wanted them a bit longer so I cut my pattern pieces out a little longer, maybe 5cm, attached them and added elastic to the cuff.
Sometimes I find it really therapeutic to make something tried and tested and it means I can spend time perfecting the finish as I’ve already made adjustments to the fit. I french seamed the whole dress and it does feel quite luxurious in Liberty lawn. Despite making the pattern many times though I ended up with a gape in the neckline which I worked out was because the waist tie was too low. Rather than unpicking my binding I just folded it over so it was higher and now it no longer gapes.
It’s the perfect dress to throw on a couple of minutes before a meeting and the sleeves aren’t too puffy so I can wear it with a cardigan if I want to. It’s definitely secret PJs and it’s nice to wear some cheery colours in autumn.