The White Anna of Doom

Well, you can’t win them all.

I had big plans for my first Anna Dress from By Hand London.

I was planning a white maxi dress, thinking it would be really nice in summer.  I could pair heaps of bright accessories with it and wouldn’t it be great!?!

So I bought 2.5m of white seersucker.  Really nice fabric, I had no trouble with construction.  It fit me pretty well first try.

Unfortunately, it looked appalling.



Problem A: you can see straight through it, and that’s in no way flattering.

Problem B: I look like I’m getting married.

I was still really hoping it was salvagable, so I took it down to my mum’s.  We established pretty quickly that nope, I can’t wear it.  I then tried to pass it off onto her.  It fit well and the white actually suited her better.  But she was worried about the wedding dress effect, so she wore it downstairs to where my dad and brothers were to see if they’d say anything.  She didn’t even get down the stairs before my brother asked who she was marrying.

So she didn’t want it either.

I tried dying it black, but it turned out a weird, musky purple.  Which is fine, but hugely unflattering to me.  I could have dyed it again to try and get the black happening a bit more, but to be honest, I was over it.

Oh well.  We need to have some wadders every now and then.  And thinking back, I haven’ t had many.

I guess I was due.  🙂

New Look 6022 (or “The Runny Blue Sack”)

Blue runny 6022

The second half of 2012 saw my first item of clothing made by myself.  I had made one dress previously, but that mainly involved me not looking at the instructions at all, but Mum interpreting them and then showing me what to do.  So it doesn’t quite count.

So, for my first entirely-self-made item of clothing, I went for New Look 6022.  This was mainly inspired by Lucky Lucille’s gorgeous version.


And it was great.  It was easy enough that I could follow all the instructions and finish within a couple of hours.  Definitely a perfect beginner project to get some confidence up.

The downside: it is an unflattering sack.  Acceptable with a belt.  Certainly wearable, and wear it I do.  I don’t have a lot of dresses and I hate wearing shorts and T-shirts (virtually the only other clothing I own).  So while it’s not perfect, it still gets a lot of wear.

I also learned the downside of cheap fabric with this dress.  I found some lovely blue cotton fabric with white flowers.  I loved the print on sight and was even happier when I was it was only $6.99/m.  Full price.  At this point, the warning bells should have been going off in my head.  But I just thought “bargain” and bought it.

I suppose this is a good thing really.  It was my first go at a dress, it makes sense to use cheap fabric.  Unfortunately I liked it a bit too much and actually wore it.  And washed it.  And discovered the dye really isn’t up to either of those things.


Three problems:

  • I edged the neck and armholes with white bias tape.  It looked great, but after each wear the white bias under my arms turns blue.  It used to wash out again with each wash, but no longer.  Oh, and it extended to the front of the neck too.  So that’s a good look.
  • The colour is now grey/blue instead of a navy.  Not so bad to look at, horrendous when held up to a scrap of the original fabric.
  • My belt sits around my waist.  It is now light blue on the back and the fabric underneath (on the dress) has sort of self dyed – the blue has run in to the white flowers, so there’s a band of blue around my middle.

After a month or two, mind.

So.  Lesson learned.

But I still love the print, so I think I’m going to try and find something similar, but more expensive.

And the dress was a great learning experience.

I actually went back and made some adjustments to the pattern – larger armholes, smaller bodice, same skirt.  And then made another one, in nicer fabric.  It’s not bad and I wear that too, but it definitely brought home the fact that this is not the style for me.

Onwards and upwards!