BHL Anna Ponte Hack

What about those gorgeous starlets at By Hand London eh? They’ve produced all manner of tidy little patterns in smart envelopes, now they do PDF patterns too. This Anna

IMG_3994pattern has lurked in my sewing dungeon forever until a particularly fruitful outing to Pitt Trading where I bought the painterly ponte. This ponte probably contains a bit of polyester (painterly polyester ponte?) so no fear of looking all crumpled after a hot and sweaty bout with supervillains. Other fibre content? Not sure, can’t recall – and other lapses of memory oft uttered at ICAC!

I chose the V neck option because boobs and paired the bodice with a self drafted straight skirt, moving those pesky darts so they lined up with the bodice ones. I didn’t use this worksheet from Anita at Studio Faro, but if I’d needed to I definitely would have stumped up the $7AUD! Anita runs a patternmaking school, she is a consummate professional and used to teach in Manchester, now she’s back here in Sydney – class timetable here. I cannot recommend her classes enough. If you want to go beyond making patterns out of the envelope, particularly if you wish to introduce drape in your garments, Anita is your gal! Her blog has all kinds of crazy pattern puzzles for you to solve, they’d make great tearoom conversation at Mensa I reckon. Admittedly these pattern puzzles leave me scratching my head, but I do enjoy the classes, they make me feel like the real deal if only for a moment!

For Anna, I was pretty keen to not have any facings – you know – awkward facing slippage and all. It seemed to need to be quite ‘clean’ finished. So the bodice was lined with a nice stretchy powermesh and anchored to the waist seam. The hem was a challenge because I couldn’t imagine how to make it stay up without stitches – skyhooks perhaps? Louise Cutting (Industry Insider techniques vol1) does this thing where she overlocks 2 strips of fusible interfacing – glue side out, then she irons it into the hemline. I cannot recall if she then invisibly hems into the dress side fusible – but I didn’t. The fusible is a nice stretchy one and I’ve so far had no problems with the hem coming off the interfacing.



20141114_112234The waist was defined with piped pleather (is it still called that or am I soooo uncool?). On reflection, it should have been more fitted at the waist, I was temporarily distracted by the 100s of layers I was adding to that waist seam – just where I don’t need it!

The side drape was moved up at Anita’s suggestion. Daggy drape be gone, hello sexy drape?

look very carefully to see the drape!
look very carefully to see the drape!

If this pattern gets another start, I will raise the hemline a tad – that’s about 2cm! It looks a bit business casual and I have little need of that. It could also do with more drape, its barely noticeable and you could be forgiven for thinking I did something curious with the side seam.

I had the biggest compliment wearing this to my hubby’s work doo – “Oh you’re wearing Spanx aren’t they great?”. Hah, no Spanx, but that’s what the right proportions in a garment can do! Thanks Anita.


*Note to self – buy hubby a camera for Christmas!


Add yours →

  1. This dress is beautiful! You can really tell how much time you put into the technical sewing

  2. So chic! Love it and fits you really well. The pattern placement is fun too. I would agree that v2 needs more drape – funny how in the pattern making stage everything seems so dramatic and then when it’s made it sort of fades away a bit.

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