By Hand London- Anna strikes again


Having wangled a top and maxi skirt out of the meanest 2m of fabric in my last instalment, it was high time for something easier. I had many a metre of this lovely twill rayon in black and white, originally bought to make Princess a pair of those drop crotch indian sh*t catchers. Thats what G calls them and she has travelled to India quite a lot, so I’m taking her word for it!

Well buggar me if I did not have enough of this fabric for a maxi BHL Anna AGAIN! So I added the shorter version of my own A line skirt used in the previous V1.0 maxi skirt/top combo.

A couple of days before embarking on this Anna V2.0 I had approached a lovely young lady at a bus stop to complement her. She was wearing a maxi dress in black and white confusion much like this fabric of mine, yet it was somehow ordered by a border of orange at the neck edge and the hem. Confusion looks well when it is ordered I think, I’ve often marvelled at piped additions to B and W prints, they do curate the assemblage.


So, off I went to Spotlight because even though Tessutti is not far away, pre Christmas traffic became a major deterrent.

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Do you ever do this with your phone? Sometimes I get a better feel for what I’m combining when its contained in a teensy little screen; technological woman!

A plain rayon would have been good, but I was crazy for the print on print. Princess disagrees, she tells me it doesn’t work at all, but we agree to disagree or I won’t finish her next dress!

The top edges meet exactly – honest!

WARNING, cutting and applying a contrast neckband is a major pain in the rear end. Especially after the invisible zipper had already been applied. Unpick – reapply, add a loop because Karen of Did You Make That suggested it.

“A reader recently asked if I use the pattern’s instructions to close this dress’s rear neckline with a hook and eye. Never! On every iteration, I’ve sewn a roulette loop and picked out an accompanying button. On this occasion, a glass heart.”

So its clear Karen’s heart lies in casinos, but my rouleau loop does the same job and I have to say I was a proud Mummy birthing that baby – its so skinny; the button is a tad glitzy for a rayon frock it has to be said. Perhaps Karen was all about taking a gamble that day and why the heck not, its nearly Chrissy (Aus for Christmas friends) and it doesn’t get any madder than a combined ‘going troppo’ X ‘Christmas fever’.

The contrast hem addition was appliquéd by hand to the front. Such peace can be found on a sunny December morning, pottering about a hemline for the heck of it I think.


I may have mentioned before; I’m not crazy about sewing rayon. She’s not a long lasting fibre, she’s inclined to grow holes in sunlight. What’s that? You were wondering why the sarong over your window in the share house always looked moth eaten? Rayon is a fibre that will last longer if not dried in sunlight – thats what my home ec. teacher taught me and thank you, I’m taken your lessons to heart Mrs Bryant. I adored Mrs Bryant, I wish she understood how she improved my life.

Thank you photo bombing hubby, you’re a sport, ‘cos I know you don’t give  a fig for hemlines and contrast bands 😉

Hubby photo bombed this one to demonstrate with/without a contrast trim. I chose incorrectly the ‘without contrast waist’ and having seen these photos I declare what this dress really needs is a contrast waist, to give the impression of an indentation at my waistline. Too late, I’ve graded those seams and honestly – its rayon. I do have a dandy colour matching leather belt that might do or I could rustle up a fabric belt somehow? Given belt choices I mostly veer toward easy post prandial expansion in the waistline over proportional body enhancement. What about you? There’s a reason I’m going to watch ‘Kevin Sews’ elastic back waistband!

This dress is easy, its breezy, its not so squeezy, but its not the elusive Anna maxi.

Happy Merry’s everyone, may Santa bring you plentiful yardage for a maxi BHL Anna dress. XXX


Add yours →

  1. I like the mixed pattern black/blue combo, its way more exciting than a plain colour would have been! I didn’t know about rayon and sunlight, so the rayon dresses and pants I’m planning to make this summer thank you for that pearl of wisdom!

  2. I’m feeling a burning desire for this pattern! Love your new dress and the brave trim choice. Personally I preferred the burnt orange, but that is my colour wheel.

  3. Hot stuff as always. I never would have thought of the trim on this dress and agree with pattern on pattern assessment. I really must try this as I need to work on my dress repertoire and i have the pattern. Handsome photo bomber, too!
    Love the rouleau loop thing as well. I have one dress with one and have trouble getting it undone on my own..the trouble with living alone. I think it just needs to be bigger and firmer though so it doesn’t twist… very helpful entry- thanks.

  4. The dress looks lovely, I like contrast prints too. Happy hols!

  5. Have to disagree Lesley about the contrast at the waist. Much better without. Smiled seeing your husband so intent on getting a good photo for you. Lovely aren’t they! I am knitting my second pair of socks and even though I know mine is not that interested, ever now and again, I make him look at them and admire my progress. Happy New Year to you.

    • Interesting perspective Sheree. Sometimes mine asks questions about what I’m doing, but he’s not terrific at feigning interest!!Twice now I have failed making socks, DPN’s or magic loop Sheree? Happy New Year to you too, may 2016 bring you health and straight stitches!

      • Being such a novice at knitting, I bought 10 cm dpns, only to realise that they were probably far too short. However, I love working with them – they suit me just fine. Watched magic loop on Youtube and couldn’t get my head round it. Totally neglecting my sewing at the moment. Finding knitting quite relaxing and of course, there is no “fitting” involved, which is always a bit of a pain for me. I’d like to encourage you, Lesley, to give socks another go, but it really is a more cold weather activity. So enjoy the sun for now.

      • I have a lovely cardigan on my magic loop at the mo’ lots of blackberry stitch, but yucky in humid weather. My sweaty palms grab the wool! Might just have another go at sockses 😉

  6. I like it without the belt too. And I love the trim. I slightly prefer the orange, but love them both. Perhaps you might use this pattern/pattern approach again.

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