Monday, 27 July 2015

The International Anna Party... A round up with some excitement!!!!

Hi guys,

I am back today after what seems like forever. I have been rather swamped lately with small sewing commissions, stitching gifts for people, and have been snowed under with a rather large project that I can't cant share with you lovely folks yet. But all in all I haven't had much time to sew for myself, let alone blog about it, I am not complaining, I like to be busy....

But when I saw that the ever lovely and oh so talented @lauralovespugs  (or Elle) was hosting a virtual birthday party for herself  over on Instagram with her two wonderfully talented friends @Ute_ig and @magdalenesmuse I decided I needed to make time to be a part of this!!

Now, the theme for the party was an International Anna Party. Anna being the Anna dress pattern by the By Hand London team.

If you haven't heard about this party over on instagram over the last week.... where have you been?? ha ha!! No, OK well here is the link to the lauralovespugs blog, where she tells you all about why the party came about, and all the updates on the happenings throughout the party process. I urge you to go and have a read, I really do, it is a lovely story of friendship and sewing and.... well just go read and see for yourself what this whole party was all about!!

So for the party the challenge was to make an Anna dress for yourself and post a photograph of yourself wearing your Anna party frock over the weekend of the 17th-18th July under the  #internationalannaparty .

I however have never made an Anna dress before, I bought the pattern at Christmas maybe? but I have just never quite gotten round to making it up. So with two weeks to go I decided, lets do this and make me an Anna.

I toiled myself a straight up size knowing that I would have to do some alterations, but was pleasantly surprised by how little I actually had to do.

The skirt was perfect straight out of the packet....hmm incredible?
With the bodice I decided to lower the bust pleats and grade from a larger size on the lower half to a smaller size on the top half.
Oh  actually I had take about 35cm off the skirt length, because... I'm not a giant?!

I should mention at this point it is now Wednesday before Anna party. (if you read my blog regularly you may be detecting a theme... the last minute sewing theme) So Wednesday I set to cutting out my Anna dress, I realise I have no zip, ha ha. So I quickly change my pattern pieces around to lay my CB bodice on the fold of the fabric, sorted. I find a short regular zip that I will insert under the arm, in a lapped style so it wont be visible. I get most of the sewing done Wednesday just zip, facings and hems to do on Thursday.

I decided I wanted to take my photo on Thursday Evening in the hay field outside the back of my house, just before the sun set. So I raced against time and got it finished just in time!! yay!!

Just my luck the weather was hilariously windy as you will see in the photographs....

So.... I should probably mention that I was incredibly lucky to be selected from lots of amazing ladies that had made Anna dresses over on Instagram to be in the Semi Final of  the competition....and it was this photograph that was my entry...

The nine fabulous semi finalists were then sent to the team at By Hand London who then picked three finalists, I am happy to say I was one of those too!! There is a little link to the By Hand London mini round up here.

The three finalists then went into a public vote over on @lauralovespugs Instagram account, where people got to choose which Anna dress was their favourite!!

I am so overwhelmed to say that I won!! A huge thank you to everyone who voted for me, I was completely blown away, it was really unexpected, so thank you!!

So here I am wandering about in the field, I think our neighbours probably wondered what the heck I was I was alone in the field with just my camera and my remote clicker!

I had such fun with this dress, I loved wearing it and I can't wait to take it on holiday with me. As I earlier mentioned it was rather windy when I was taking these photographs, so you can't really see, but the dress is floor length with two double knee high splits....

I tried for a picture with my hair down, but that didn't end well....ha ha

I have to say I love this dress, I can see myself making lots more versions of this too! It is so simple and quick to make. I made this version in a lightweight cotton making it an everyday dress but made in a silk or something heavier and it could be something really special!!

So here we have it my lightweight Ikat cotton maxi Anna dress.

Finally I just want to say a HUGE thank you to @lauralovespugs @Ute_ig and @magdalenesmuse for throwing such an awesome party for all of us sewing folks!! There was a huge amount of hard work that went into planning the party!! I had such a great time, and seeing all the different Anna dresses was such a treat!! It was such a great way to meet new Instagram friends too, that's what I like about these events! Growing the sewing community.

 I would also like to thank By Hand London who put me through to the final and who are very generously giving us finalists a PDF pattern of our choice!! Which pattern to choose, too many good ones!!

There were soooo many Anna amazing variations at the party, if you are ever thinking of making the Anna dress, be sure to check out the #internationalannaparty for a wealth of inspiration!! 

Well that's all for now, my next sewing adventures are some holiday basics, due for next week!! nothing like a bit more last minute sewing.

Did you take part in the International Anna Party?

Have you made the Anna dress yet?

Has the International Anna Party inspired you to make the Anna dress?

Would love to hear your thoughts??



  1. Wow!!! All these pictures are golden. Every single one beautiful. Thank you for your kind words and pulling out the stops to party with us. Best. Birthday. Ever! Xxx

  2. I played along, too- what fun! Your dress is absolutely gorgeous and deserving of the win. And your photos are so romantic and dramatic! I also moved my zip to the side seam- I think that's the way to go. ;-)

    1. Thank you so much Meg! Your Anna Dress is beautiful, and the gathered skirt you opted for is perfect! I think I will give that a go next time around too. :)

  3. Stunning. Just Stunning!!!!!

    1. Thanks Pips, I'm so glad we all got to party together! :)

  4. Gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much :) I will definitely be making more in the future, it's already a favourite!

    2. Thank you so much :) I will definitely be making more in the future, it's already a favourite!

  5. This looks great on and your photos are so beautiful. This is a great style on you.