Stef’s BHL Anna Dress

This week’s LSA Blog Squad post is brought to you by the lovely Stef from Stef Makes. She’s made the By Hand London Anna dress from our Libby viscose and it is just so pretty!


Ok, so I made another floral number. I find something happens when the weather heats up and the impulse to wear flowery things on repeat sets in… just me? Well anyway, to add to my collection I now have a new By Hand London, Anna Dress in Libby Viscose from Like Sew Amazing. Not only am I in flower power heaven with this one, I think I’m actually in love.

So a little more about it…

I made an Anna Dress back in December last year for a friend’s wedding and so was not entirely unfamiliar with the pattern. Because of this I was able to make a couple of tweaks second time around to improve upon the fit even further.

The most notable adjustment this time was in making the neckline smaller. I have quite narrow shoulders and find that with the original version I am confined to wearing a strapless bra as the shoulder seams start quite a way over. This worked well for a statement evening gown but for a chuck-it-on Summer dress, I wanted to make it a bit more ‘everyday wearable’ (with any underwear I like!).

I made the neckline narrower by using the cut and slash method. From memory, I think I ended up taking around 4cm out of the circumference of the neck hole (i.e. 1cm on each of the front and back pattern pieces).

In addition to the neckline adjustment I took the bodice in at the back by a further 1.5cm. I chose to line the bodice (instead of making a facing) and found that the main fabric had a little more give than the lining. It didn’t cause an issue, just goes to show that fit will vary from fabric to fabric.

And so a word about this Viscose. What can I say, it’s gorgeous. The pattern is non-directional which meant I could be much more economical with the pattern piece placement at the cutting out stage (I am most grateful for this given that the skirt for the Anna has 7 panels!). Overall I managed to get the whole thing out of 2.5 metres. That said, I wouldn’t have had a scrap left to make any facings – lucky I chose to line the bodice instead!

The drape of the fabric also gets a thumbs up from me. It has all the lovely qualities of Viscose and makes the perfect Summer dress. Light and floaty (perfect for this hot weather) but substantial enough not to have to wear a slip underneath.

This version of the Anna is quite the contrast to my Winter wedding version from last year. It really is a versatile pattern and can be adapted for all seasons and occasions simply by changing the fabric and the cut. Hats off By Hand London! I will be making many more of these – especially now I have nailed the fit.

Speaking of style change… The last notable adjustment was the length. I realised that there is a gap in my wardrobe for dresses with skirts inbetween midi and full length and had bookmarked several versions of the Anna on Instagram where people have opted for a length that is somewhere between the two versions on the pattern packet. Not only does this fill a gap in my wardrobe, it fits the bill for a classic Summer dress; complementing style, drape and print for this version in particular.

So all things said and done I am really (really!) pleased with my new Anna. I am in the process of packing my bags for a Summer break and this little number with very definitely securing a spot.

Stef x

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