Saturday, January 4, 2014

Starry, Sari Anna

I was going to write a whole post on reflections and goals but I still have finished things to blog and seeing as "being better at photographing and blogging the things that I make"  is one of my goals for 2014, I'm going to do that instead!  Here are my other goals, just in case you are interested....

- challenge myself and learn new techniques;
- reduce my number of UFO's
- sew predominantly with fabric from the stash and:
- take my time and do things properly.

So here is a dress that I finished just before New Year's eve: the Starry, Sari Anna. It had been sitting unfinished for a while so it was time to get to some of the goals.

Grapevine and beans growing like crazy - hard to tell where one stops and the other starts!
My second version of the Anna dress from By Hand London is so called because the fabric started life out as a batik Sari from the op-shop and reminds me of a starry sky. Some of the dots are even clustered like little constellations.  I'm guessing the fabric is Rayon, lovely and drapey and cool.

I went with the V neck this time.  Turns out that the V is a lttle to wide and deep for my narrow shoulders so there is some bra-strap action going on there. Perhaps I'll make some of those little bra strap tie things to keep it in place.    I made the same size as last time (UK size 10) but took took a 1cm wedge out of each side of the back neckline on the pattern and also lengthened the bodice by 2cm. I also took the top in a little more when I inserted the zip. 

Not enough fabric for the skirt panels meant that I had to get creative on the skirt design. I didn't want a gathered skirt so I  just cut three skirt pieces - one front and two back - and played with pleats on my dress form until they looked right. I ended up with four pleats at the front, two each side lining up with the pleats on the bodice, and two box pleats at the back lining up with the back bodice darts.

Nice insides, with no attempt whatsoever to pattern match.
Instead of facings I lined the whole dress, the bodice with the border of the sari because it was so pretty and I didn't want to throw it away, and the skirt with some cotton batiste.  Using batiste gives the skirt a bit of fullness and might help the rayon from creasing so badly.  I followed the tutorial on the BHL website for lining the bodice and the invisible zip is attached using the Sewaholic machine method which looks neat and saves on hand stitching.

I'll leave you with a couple of dress form shots without the belt.


So there we are, another Anna which, apart from the colour palette looks quite different to my first version. I also like the fact that a sari has been given another life as a summer dress! I may have caught the Anna bug as there are already many more versions buzzing around my head...

Pattern: Anna dress from By Hand London (used before = free)
Invisible zip = $3.50
Fabric = recycled sari from the op-shop = $3.99 and 50cm of batiste for lining = $5
Thread from stash
Total = $12.50


  1. Your starry sari Anna is beautiful, congratulations on making it out of the one found sari! ;) I do like the skirt pleats and that bodice lining is magnificent!
    Your goals for 2014 resonate quite clearly with me, what an excellent start you're making so far - and your garden is looking lush!! ;)

  2. This is awesome! I love the idea of using a sari to make a new dress. I'll have to keep an eye out for them on my op shop trips. This colour is so pretty on you! And that bodice lining is just perfection.

  3. This is really beautiful and what an awesome repurposing of fabric! The dress looks great and I really like the skirt you settled on.

  4. Hey! I really like your version of the Anna dress! I have some Sari fabric that I'm not sure what to do with. And kudos on matching up your skirt pleats with the bodice seams!

  5. Worked a treat and looks very flattering, and all for just $12.50. You should feel justifiably proud.