Tag Archives: by hand london Anna

Anna the poster girl …

IMG_4300Happy Friday everyone! It’s been so hot here today and lucky for me, I had the day off. Did I sit in the garden and watch the swifts? No I did not, I sat in my sewing room (sun blazing through the windows, iron on, hot and sweaty, you get the picture) and made a By Hand London dress … as you do.

IMG_4285This is my third Anna (I’ve yet to blog about Anna number 2, but you can see the first one here) and I love them all but of course this one is a bit special (what with the gathered skirt and patch pockets). Please excuse the white/ blue/ dead legs, I just can’t seem to find the time to do a fakey on them (and please also ignore that damp patch on the wall, it’s all about the dress, the dress!) …

IMG_4282Apologies for the blurry photos too (so many apologies!), not sure if this was after Jimmy had had a cider or before …

IMG_4281I love this dress, I’d forgotten all about the beauty of a patch pocket too, so you will see more of them I guarantee.

The cotton (which was a dream to sew) is a Rose and Hubble print from Sew Over It (my new sewing crush). I can’t stop looking at their website and I actually do dream about their fabric selection (really, I do). I’d intended to use this for a skirt but the whole summer dress obsession thing took over and I couldn’t stop myself. There is literally nothing left from 2 metres!

Ok, you’ve had enough of the dress and you want to know about my gorgeous poster don’t you? It’s just the bees knees isn’t it? My Lovely Dad gave it to me, a left over from his teaching days (rescued from a skip when the school ‘modernised’). It’s been hanging in their house for years and have tried to steal it on several occasions. Finally he got the message … thank you Dad.

IMG_4303Have a lovely weekend!




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Time for a change …

If I’m honest, I’ve been feeling a little disappointed with my recent makes (and a little bored). It’s ok, don’t worry, I still love to sew, but I  think I need to escape from my comfort zone. Let’s face it, I have quite a few Simplicity 2444‘s, I could dress an entire office with my collection of Sorbettos and if there weren’t enough of those to go round, well I could throw in a few Laurels too. Yep, it’s time to take the leap and make something different, different for me anyway …

I have a feeling that the Simplicity 2451 will change my life (I know, I know, I’m the last to try this), dull looking maybe but there are some corkers out there and it looks so very useful (see here and here for a start)! For the fabric I have a charity shop find in mind …


Goodness, that’s bright! It’s not really that bright, honest. I found this wool for £5 along with the matching lining, in a plastic bag in a charity shop in Summertown. All washed and ready to go, it is sitting on my desk just waiting for me to have a day off.

Then like someone who’s overslept and missed the train to the pattern party, I’m the last to try Elisalex from By Hand London. I loved making my Anna and have had this on my to do list for ages. The fabric? Another charity shop find …

IMG_3440It’s in the bag and it’s a pair of crazy curtains. I’m actually at the train station here and so excited at my 1970s school curtains find (and bored while I waited for my delayed train) that I took a photo. It’s just a sneaky peak, more soon.

What else, ooh yes I have a yearning to make a blackwatch tartan dress, though I haven’t decided which pattern to use yet. Like the 2444 addict that I am, it’s calling me and I’m finding it hard to resist. But, what I’m thinking is, I could line it! That would be good, yes? A challenge, a stretch. Yes, that’s what I’ll do! Or should I do something new? Yes? No? Yes? No? Oh blooming Nora, let’s just put it back in the drawer and think about that another day!

These aren’t terribly taxing patterns I know, but they are new to me and learning to sew is a life time experience, not one to rush. I do know that I’d like to improve on my  skills and if I’m not careful, I’ll be wearing 2444s when I’m collecting my pension. Actually that would be nice! No, I need to keep pushing myself and hopefully, in time I’ll gain the confidence to push myself all the way and make something like a coat!

I’m now ready to swim without armbands, cycle without stabilisers, fly without wings! Watch this space …

Don’t tell anyone but I might just make one more Laurel first … in denim.


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Brecon Beacons, Badgers and Big kids …

Not much in the way of sewing going on and I think it’s probably because the summer is ending and I am positively pooped!

It’s been a busy few weeks, not only was my boy 16, but my girl turned 18! We celebrated birthdays, exam results and bright futures at the Green Man Festival where I wore my Anna dress with pride (wellies and all) and we paraded/lounged about in the beautiful Brecon Beacons wearing the paper maché masks we made (my personal little shout out for English badgers!).


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A gloriously happy festival that we’ve been to since the teens were little and always brilliant (except maybe last year when it didn’t stop raining!). It’s almost the end of the summer holidays and a new, exciting chapter for my children who have both (I can’t believe this) left school.

OK, off to start thinking about what to make for Autumn … I know we’ve still got a few weeks of sunshine left (fingers crossed) but it’s very exciting planning projects. I’m thinking cord and wool, or, I could make another Anna (yes please) and just bung on some 40 derniers and a cardi!


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