I bought some gorgeous shibori fabric from Blackbird fabrics and immediately knew I wanted to make a maxi dress with it. By Hand London’s Anna popped into my head and that was it, it shot to the top of my holiday sewing queue.
The last few things I’ve made have been a bit of a disaster in terms of fit and the Anna dress pinged my memory of a few people having fit issues. After a quick google most of the problem seems to be gaping of the neckline.
Guys, I MADE MY FIRST TOILE. And I am SO glad I did. Had I made the dress without checking fit I would’ve been so angry!
This was my toile:
You might be able to see there’s a lot of excess fabric above the bust. I cut a size 12 which corresponded with my measurements and it fit lovely in the back and sides/bust, just a slight bagginess across the top. I consulted Instagram and Heather said it could be a hollow chest adjustment. A quick google found this post which incidentally is also an Anna which showed the same problem I had.
I pinched and pinned the excess out and transferred it to the pattern piece:
I also reduced the sleeve width to a size 10 as they looked too big.
The fit is so much better! Except when I made the toile I didn’t realise the bodice was so short which meant I had to use a teeny seam allowance when attaching the skirt.
Speaking of the skirt, I didn’t have enough fabric for the Anna maxi skirt (and this fabric HAD to be a maxi dress) so I used the True Bias southport skirt and added pleats to mimic the Anna bodice. So called the Princess Anna dress because that’s exactly how I felt when I tried it on for first time!
I can definitely see this won’t be my last Anna dress! I’ve been hoarding some. Rifle Paper Co fabric which would be perfect.