The Hannah dress

I’m back! Gosh, two posts in one day – that’s a first. I thought that my latest project deserved its own post without being sucked into my Me Made May one though.

For just about the first time in my life I’m trendy! I bought a pattern the instant it was released and then set to work to make it immediately. Go me! When Victory Patterns released the Hannah dress I was so taken with the simple shape and back detail that I snapped it up. It’s very different to all the vintage style dresses that I’m seeing a lot of right now. The simple, slightly A-line shape deceives you into thinking that this is a simple pattern. It is not! It has been rated as ‘intermediate’ which is probably about right but I’ve sewn a few intermediate patterns and this is the hardest one I’ve done by far. This was not a bad thing. This was a real skill builder.

I wanted to use fabric from my stash for this project but I also wanted it to coincide with the Monthly Stitch Flower Power challenge. This meant using two fabrics in one garment where at least one of the fabrics is a floral. The Hannah dress is an ideal pattern for combining two fabrics.

I’m not really a floral kind of person – my stash revealed just stripes and checks and no floral fabric whatsoever apart from the odd fat quarter. Certainly not enough to make clothes with. I had to hit the deep stash which is up in the attic. That is where I found this:


This fabric came from By Hand London when they were doing their print-on-demand fabric. I got two metres of this cow parsley fabric when I backed their kickstarter campaign about 18 months ago. It cost £18 per metre! Although I didn’t pay anywhere near as much as that I am still very protective of it. I’ve still got enough left for a top I think. I also found a twill that I quite liked with the main fabric. It doesn’t exactly match though. The fabric weights certainly don’t match. The cow parsley is a crisp but fairly light poplin but the twill is a lot heavier. It’s what I had in though and I’m refusing to buy any fabric for the time being as my stash is starting to take over!

The first tricky part of the pattern was the hidden button placket.

I took a whole evening making sure I got this right because if I messed it up I would need to cut a new front piece. Although it was a bit confusing the instructions really guided me through it.
The placket was constructed really early on in the process. The next bit was to sew all the big pieces together. There were some interestingly shaped pieces..

The backs and sides were strange shapes too but I was in ‘the zone’ and forgot to take photos!
There were lots of notches and match points on this pattern. Hundreds of the damn things which meant precision was needed! Every time I make something I try to be precise but I just can’t do it! The difference in fabric weights probably didn’t help here but I really wasn’t accurate enough. The bit where it most shows is at the pockets. I went back and improved things but the pockets still don’t sit quite right. Next time I’m going to have to baste. I think that’ll improve things no end.
Well here’s the finished dress..



At the back of the dress you fold over the two side panels so they become the cross back. My silly fabric choice makes the back of the dress quite heavy and once the neck band went on my machine had to work through 7 layers of fabric! I also messed up changed the arm bindings to make them exposed rather than hidden like the pattern suggested!
So it’s not perfect but that’s fine. I really like my new dress and I feel I really challenged myself with this project. Plus I know how I would improve when I come to do this again! I’ll start by buying two lighter weight and more coordinating fabrics!



22 thoughts on “The Hannah dress

  1. What an adorable pattern. I’m not a big dress wearer but that is really really cool! And I think you’ve done a great job of it too! How cool.

    • I must admit that I’m not a big dress wearer either (although they are fun to make!). I’m more of a separates person myself but this is a simple enough shape to still be ‘me’.

  2. I love the pattern, it’s a refreshing change from so many out there which are very similar. I like the combination of fabrics and I think the twill works well to stabilise the shape of back detail. Nee x

    • Thanks Neela! The back is certainly very stable with all that heavy fabric. I’m going to take on a nice and easy project now…

  3. This pattern looks like quite an undertaking and you’ve done a great job! I love the pocket detail and the design of the back is so clever.

    • Thanks very much! You’re right, it was a bit of an undertaking, but every so often it’s good to go out of your comfort zone and do something that takes a bit more thought!

    • Both stashes are full to bursting but it’s fun going in to the deep stash because I forget what’s in there!

  4. Very interesting pattern & quite different! I like your colour combination, and that the exposed arm facings show on the back, which I think is a plus as it sort of reminds the eye by injecting a bit more of the floral at the top. With the difference in fabric weight, does the back seem warmer, with those 2 folded pieces going across the shoulders? Living in a warm & humid summer place, that would be a consideration for me. Lovely dress, and good use of stashed fabrics ~ congratulations!

    • Thanks very much! I must admit that it is very warm at the back, mostly because of my fabric choice though! It’s also a very heavy dress – I certainly won’t be getting weighed at my Slimming group wearing this!

  5. I really like your Hannah – cute fabric choices, they work well. It really is a precision sew, my pockets are a bit wonky too 😉 It looks great, and how awesome are the deep pockets!!

    • Thanks very much! I’m glad you had similar issues – I would love to see your version! ☺

    • Thanks very much! I do feel reassured about my fabric choice after seeing the completed dress. I’m not sure what shoes to wear with this dress. If in doubt wear red!

    • Sorry I didn’t spot your comment! Thanks very much. The dress hides my waistline which has to be a good thing!

  6. Lovely dress, such an unusual pattern. Dress looks great on you and I like the subtlety of the print with solid, not such a sharp contrast.

    • Thank you! I wasn’t sure about my fabric choices initially but now I’m really pleased with how they look together. Thanks for commenting ☺

  7. Pingback: The end of #MMMay17 | applebymakes

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