Hi everyone! I’m here to show you my March make (I know, I know) for Simple Sew! It’s the Anneka Tunic which you can get here. One of the reasons why I’m so late in posting is because I did manage to make a right meal of it. I want to reassure you though that this is an incredibly simple pattern that is perfect for beginners. I just got a bit blasé and overconfident with it because it really is so simple! I’ll explain later….
The fabric was very kindly gifted to me from FC Fabric Studio. You can find the fabric here. It’s very unusual. The product description does say the fabric is ‘unique’ and you could say that again. It feels almost like upholstery weight fabric. It’s possibly a bit too stiff for this particular project and I did have a few issues with it. However, it does sew and handle very nicely indeed. This fabric would be great to make a well fitted pencil skirt (like this one perhaps?) or a ‘Chanel’ type jacket (such as this one). Some garment that would need minimum washing. That was one of the issues I had with this fabric. I could see I would have to treat this fabric differently to others. So I cut a 15cm square piece off it and shoved it in the washing machine on my usual wash. The fabric itself looked fine but the woven yarn threads fluffed up and it just didn’t look as good. The good thing was there was no shrinkage that I could see. So I did something a bit naughty – I didn’t pre-wash my fabric! I’m not going to be dry cleaning this or anything silly like that, but I will put this on an occasional delicates wash inside out, and just hope for the best really.
The first mistake I made was to not measure myself properly. I just thought ‘well the last Simple Sew thing I made was a size 14, I’ll make this in a size 14 too.’ It was huge! I could have done with going down at least a size but I stupidly ploughed on until it was finished before I realised the dress needed some serious adjusting!
I know that it’s now spring but for me, the Anneka is a winter tunic to be worn with leggings and boots. I love that look! I decided to line the dress (just a bog standard acetate from a local fabric shop) to give it that little extra warmth and to make getting it on and off easier. It’s really easy to line this dress. You just make the same dress twice!
Then attach it round the neckline and arm holes.
Then bind the neck line and arm holes. I would usually make my own bias binding but this fabric was a bit stiff and knobbly for that so I used shop-bought. It was certainly much quicker!
Below is the finished dress bar the hemming. Except it was awful! The fabric was too stiff to show the pleats and they stuck out at a really strange angle. When I was wearing the dress it looked like I had smuggled a small child up there. Not the look I was going for!
The first adjustment I made was to edge stitch those pleats all the way down to the hem. This helped a lot and it forced those pleats to behave themselves. I still did look like I was wearing a marquee though (my husband’s words).
I had to do something about the size. So I unpicked the binding of the armholes (not all of it – just the bit by the side-seams) and shaved a good inch of each side. This took a while. I had to make sure each side matched and I had to repeat with the lining. I also used my French curve to draw a line that gave me more waist definition. I had actually removed two inches off the side seams by the waist. This fitted so much better across the bust and waist. But it’s still not too tight and I can easily get a jumper under it when it is winter again.
The final adjustment I made was to lop off 4 inches at the hem and then use a 1.5″ hem allowance. I much prefer this length on me.
So here are the photos of the (properly) finished dress…
I think I will transfer my adjustments to my pattern and make it again. I’ve got some lovely soft wool that I think will work beautifully. I might give it a while though until I’ve got over the trauma! I would love to know what you think of this.