Completed: A Luscious Silk Anna

28 Aug

Hey guys. I would like to introduce you to Anna, my newest piece for the Mood Sewing Network.

Anna Maxi

So, Oona and Sonja originally planned this silk challenge, in which they both would make Anna dresses with a notoriously difficult fabric. Once I got wind of what was going on, I walked straight into that party and invited myself to be the third wheel. I can’t help it; I love being part of a Mood Fabrics sandwich. Especially when it involves Thakoon Crepe de Chine. I mean, COME ON.

Anna Maxi

So, as we all know at this point – this is the Anna dress, the newest offering from By Hand London. For mine, I decided to try my hand at the maxi version with the slash neckline, after getting good results with my wearable muslin shorter version. Since the dress itself is very simple, it was the perfect excuse for getting my hands on the aforementioned silk Crepe de Chine.

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

I’ve never sewn with this type of fabric before, so I was admittedly a little nervous. Would I regret my decision?

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

Really, though, it wasn’t so bad! The crepe texture of this fabric actually made everything a LOT easier – it gave the pieces something to “grab” onto (as opposed to being all slinky and slippery all over the place). For cutting, I did pin my selvedges together to keep everything intact, and I used a lot of pins on the actual pattern pieces as well. One protip – make sure you use silk pins; this stuff is very delicate and normal pins may leave holes! I also used a microtex/sharp needle on my machine. The fabric fed through very smoothly (again, thanks crepe, for your grabby lil hands!) and it pressed with very little fuss. I like this stuff!

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

Construction was very straightforward. I finished every seam with a french seam, and tackled miles of blind stitching by hand along the thigh split, sleeves, and bottom hem (I just want y’all to know that I watched the Great British Sewing Bee while doing this, and as a result I am celebrity-in-love with Patrick. Don’t tell Landon.). The facing and zipper edges are finished with pinking – I actually deliberated on this a lot, pinking isn’t necessarily my favorite seam finish, but I felt it was important that the edges were not detectable from the outside of the dress as this silk is very thin. Fortunately, it doesn’t want to unravel much so I’m not concerned about that.

Anna Maxi

I also stabilized the slash neckline with scraps of selvedge from the silk – just pinned them within a bit of the seam allowance and staystitched them down with a tiny stitch. Keeps things nice and gape-free!

“Hold the phone, Lauren – did you say thigh high split???”

Anna Maxi

Uh huh, I sure did.

Anna Maxi

Truth, I normally don’t have much of a reason in my life to wear something like a floaty silk maxi dress with a thigh split. However, it was a fun project and I am totally fine with scheming up date ideas as an excuse to give this silk lady the exposure she deserves! Do you think eating pizza in this dress would be the worst idea ever? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anna Maxi

Anna Maxi

Now, I leave you with some walking photos. What would this post be worth without a couple action shots, amirite?

Anna Maxi
Anna Maxi


Finally, here I am giving my best Angelina Jolie impression:
Anna Maxi

What do you think? Silk Anna yeah, or Silk Anna fuck yeah?

Psst! Mood Fabrics is running a one day flash sale for 20% off fabrics sitewide! If there was ever a good time to dip your toes into the world of silk, that would be now.


81 Responses to “Completed: A Luscious Silk Anna”

  1. Kelly August 28, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I think you should do everything in this dress! It’s stunning!

  2. poppyinstitches August 28, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    it looks amazing in silk!

  3. Hester August 28, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    That is completely gorgeous!

  4. carlalissa August 28, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Amazing!! love it!

  5. Becca August 28, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    OMG! So beautiful! It looks so luxurious. I love the movement of the skirt. Off to check out that sale at Mood. Thanks for the heads up!

  6. Liz August 28, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Oh, that blue! Love!

  7. Hanne August 28, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I think it would be fabulous to go groceries shopping as well. I love this version!

  8. Becky August 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    When you own a dress like this, you can do anything you like in it! Lovely, unique dress, Lauren. Enjoy it! Don’t leave it hanging in the closet!

  9. Dorien August 28, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Wah! Pretty! I agree; you should do everything in this dress. Also, I need you to keep making things and cheering me up with alotta posts because I just got banned from knitting and sewing due to a knitting elbow (Lesson learned: knitting marathons are bad for you). Pretty please? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 29, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      I will do my best! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Lelie - A Bouquet of Buttons August 28, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Very pretty!

  11. beetleprincess August 28, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Stunning fabric both type and colour

  12. symondezyn August 28, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Isn’t crepe de chine the BEST??? I adored working with it too, and it’s a dream to wear ๐Ÿ™‚ Personally I think pinking is a great option, especially with facing and zipper seam edges – I use that finish a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. sometimessewist August 28, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Gorgeous dress, and such a fun, sexy slit! Totally wasn’t expecting that…

  14. Seattlerain August 28, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    You just may make me break my self-avowed pattern ban! That looks amazing on you!

    I saw the Mood sale in my email and dang. . . might just take the plunge for that crepe de chine! You’ve convinced me that sewing crepe de chine might not be so terrifying as I thought.

  15. Marie August 28, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    This is soooooo beautiful Lauren…stunning in fact! And that’s the best Angelina Jolie imitation I’ve seen yet ;o)

  16. Emily Sprouse August 28, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I WANT THIS. Best item yet babe!

    Emily Sprouse *Crazy Hearts: Nashville* Production Coordinator (615) 424-2941 cell (615) 234-9305 office

  17. weefrills August 28, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Gorgeous! I think you should plan a trip to see something at the Schermerhorn.

  18. craftsanctuary August 28, 2013 at 11:03 am #


    This is amazing and floaty and the most perfect color. I’m officially in love with Anna… oh, and you look flippin awesome, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Layla August 28, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Fuck yeah!

  20. carolinascallin August 28, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Beautiful! Love that color, too ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done – and I like the way you finished your seams. Thanks for the heads up on the Mood sale, too! Saw the email, but didn’t take time to read!

  21. maddie August 28, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Everyone is making this dress and I need to get on the bandwagon. I mean, common, I’m known for dresses. lol. You know what I love about your posts? They always provide construction details that I jot down in my notebook in case I need to use them. Thank you!

    • LLADYBIRD August 29, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      You are more than welcome! I’m thrilled to know that people find my info helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. adriannebailey August 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I love the colour and style of this dress, very sophisticated! Talking of suphisticated people Patrick in his amazing suits on the GBSB, YUMMY๐Ÿ˜Š

    • LLADYBIRD August 29, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      Right!? I love a man in a suit (and yay that Landon wears a suit every day haha), but a mean in a suit that HE MADE? Be still, my heart.

  23. Kelly August 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Wow, that is stunning! Shooting up there into my favourite Annas of all time!

  24. Ellen August 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    This dress is gorgeous! You need to take it out from in front of the back yard shed and bring it Downtown! A classic dress that deserves to be Seen!

  25. PendleStitches August 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    F**k yeah! That is one stunning dress. You look fab.u.lous in it!

  26. Charlotte August 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Oh geez this looks soooooo great! I have actually NEVER dared to sew with any kinda silk, but it’s definitely time. Picked up some exquisite loot from Mood when I was in NYC and seeing your Anna is giving me the kick in the ass I need to get moving. Thanks for sharing! x

  27. ette August 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Stunning! And no, eating Pizza wearing this dress sounds like a fucking great idea.
    Eating Fast Food in a silk gown, oh how I love a little decadence in every day boredom ๐Ÿ™‚
    And I never bought silk needles, so I can’t compare them, but I use insect needles for fine fabrics like those. They are very thin and longer than normal pins, I really love working with them.

  28. gingermakes August 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Fabulous fabulous fabulous! You can tell how much you love this dress from the photos– you look straight VIXEN in all the shots!

    • LLADYBIRD August 29, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      Let’s be real, here, it’s really because my hair just looks really really good in these picture ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha! Seriously, thank you though โ™ฅ

  29. Anonymous August 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Silk Anna = FUCK YEAH!!! You look absolutely stunning! And when you have such a pretty dress – you just MAKE UP occasions to wear it! Pizza date sounds fine to me!

    • sallie August 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Woops… That comment was from me… sorry for being all creepy and anonymous there!!

  30. Rachael August 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I’ve just bought the Anna pattern for my first sewalong. You’ve inspired me!

  31. Caroline Joynson August 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Super sexy. What a winner of a dress – the flow, the colour, the sheen, the thigh high split!… It has the works baby.
    Now if you went to the supermarket in this little number I’m sure you would get some heads turning : )

  32. sewcookgardenrepeat August 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Silk Anna eff yeah!

  33. SewKatSew August 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Winner winner chicken dinner! Silk Anna wins.

  34. lisa g August 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    this is a stunner! and you should most definitely wear it everywhere. love that color on you!

  35. Bec Stitches August 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    This is gorgeous, I have bought silk for my Anna for a wedding im going to in Oct, but have no idea how to go about sewing it eeep.. Not sure how to press/prewash/prep eeeppp.
    Mine is fairly see-through so was going to make a complete lining but not really sure how to hide the seams (French seam where I can) but not sure about the zip etc.. ๐Ÿ˜ any words of wisdom would be highly appreciated.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 29, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Well, make sure you get the right needles and pins and that your scissors are good and sharp… when you’re cutting, try to do so in a way that keeps the silk from shifting around too much (Sunni and Jen both have great tutorials on how to do this). You should prewash your fabric the same way you plan on washing it irl… for me, that is dry-cleaning (and only if needed, I hate dry cleaning haha), so I didn’t need a prewash. For pressing, turn that iron on low and use a press cloth! Test on a scrap first to make sure you’ve got the right temp – with this silk, I could press it pretty high without getting a shine.

      I think you should do a slip instead of a full lining – a lining wouldn’t be terribly hard to drop into such a simple dress, but it will mess with the lines (too much volume at the top, and the bottom is going to have to be beyond perfect to get everything good around the slit). With a slip, you could just finish every seam with a french seam, omit the facings and bind the neckline with self-made bias tape, and then throw a slip under it. I actually plan on doing this with my third Anna, but idk if I’ll get to sewing it up before you need the info (I hope too soon, though, since the fabric is super fall-themed!). With the zip+French seams, I actually did get stumped on that bit… what I did was leave the back open and then insert the invisible zipper as normal (make sure to pink those raw edges!). Right below the zip, I clipped all the way through the seam allowance, which then allowed me to finish seam under the zipper as a French seam. The snip doesn’t fray on my fabric, but if it does on yours you can always whipstitch it down. The rest of the seams should be easy to encase as a French seam, including the shoulders and waistband ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ok, that was a novel! Sorry! I hope this comment is helpful. You can always email me if you need more assistance ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with your dress and hey, thank you for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Bec Stitches August 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

        Thankyou so much โค .. replied to your email ๐Ÿ™‚ X

  36. Julie D. August 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    You totally nailed it! I’ve been thinking about the Anna ever since it came out, but your dress is the dress that has made me a complete convert! I’m totally making it in silk. Boom!

  37. ksgentry August 28, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    A big F**K YEAH! Oh my gosh, it is gorgeous. Your sewing techniques really show what a wonderful seamstress you are!

  38. Cirque Du Bebe August 28, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Um yep, totally gorgeous and exactly what I’m thinking of making my Anna out of, something luxurious and yummy in a solid color.

  39. Maggie Cawthorn August 29, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    Absolutely fabulous. The bodice fit is fantastic. Pizza would be fine but I see a glamorous cocktail.

  40. Ruth Procter August 29, 2013 at 2:45 am #

    Hello! Just found your blog recently and I’m a fan already – great inspiration for me as I’m just trying out dressmaking for the first time. Love this dress – it’s on my sewing to-do list for when I have a bit more confidence!

  41. didyoumakethat August 29, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    Stunningly beautiful – both you and the dress.

  42. nishi August 29, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    Snap! I just started making this version too! Thank you for the tip on stabilizing the neckline – I was going to interface the facing, but your way seems much lighter. This Anna looks super slinky! I can’t wait to finish mine…!

  43. Sabine August 29, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    You look freaking awesome. Angelina go home!

  44. rachael {imagine gnats} August 29, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    i say yes on the pizza!! just have a fancy drink with it too ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. misstessamelissa August 29, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I was waiting the whole post for the Jolie leg pose to happen, patiently even.I didn’t even speed scroll to just see all the pics. I kept going “She’s gotta do it, I mean who can make a thigh high split and not even….” Hah! It looks great on you. If I have to sew with silk, I like grabby silk more than slippery.

    • LLADYBIRD August 29, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      haha this comment pleases me to no end ๐Ÿ˜€

  46. Corinne August 29, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Omigawd, looks SOOOO hawt! And hells yeah, eat your heart out boys, there’s a new Angelina in town!

  47. LinB August 29, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Oh, definitely “Silk Anna fuck yes” from this corner. And you should not ever wear any color but that beautiful royal blue.

  48. Caroline J (@_pinkschmink) August 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Silk Anna fuck yeah!

    Also, Patrick Grant: yes. I nearly applied for the next season of GBSB just to get myself in the same room as him.

  49. grenouille78 August 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Beautiful. Great choice on both the color and the crepe. Also like the idea of using the selvedge to stabilize the neckline. And hello, thigh! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now that you have this dress, Landon needs to take you out more.

  50. misscrayolacreepy August 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Peanut butter and jealous!!!!! Love this dress so much!!!

  51. sewingonpins August 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm #


  52. Julie August 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    what a stunning dress, you look amazing!! that blue is perfection.

  53. Sewing Princess August 30, 2013 at 3:28 am #

    Fabulous! it really looks great on you

  54. cathy August 30, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Your angelina jolie impression is perfect! As is your anna. You’ve inspired me to work with more difficult fabrics – thank you!

  55. Carolyn August 30, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    I’m still not sold on the idea of a maxi for myself, but this is really lovely and dreamy on you. And silk crepe de chine is just divine, isn’t it? I don’t sew with it nearly enough, need to do something about that. Lovely finishing on the inside – it looks like a vintage piece from in there!

  56. Birgit September 1, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    This is actually the first version of an Anna that I really like! I wasn’t such a fan of the pattern, but your dress is gorgeous! You look amazing in it!

  57. jamahistory September 1, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I really love this! I love all things blue, and your fabric looks like it has amazing drape! I’m tempted to buy the Anna dress myself, but maybe I’ll wait until next Summer – not so practical in London in Autumn/ Winter!

  58. missjoiedevivre September 1, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    This is hot . Seriously hot. I have no words.

  59. Threadie September 2, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    Wahou ! Iโ€™m so love with your Anna dress ! Itโ€™s really great on you ! And the last pic, stunning !

  60. Mary September 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    OK, that’s it. I’m buying this pattern. Dude.

  61. Neeno - Sew Me Love September 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I’m in love.
    That is all.

  62. Sarah October 14, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Absolutely stunning, Lauren – both you and the dress ๐Ÿ™‚ That fabric is utterly sensational and the rich deep blue is just gorgeous. LOVE!


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