Dress · Sewing

Adjustments on the Anna Dress

My week end has been all about sewing – if you don’t count the several loads of washing, the shopping, the cleaning – and here are the results of all my efforts to get a better fitting Anna Dress.

My first Anna was a straight size 8 – no adjustments whatsoever and neither a muslin to try the fit. Of course that dress isn’t perfect, but what I dislike the most about it, it’s that I look pregnant if you look at me sideways. Look!

I swear I'm not pregnant!
I swear I’m not pregnant!

The main problems was the front bodice riding up, resulting in uneven waistline and  hem, a choking neckline and shoulder seams slipping towards the back. To understand why this was happening and how to fix it I bought a book! I love books and I read good reviews about “Fit for real People” by Palmer and Pletsch, so now it’s in my personal library. The photos are a bit dated but the book is full of useful examples and explanation on every sort of fitting issue and I’m very happy to have purchased it and I highly recommend it to every beginner like me – all those photos and pictures are great and you can “easily” individuate your body problems.

So …. This is what I’ve modified in my Anna Dress. First of all I’ve double checked my size and I cut again an 8 as my bust and waist fall exactly in this size. And then:

  • I lengthen the front and the back bodice pieces by 2 cm as the first Anna waistline was a bit too high for my liking.
  • Reading the book and comparing the pictures in the book with my photos, I found out I sadly have a very round back (I won’t give up knitting thought!). Basically my shoulders have moved forward and my upper back is a bit rounded, causing my bodice to ride to the back and making the front neckline to tight and also creating some gaping at the back neck. To alter the pattern I draw a perpendicular line to the grain about 10 cm below the base of the neck, cut all the way to the side seamline and then raising the upper back of 2 cm. This created a slightly curved centre back seamline which I can follow to fit my back curve.
  • To reduce the centre back gaping issue I’ve also followed Gingermakes tutorial, slashing and overlapping the tissue of about 1 cm.
  • My hem being longer at the back is also caused by my lack of derrière. Mais oui, my ass isn’t big enough to fill the Anna dress properly and I require less length at the centre back. I’ve started fixing the back bodice first and later on I’ll check the fit on the skirt panels too. I’ve basically draw another line, perpendicular to the grain, about 5 cm above the bottom of the bodice and cut it all the way to the side seamline and overlapped the bottom to the top piece by 2 cm. All these adjustments distorted the grainline – straighten it! – and also the seams – true them!
  • And lastly, as after all these alteration my shoulder seams weren’t lying in a straight line from the base of the neck yet, I went for a forward shoulder adjustment too! Oh yeah! I moved the entire seam forward from the neck, removing 2 cm from the front bodice and adding an equal amount to the back.
Ok, here I look veeeery hunched but IRL I'm a bit better looking! :)
Ok, here I look veeeery hunched but IRL I’m a bit better looking! :)
The elastic says "you're nearly there, waistline!"
The elastic says “you’re nearly there, waistline!”
The front looks good, does it?? :))
The front looks good, does it?? :))
This is my second muslin and I’m pretty happy with how the bodice is looking now, but before cutting in my lovely floral cotton voile – summer maxy dress on its way! – I might remove another cm from the lower back. Owen took these photos and he said that my shorts waistline isn’t straight and therefore the bodice doesn’t look straight either, but should I trust him? What do you all think?

3 thoughts on “Adjustments on the Anna Dress

  1. Caspita, ma stai diventando una vera e propria sarta…non so quale lavoro tu faccia in Australia (magari non lavori…nel quale caso saresti sommersa da tutta la mia invidia…) ma certamente non penso che manchi molto a che tu diventi una sarta professionale…..lavorando a maglia e confezionando vestiti, potresti aprire un atelier di moda. Tra l’altro, essendo italiana, avresti un successo enorme.
    Il tessuto ed il taglio di Anna Dress sono davvero molto belli: leggendoti, pensavo a quali difetti dovrei mascherare pensando al mio fisico; certamente dovrei imbottire tutti i capi ad altezza seno, avendo allattato i bambini per un anno minimo ciascuno (ho calcolato che ho passato 40 mesi della mia vita ad allattare figli) il seno si è, come dire, svaporato, asciugato, sparito? Boh, di fatto sembro un elfo dei boschi.
    Ho finalmente riattivato la macchina da cucire; ho in pista una tovaglia e degli asciugapiatti, per riprendere la mano. Poi mi piacerebbe partire con una cosina per la Margherita….un vestitino estivo, una gonnellina, non so. Arrivare a fare le cose che fai tu sarebbe un sogno!
    Comunque, in effetti apportando le modifiche il corpino del vestito ti calza a pennello: ora che fai, lo disfi e lo risagomi o ne fai un’altro? Ma si trovano dei bei tessuti in Australia? Qui a Como, famosa per la seta, si trovano delle belle cose.
    Un caro saluto, bye! Paola

    1. Ciao Paola! Sono contenta che tu abbia ricominciato a cucire, sono sicura che con il tempo riuscirai a fare dei vestiti migliori dei miei! Non sono così esperta come pensi (ti convinco se ti dico che ho buttato nel cestino l’ultimo vestito che ho provato a fare perché non riuscivo a mettere insieme i pezzi??) e ti ringrazio per i complimenti! Non sapevo che Como fosse famosa per la seta….a luglio vengo in vacanza a casa e vorrei andare a trovare Lulù, magari riesco a passare anche dalle tue parti e fare un po’ di shopping! Qui i tessuti sono decenti, ma per quanto mi riguarda cerco sempre quelli più economici, visto che ancora non sono una sarta provetta e mi girerebbero le palle se dovessi buttare nel cestino buoni tagli di stoffa! Però sono fermamente convinta che i tessuti italiani siano di qualità assai migliore.
      Buona settimana! xx

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