Partying with Anna and Parrots

Hello all,

Allow me to introduce my favourite make so far with huge thanks to Elle for inviting me to her International Anna Party which gave me the final push to make a dress which has been on my To Do list for a year.


Let’s go back to the beginning. Way back last September I was lucky enough to win three patterns of my choice as part of a prize giveaway linked to OWOP. I chose BHL Anna, Sewaholic Gabriola and Colette Patterns Hawthorn and pledged to make all three – see here.  Having failed by Christmas to have made any, I re-pledged to make them up during the course of 2015. Gabriola done; Anna done; Hawthorn outstanding.  To be honest, now that I’ve made Sew Over It’s Vintage Shirtdress I’m not sure if I will get round to making the Hawthorn.


This fabric was bought specifically for the Hawthorn from Fabric Land in Portsmouth. I think it was about £8 a metre.  Anyway, I had three metres of it sat waiting. I also recently acquired three metres of a lovely antiquey/autumnal floral so when I read about the International Anna party and accepted the invite I couldn’t decide which fabric to use.  I actually put it to the vote on my Instagram. Absolutely nobody voted for the floral! I also found out that these little sweeties are in fact Love Birds – I checked it out and it’s true: ” a social and affectionate small parrott”.

imageimageI can now absolutely understand why everyone raves about this pattern – Pip who blogs at The Girl in a Teacup has 16 (probably more by now)! It really does come together beautifully. When you come to attach the bodice to the skirt – all seven panels of it – everything lines up perfectly.  I cut a straight size 12 and I think it fits perfectly – apart from the length where I had to cut off about 15 cm.  Well, that’s a white lie.  I did need to take off a chunk but due to the one directional fabric I couldn’t get the dress out of my three metres without having the minimalist of hems.

imageThe sleeves are so straightforward, the facings worked, the zip went in first time.  It really was a happy sew. I decided the world wasn’t ready for me with a thigh-high slit so didn’t include that.  I have really gotten into maxi’s.  I feel lovely swishing around in my Gabriola so I thought I’d go bold with Anna but I will make others in the shorter length as I think they will be perfect for work.  So, I currently have ten orange buttons to add to my stash and three metres of floral fabric which is having a bit of a confidence crisis!

Are you partying with Anna? Huge Happy Birthday to Elle and thanks for your fun initiative – you encouraged me to get another one of my promises completed.  I haven’t actually got an occasion in mind for this dress but I do have a wedding next month and this could be Anna’s first formal outing.  Until then here are another couple of Anna enjoying her photo session in the garden!

imageimageI am just starting my holiday – I am having a week on a canal boat in Yorkshire after first visiting my cousins.  There will be no sewing for ten days but lots of reading which I am looking forward to. Will post piccies of travels on IG if I can get wifi on the canal!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x


37 responses

  1. Pingback: A floral Anna and some funky shoes | clarinda kaleidoscope

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  4. Totally love it!!! I wasn’t sure about Anna but having stalked all of the #internationalannaparty entries I want one in every design! Is easy to fit? I need to ease myself back in gently so no difficult patterns for me for a while!


    • I would say it was one of the most straightforward patterns I have ever made. It fitted perfectly. The pleats for bust shaping are so easy to do and really flattering and the sleeves are part of the bodice. I would say it’s a beginner pattern – Go on, do it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You look lovely in your lovebirds! The fit is really good on you and I see you have another pair of amazing shoes! Well done, this one is a resounding success! 🙂


  6. You look great in this. Anna is certainly my favourite pattern. I’ve made it nine times now (three for myself, three for friends, three for bridesmaids) I haven’t tried the maxi, just need to find the right fabric for it.


      • No, it’s on my list of things to sew, which is really long at the moment, I’m wondering if I’ll actually get to making one before summer is over. If I did make one, I would probably take the lazy route and just use shirred fabric.

        I do have lots of maxis in my wardrobe, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Well that is a lovely Anna! Don’t worry about that poor floral – it’s destiny obviously lies elsewhere (perhaps another vintage shirt dress?!) Sara

    Sent from my iPhone



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