A floral Anna and some funky shoes

Last day of the holidays guys – boo hoo. Anyway, hello and how are you?

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I find I am getting a lot of inspiration via Instagram these days and today’s post is about one of them.  I have seen Liberty Carline on numerous blogs but when I saw Rebecca’s Kim dress I knew I had to make one. I tracked down the fabric on EBAY and bought two metres for a reasonable price (end of roll, seconds – can’t remember) and it sat patiently waiting in my stash for me to get round to it. This was during my KIM phase.

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Following the success of my By Hand London Anna, I decided I would make the Carline up into an Anna (still love my Kim’s but Summer is slipping by) and had a little vote on my instagram as to whether I should go short or maxi – it was close but I went with short as I thought I would get more wear out of it. I am pleased with the result but sort of wish I had made the maxi after all – Love the drama!

imageSo, what to say about this Anna? Just to reiterate what everyone has already said – it is a superb pattern. It is SO straight forward to make up as the little cap sleeves are just part of the bodice – no bias binding or tricky facings for me to sew in upside down. The clever little pleats just under the boobies to provide shaping are really excellent and made this fairly flat chested person look as if she had some curves. Finally, the seven gored skirt panel is a triumph if like me you are sometimes rounder in the tum area!  I don’t know how but it just seems to skim the body in  a flattering way, easily adapted to the extra half a stone I have put on and still feel comfortable.

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I did think about putting in an exposed zip but once I had decided to go with the shorter length, I thought I would keep it a bit more subtle for school.  The dress had its first outing on GCSE results day, worn with a cream cardi (not the one in the picture below as that is a bit fluffy and glam) and was perfect.

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If you follow me on IG, you will know I have just come back from my first ever cruise (am mentally planning a post on this so won’t say more now) and wore my frock one of the evenings. Sorry the photo is not great – the combination of swaying ship and endless booze did not make for a steady hand.  Can you see my feet?

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A couple of days before we left, I went shopping in Chichester thinking to myself that I would try to get a pair of pink shoes (actually to go with my Flamingo Dress) in the last knockings of the sale. Who on earth would have thought I would ever stumble across anything so glorious.  I can confirm they are very comfortable to wear, go well with both  dresses and compel absolute strangers to stare at your feet (hopefully in awe but possibly not; Mr CK thinks they are diabolical).

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Today I will be mustering myself into return to work mode.  I have booked two further workshops at Sew Over It in Clapham which will be on the next six consecutive Wednesdays so I am looking forward to sharing the details of those with you – hoping not to get too stressed this time!

Toodle pip,

Clarinda x

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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.

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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.

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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

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