By Hand London, Hannah wrap dress

When I first started dressmaking at the start of the year and was scouring through the hashtags for inspiration, Hannah was one that kept calling out to me and it has been on my ‘to-make’ list for the last couple of months. This is clearly an incredibly popular pattern and, now that I have made it, it’s easy to understand why. This has been my favourite and most rewarding make yet!

As a (socially distanced) birthday present to myself I purchased the PDF and sent it off to the copy shop while I tried to source the right fabric with the kind of drape I wanted for the gathers – it didn’t take long. On my weekend check of Sew Me Sunshine for new fabrics, I came across the most beautiful shade of pink modal, bamboo, viscose and lyocell twill. That it is sustainable is a bonus! Such a simple fabric but when made in this pattern, it is a total showstopper. It has just the impact I wanted the dress to have.

The most work went into cutting the fabric which needed every weight I could throw at it to ensure perfect cutting – wouldn’t change it for the world as that movability has just the effect I wanted, not that I was saying that at the time of cutting…

It is a very accessible pattern, even if you only have a couple of garments under your belt; the real beauty of By Hand London is that the instructions are impeccable and so easy to follow; there are a few darts (but these are nothing to be scared of) and rouleau straps for the ties. Now, before I sewed them, I admit I was a little intimidated. However, I ended up enjoying making them and was a little sad that I only needed four!

The bias neckline saves so much fuss – definitely my preferred method of finishing necklines. Also, if you haven’t put pockets in before, this is the pattern for you – even though I’ve done it before, I found the instructions for Hannah to be so simple that if I ever have a moment of self questioning, this is where I’ll turn – those pockets could be on the Great British Sewing Bee.

As for the sleeves… the options are divine – a short sleeve, a tulip sleeve and a bishop sleeve (I opted for the tulip as I thought it really worked with the shade of this fabric).

When it came to the gathers, I deviated from the instructions and used the floss method. How satisfying is the sight of those gathers?

When it comes to hemming, the pattern offers a variety of options, which is always good as sometimes your mood is more suited to one form over another. This was wouldn’t have been considered finished without sewing on a label!

As far as the fitting is concerned, it’s so comfortable. I made no adjustments at all (although it may be a little loose around the bust – once I wear it out I’ll have a better idea of whether or not it could benefit from a minor adjustment.

This is the dreamiest pattern – who doesn’t needs another swishy wrap dress in their wardrobe? I love that it can be equally suited to casual daytime and nighttime recreations. The neckline is pretty sexy (I’ll likely wear a cami underneath if I wear it to work as those librarian stereotypes didn’t come out of nowhere). The gathers are so gentle and feminine and with the gorgeous feel of the fabric I opted for, it feels amazing as you move. As if that wasn’t wonderful enough, this dress has no zip or lining and so it can be sewn up in a matter of hours. I cannot wait for life to resume again so that I can wear this one out somewhere lovely!

Absolutely making this pattern again in the next few weeks – I want to try it in a busy print with bishop sleeves and I suspect it will look dramatically different. Can’t wait to find out!

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