Instagram definitely made me do this!
So many beautiful examples of this gorgeous wrap dress have been popping into my feed over the last few months I could only resist for so long … and boy! she was worth the wait!
The Hannah Dress from By Hand London is a pretty wrap dress/blouse which has three different sleeve variations. Bishop sleeves (shown above), tulip sleeves and short sleeves which is the version that I made. It has a size range of UK 6-24, and I cut a size 10
As is almost always the case with me, the in-seam pockets (yes, it has pockets)! were too low. I raised the height of the pockets by 2″ and now they are the perfect height. For reference I’m 5’2″.
Another adjustment that I made, was to alter the neckine on the bodice to make it a little more modest. It is a fairly low cut design and there is a brilliant tutorial on the By Hand London blog here to show you how to adjust the bodice to give you a little more coverage! I adjusted my pattern piece by adding 1″ to the shoulder seam and I feel much more comfortable with the result. (This blog post also shows you how to correct a gaping neckline if you need to).
I very rarely sew anything pink, I don’t know why, and now I have dipped into it, I feel I might add more of this colour to my handmade wardrobe. The fabric that I used is this adorable dusky pink floral cotton poplin from the lovely Sophia at Sew Jessalli.
Big shout out and thanks to Sophia for her patience and help when I realised that I needed more fabric than I had actually ordered, and adjusting my order before it was dispatched. What a gem! I hope these pics give you some idea of the pretty colour of the fabric as these pictures have come out a tiny bit washed out for some reason.
The By Hand London patterns are lovely to follow. Nicely illustrated and worded so that they are easy to understand, they are a pleasure to sew.
I lowered the bust darts by 3.5cm on this dress, and not sure that I have this quite right – I think I need one of Elisalex’s bodice fitting classes! – but I feel comfortable in it and might play around with this on my next version.
Some lovely features of this dress include the use of bias binding all the way around the neck edge. I have lots and lots of handmade bias that I make using cotton leftovers so this was a good opportunity to use some of the pretty ditsy pink floral that I had in my bias stash!
The front left skirt piece is intentionally left ungathered, to avoid any bulk as it sits underneath the outer right hand skirt piece when worn. Thumbs up.
There are four belt ties to make for this dress. Two that are visible on the outside and two that secure the dress underneath. I made the two belt tie pieces that are not visible when worn, from the fabric selvedge just for fun (but mostly so that I don’t have to turn 4 belt ties through to the right side after sewing, only two)! Ha! By the way, I sewed my ties using a 3/8″ seam allowance rather than the 5/8″ that is used throughout the rest of the pattern to make it easier for myself when turning it through. The result is very slightly wider ties, but nothing drastically different.
The length of the dress is your preference. I did cut it full length to the pattern as originally I really wanted that midi length/ballet dress vibe (see final pic ha ha). When I tried it on before hemming however I felt I would wear it more at this ‘just below the knee’ length. This resulted in a bit of annoying fabric wastage which I normally try to avoid, but all’s well that end’s well and those offcuts have made some very pretty face masks here.
I was really pleased with how the short sleeves eased in perfectly (with a little patience and lots of pins), but have to say it feels a little restrictive when you lift your arms. I might try the tulip sleeves next time to see if that gives me less restriction.
The gold acrylic mirror scissors necklace (which is a little blurry in these pics unfortunately) is available from my shop here.
I used to wear wrap styles all the time a few years back, and have slowly evolved into loving a round neck mostly now, but this has reignited my love for the wrap style for sure.
When your new dress gives you those ballet vibes that you were hoping for!…
I also couldn’t resist painting a little peg doll …
Take care, I’ll be back soon,