Autumn Anna in Liberty viscose

Anna stole the hearts of many this summer and now the latest By Hand London pattern has stolen my heart too! I had grand plans for a slinky, thigh-split maxi...but summer just ran away from me. No worries though - I already have my maxi fabric ready, and in the meantime, I'm overjoyed with my Autumn Anna!

These top two photos crack my boyfriend up...he says I look like a Meerkat...hehe!



My autumn Anna plan was hatched when I came across this burnt-orange, Liberty cotton-viscose at Leicester market. It was just £6 a metre (or maybe £8) due to a slight print flaw, but you honestly can't even tell with such a busy print. Anyway, it's buttery soft with a beautiful print that complements the pattern's distinctly 1940s characteristics. One of these are the unusual front bodice pleats which make a welcome change from darts and create a very feminine and flattering silhouette. 


I cut a size 10 for the neckline and sleeves and a size 12 for the rest. I shortened the bodice by my usual inch and next time, I probably need to pinch a little ease out of the back neckline - lucky for me though, Sonja from Ginger Makes has just posted a nifty tutorial on this! 

Like so many before me have already said, Anna really is a breeze to sew up. The lack of darts and easy kimono sleeves mean the bodice comes together super fast. The skirt too is very simple to sew with its straight lines and lack of gathers - it does have 7 pattern pieces though, so I really would recommend you mark and snip all your notches thoroughly to avoid confusion.


Anna even requires a simple invisible zip insertion, another speedy feature. I'm really happy with how neat and indeed, invisible, my zip turned out...but you see the ugly zip bits sticking out of the top? Yeah, well...would you believe it took me around two hours to get this zip in? It was a comedy of errors from the start which resulted in me unpicking more times than I care to remember. When I finally got it right, I realised the top was sticking out, but I couldn't give a flying monkey by then! I mainly wear my hair down, so I'm ok with that, but I may re-insert the zip at another time. 

Having said all this, invisible zips are usually pretty easy to insert so please don't be put off. There are loads of good tutorials out there, this one being one of my favourites. My main advice to you would be: don't over iron the zip open before inserting! That's the mistake I made and I kept ending up sewing too close to the teeth...tres frustrating!


I know I've waxed lyrical about this pattern so far, but Anna has a dirty little secret. When combined with viscose, she's a tubby-tummy-hugger! It's not Anna's fault that I have a tubby-tummy in the first place, but she's not particularly forgiving in this department due to the slimline nature of the skirt. So consider yourself warned if you plan on using slinky or 'unstable' fabric. I was sucking my gut in as much as I could in the photos below, but to no avail. Maybe it's a dress for 'thin' days!



I'm not going to hold Anna's tubby-tummy-hugging ways against her though. She's far too beautiful for that and far too agreeable to sew up. I'm glad I French seamed the insides for a neat finish and I even added some Petersham ribbon as a waist stay, because viscose has the tendency to loose its shape.



Anna is definitely another triumph from the sassy By Hand London girls. If you haven't tried this delightful pattern out yet, consider yourself lucky because there's a sewalong kicking off on Monday 16 September! I definitely intend to cheer myself up this winter with a maxi-version all ready for next summer. In the meantime, I'll enjoy feeling ladylike in my vintage-inspired Autumn Anna...


129 comments:

  1. It's beautiful! maybe it's the viscose that clings a bit (not that you can tell in your pics!) because I have a tummy and my cotton Anna skims a treat (thank god). Looking forward to seeing your Maxi! Am tryin to cut mine out at the moment but the fabric is being a nightmare!

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    1. You know what? I think you're spot on in terms of the viscose, so I've added a line in to reflect that in my post, as I don't want people thinking all Annas will be tubby-tummy-huggers ;o)

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    2. It probably is the viscose in this case but I think the dress is a little tummy clingy even in cotton - mine are. But then I do eat a fair bit of cake so that's a factor too! You look like such a beauty in this, as always, Marie! This shape was made for you, you siren!

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    3. Aaaaw, thanks a million Roisin! I too eat too much cake (and of everything really), so I can't hold Anna responsible for that!

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  2. It's lovely! It really suits you - the colour is fantastic. :)

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  3. Gorgeous! I'm hoping to have an Anna in the post soon enough, so an autumn one for me too. Why dont you just turn the ends of the zip under and handstitch them down? They'd never show.

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    1. i was going to post the same suggestion, i'd just fold down the zipper ends and stitch them down by hand, problem solved!

      beautiful dress!

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  4. Lovely dress Marie. It really suits you. I don't think you should feel self concious about your tummy...but as a girl with a few curves myself I know what you mean :-)

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    1. Thank you, that's really nice of you to say!

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  5. Love this. The fabric is so pretty. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees

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  6. very very beautiful! The fabric is gorgeous and the style really suits you!

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  7. I totally know what you mean about the tubby tummy hugging!! I made mine a little on the bigger side and I'm pretty happy with it because it's not skin tight around my waist and hips. Love your fabric choice, you look gorgeous in it.

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    1. Maybe next time I should go up a size for the waist!

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  8. It is so gorgeous. I think it is completely flattering too so don't worry about the tubbiness that is non existent...
    Its ah-may-zing :-)

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    1. Not so non-existent, but thanks for being so lovely!

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  9. Love your dress! This pattern is on my wish list :)

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    1. I hope you get your hands on it soon ;o)

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  10. It looks so lovely! And the fabric is super cute (and a great bargain!).
    I'm in agreement with The Old Fashioned Way, just fold the ends of the zip down, it will look fine :)

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    1. Thanks Lucy! The thing with the zip is that I've already trimmed it as far as it will go and I can't fold the rest down as it's too rigid :o(

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  11. This is really really cute on you! I don't see the tubby-tummy at all, but let's face it, we're all far more likely to notice that kind of thing on ourselves than anyone else!

    This has a really lovely autumnal feel to it, and you look really ladylike in it! Congrats!!

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  12. This dress looks so lovely! I've seen it on lots of blogs now and can see it is easy to make, but I am not sure about it for me though (large tummy trouble and not sure about boat neck on me) but I love the fabric you've chosen!

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    1. I hope you decide to give it a go, I haven't seen an unflattering version on anyone yet!

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  13. Sooo gorgeous!! You look like a pinup! And as a fellow proud owner of a tubby-tummy, I must say I think the curve-hugging ways of Anna look dead SEXY!! Especially on you - wowzers!!

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    1. Gosh, thanks Sallie! But, there really is nothing vaguely tubby about you my lovely!

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  14. Really pretty dress. I am going to have to add this to my list and join the sew-a-long.

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  15. I'm speechless, it's so gorgeous! Perfect pattern/fabric marriage!
    Now I'm even more eager to get started on this pattern!

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    1. Aaaw, thank you! Can't wait to see yours!

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  16. Ooh, it's so pretty! I LOVE the shorter version of the Anna, and I'm so happy to see another! It's very 40s without being over-the-top. Your fabric choice is beautiful, too. I love the colors!

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    1. Thank you Alice, glad you like the vintage vibe!

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  17. Just beautiful! Anna is gradually creeping up my sewing queue! Hope it's as nice as yours!
    Px

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    1. Oh, I have no doubt it will be ;o)

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  18. Love this Anna, the more I see of them, the more I'm tempted to go and get the pattern myself! Really love this fabric too.
    Freya May

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    1. Oooh, please do...it's delightful!

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  19. You are looking very elegant! I think the fit is very flattering, maybe it feels tummy hugging but it looks very feminine.

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  20. this is beautiful! love the fabric... you look very lady-like! i have the anna pattern on it's way to me, i've fallen hard for all the beautiful versions i've seen

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    1. Oooh, I hope you enjoy making it up!

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  21. This is gorgeous! I love your fabric choice and I'd say the dress clings in all the right places! I made the mistake of ironing an invisible zip once and now I don't iron them at all. That Colette tutorial is my go-to for every zip insertion as well!

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    1. Thanks! Do you know what? I'm going to skip ironing mine next time and see how I get one!

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  22. It is beautiful! I love the versatility of the Anna. It looks fabulous on you too.

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  23. Just gorgeous Marie!! I had major issues doing an invisible zip a few weeks ago as well, it was probably the worst invisible zip I'd ever done! I know why I prefer lapped zips now :P

    With the top bit sticking out, just tack it down with some hand stitches and you're good to go, no need to unpick it. Well, that might be cheating, but it's what I would do, no one will ever know :)

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    1. Thank you Jen! The thing with the zip is that I've already trimmed it as far as it will go and I can't fold the rest down as it's too rigid :o(

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  24. LOVE It, Autumn inspired loveliness! That is all. xx

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  25. Lovely dress - the print is beautiful and it looks great on you! Every Anna I see makes me want to make my own but going to be good and work through the patterns I've already bought first!

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    1. Thank you and I know the feeling...my pattern queue is insanely long!

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  26. Sooo beautiful. I love it, Marie. So perfect for fall. It's actually really helpful to hear that it works well with viscose because I was considering making a version in viscose.

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    1. Yep, it sure does! Good luck with yours!

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  27. This is my fave version of the Anna so far! You look like cleopatra ala Elizabeth Taylor with your bangs and dramatic eye makeup!

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  28. You missy are looking fan-freaking-tabulous. This dress just looks incredible on that lovely bod of yours and the colours are delicious. Sexiest meerkat I've ever seen ;)

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    1. Sexy meerkat?!? I'll take it...thanks! Hehe!

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  29. I love this dress! You look amazing. Nice to see a short version of the Anna too. Oh, and I think the only way to take the meerkat comment is as a compliment...

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  30. Marie, this is my favorite Anna dress by far! And I love that print. It all comes together so beautifully. If I didn't have so many patterns on the queue I would consider picking this one up after seeing your version. Enjoy it!

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    1. Thank you Amanda...and I hear ya on the pattern queue front!

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  31. This is probably my favourite version I've seen so far! I admit, I didn't think much of the pattern when it first came out, but after seeing all these lovely versions made up I think I might just have to make one up for myself!

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  32. You're stunning and so is your Anna :) I'm really tempted by this pattern. You're winning me over! Eep! Love the bracelet too :)

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  33. Marie, it's beautiful. Just my sorts of colours and print and the fit is gorgeous. The pattern is going on my birthday list!

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    1. Thank you my dear! Hope your birthday is soon ;o)

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  34. That is stunning - and very flattering. The colour and shape look great on you! x

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  35. Every time I see an Anna pop up in my reader I fall a little bit more in love! Such a simple pattern but is so amazingly flattering! You're right about your fabric reflecting the style of the dress too, it's like they were made for each other :)

    I actually noticed a little bit of tummy highlight on both of mine too, but heck, we're all human and we all have a few lumpy bits here and there so I've made a conscious decision not to loose any sleep over it :p

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    1. I love your attitude Jenny, I think it's spot on! Thank you ;o)

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  36. Gorgeous! The shape really suits you and the fabric is perfect for autumn sewing. If I wasn't on a pattern ban until we move house I would so be buying it after seeing your version and all the other beauties out there :)

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    1. Kat, you're always on a pattern ban ;o) Hehe! I do think this will look gorgeous on you though!

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  37. It's lovely! What a perfect colour for you! Thanks for the tubby tummy tip - maybe I'll err on the side of the bigger size when I cut mine out

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  38. You look stunning as ever Marie! I love that this is an Autumn Anna. Will look pretty with tights and a chunky knit over the top. (Love your hair!)

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    1. Yes, I'm really looking forward to wearing it with a chunky cardi and tights!

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  39. Marie, I think your version looks really lovely - and no you don't look like a meerkat!! When you talk about having a tummy on yours, personally I can't see it!!

    When I made my version, I too was conscious about my tummy showing (and boy, do I have a large one!!) but the dress managed to skim over it nicely, that's what I love about all these Anna Dresses that I've seen on blogosphere and Flickr, is that they are able to flatter the curves and silhouette ever so nicely.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing, I'm sure your tummy is perfectly formed!

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  40. Marie, this is wonderful. The colours suit you so well and this is one of my favourite versions. I've noticed that I say that a lot about your creations! I think Anna might be featuring in the Autumn/Winter sewing when I get chance to make a few decisions.

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    1. Thank you Claire...I'm so happy you like my makes!

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  41. Oooh yeah - that's gorgeous! :D
    You definitely have a great eye for a fabric bargain!

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    1. Thanks Roo...not sure if it's an eye for a bargain...or just buying so much that some of it inevitably ends up being a bargain ;o)

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  42. This looks so beautiful on you! I like that you've made it transitional with the fall colors and shorter length... I'm wishing I'd been able to wear mine more, but it's already starting to get a bit chilly. It's a great shape on you, so I hope you make more! As for the zipper, can you chop off the ends that are sticking up? Sometimes I just hack them off with my pinking shears, which is probably super bad for the shears, but...

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    1. Thanks Sonja! Just think how awesome it'll be when you have a ready-to-wear maxi Anna next spring/summer. You're ahead of the game girl! Re my zip, I've trimmed it as far as it will go, without trimming off the little plastic bits that stop it from zipping off the top!

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  43. Love your Anna, Marie. The fabric is beautiful (what a steal!) and I have to say that this style is gorgeous on you - really so flattering (no idea what you are talking about re tummy!!!!!! :P

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  44. this dress is stunning Marie - it looks amazing on you! love the autumnal colours, and the length is so flattering. love it! x

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  45. You look like a real class act. And maaaybe a little bit meercat ;-) I'm not seeing any tummy hugging but if it's putting you off I bet a slip would help. As long as its not made of viscose too!

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    1. Hehe, thanks Amy! My mum suggested a non-viscose slip too, so I think you might be onto something ;o)

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  46. You're such a baberoni. Love your Autumn Anna. So seasonal. Yes she can be a tummy hugger - have you tried wearing it with a slip?

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    1. Thanks lovely! I think a slip may be the way forward! I'm totally head over heels with your maxi Anna by the way!

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  47. This is gorgeous! It amazes me how different all the Anna's I've seen on the blogs are. This is the perfect Autumn dress. And as for your tummy, yes you can see it, but it looks totally normal to me, not big at all.

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    1. Thanks Jo, you're very kind and very wise!

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  48. love it, it really suits you and the colour works perfectly for the time of year.

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  49. Your Anna is beautiful! I love the colours in the fabric. I am impatiently waiting for the sewalong to start.

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    1. Thanks Lynne! Enjoy the sewalong!

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  50. You look beautiful! It is extremely flattering & the fabric is lovely. I've never seen/heard of Liberty viscose - what a find, wish I could get my hands on some!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I got lucky to find it on my local market stall!

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  51. Wow you look just lovely in your gorgeous Anna. And you can feel free to exhale, we're all friends here, lol. I think it's very flattering on you. And you know what? I just bought this Liberty London fabric and I was starting to second guess it, thinking it looked very 70s and that wasn't the look I was going for. But now seeing your dress I am in love with it! It does look very vintage and classic. I guess I just needed to see it in its finished form. :)

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you can see the fabric's potential now! And yes, I felt better after letting it all hang out ;o)

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  52. You are beautiful, Marie! You have a lovely shape and the Anna just emphasizes that (I know you didn't talk about your tummy to fish for compliments, however, I needed to say it anyway! :)). Really love how you styled this one, too. God, you're such a babe ♥

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    1. Haha, thanks Lauren...you're too kind!

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  53. I really enjoyed this post Marie. The photos are beautiful and you look so pretty in the dress! I love the "flower bracelet" thing in the last photo - i know there's a name of it, just can't think of it right now.

    I haven't sewed anything for few months and this post got me excited to get back into it. Such a gorgeous dress! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Glad to hear you're excited to get back into sewing...yipeee! Are you thinking of a corsage for the bracelet? It kind of looks like that I guess?

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  54. Because of you I am actually starting to like the anna pattern... I didn't really like the pattern at first, but this is a beautiful dress you've made!!

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  55. Marie, it's so lovely! The fabric is so pretty. You have a beautiful shape, and I think the fit is very flattering on you. The colors are so perfect for Fall.

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  56. Bahaha meerkat! Boys are so random aren't they. I am absolutely in love with this Anna! It has to be one of my favourites I have seen. I just bought this pattern on the weekend at Frocktails. I am thinking an emerald green maxi version with a thigh high split. Lucky for me summer is just about to start in my neck of the woods.

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    1. Yep, they sure are ;o) Silly boys! Your maxi version sounds divine and great minds think alike...I really want to make myself a bottle green crepe version!

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  57. I didn't recognise the word, but...meerkat???!!! OMG! Shame on you, I say, Marie's boyfriend!
    Other than that, the dress is super feminine, I love the tucks at the waist, and it suits you very well.
    Kisses, my dear!
    P.S.: I know for a fact (I looked it up) that, when you suck in your tummy regularly during the day (and practically take diaphragmatic breaths) you essentially exercise your abs. I do it all the time! ;)

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    1. Hehe...boys are stupid ;o) Thank you for the kind words and the exercise tip, it can't be a bad thing to work your abs without going to the gym ;o)

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  58. What a beautiful fabric and perfect for this pattern AND the season! I have still to buy this pattern - so many patterns, so little time! I will get there eventually though, and it's good to see that this dress transitions nicely. Interesting point about the waist stay, I wouldn't have known to do that.

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  59. You look so beautiful in it, well done! I just love the fabric! It's amazing how versatile the Anna is as a pattern, it can create so many different looks - sometimes I don't even recognise it but it always looks great : )

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  60. Marie you look like a dream. Such pretty fabric and such a beautiful fit x

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  61. An autumnal delight :) It's gorgeous!! I know what you mean about the tummy sucking in... hehe, I was doing that for the photos of my last make - I'm not used to wearing such slinky, clingy fabrics either! You look fabulous to me though - those warm colours are beautiful on you, as is the silhouette :)

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  62. Love the Anna on you - the fabric is to die for! Love your bangs, BTW. Loved your Desert Island pattern picks also!

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