Anna Maria’s Dress

I made Anna’s Evening Empire dress

I used Anna’s Voile.  ( A print called Little Honey in colorway Berry and lining was the solid color Froth.)

And here is the dress.

Anna Maria's Empire Evening Dress pattern

Now, for those of you interested, let’s talk details…..

I went with option A for a couple of reasons.

1. Less piecing. (ie. faster)
2. Less fancy.

The instructions are well written and I would recommend the dress and the pattern.  Due to the curved pieces on the bust and the side zipper, I would not classify this as a beginners pattern.  If you have sewn a variety of things before, however, and are wanting to move to the next step, Anna is a great person to take you there.  Her pattern steps are logical and well explained with illustrations to help you along the way.

I made a size Medium.  I should have made a size small.  After the dress was finished, I ended up adding the elastic casing along the back to cinch the dress up (a lot…it was super gappy) around my bust and under my arms.  Anna includes instructions for doing this during construction, but I thought since I was doing straps I wouldn’t need it.  The way I did it makes the back not so professional looking…and therefore I probably won’t wear this dress without a cover-up of some sort (thus the jean jacket).  For my next dress, I will make a size small AND I’ll include the elastic.  I could have gone back and made the side seams wider, but that would have meant more deconstruction and reconstruction, and I just wasn’t willing to go there.

I also put the zipper on inside out the first time, which would make the dress kinda hard to get on and off since the pull was inside of the dress!  So I had to rip it out and reverse it.  That was, again, my own fault because I apparently didn’t learn  right from left in kindergarten.

It surprised me how substantial this dress feels.  It’s not heavy, but it’s not as lightweight as I had envisioned.  The drape of the fabric is nice, but the lining seems to make it “poofier” than I had thought.  I feel a little bit pregnant…although I assure you, I am not.  I suppose some of that is the design with the empire waistline.  Oh, and I had to go buy a strapless bra for the dress. And a jean jacket. (But I got the jean jacket at Kohl’s on their clearance rack for $8!)  I think I could have avoided the need for a strapless bra if I had tried the dress on with a bra to adjust my strap placement to the same location as my bra straps….but there was no avoiding the jean jacket. 😉

Also, I have not hemmed the dress.  I did a rolled edge just to finish it quickly.  I plan to go back and add a blind hem to make the sun-dress a little shorter.  I just have to decide how short. And I also have to add the hook & eye at the top of the zipper.  I’m gonna get it on my way to pick up Haley from school today.  (I can’t believe I don’t have one in my supply box.  How embarrassing!)

Maybe I should apologize for not fixing my hair…but then again, maybe it’s better you see me in my natural state. 😀

Dress w/o jacket

So there ya go.  Have questions? Leave a comment and I’m going to make every effort to answer them all here so we can all learn from each other!

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2 Responses to “Anna Maria’s Dress”


  1. 1 Marie April 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    great review and tips to look out for! I’m looking forward to making mine! I love you in your natural state by the way! 🙂

  2. 2 kari April 13, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Very, very cute!!! Love it!


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