Autumnal Hannah Dress

The By Hand London Hannah dress seems to have become an instant classic in the sewing community. It looks fabulous on absolutely everyone, can be made out of fancy fabric for a stunning gown or out of a casual cloth for an everyday dress. This is my first Hannah dress but it definitely won’t be my last!

I had 2m of this Rico Cotton Broadcloth and had originally planned to use it to make a shirt, but when I realised that I would be able to squeeze a short sleeved Hannah out of it I knew it was meant to be! The fabric is described as a ‘broadcloth’ so I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it feels like a good quality quilting cotton (perhaps slightly thicker) and thankfully it is much wider than most fabrics marketed as quilting cottons – at a very satisfying 140cm wide. The fabric is smooth and cool to the touch and the colours are lovely. The print is pretty and I absolutely love the metallic details for a bit of something extra special, it is printed on a white base fabric. It washed and ironed beautifully and it was a really easy fabric to sew. I definitely think this fabric has an autumnal (or even festive!) look to it, the print has pine needles, metallic gold acorns and little mistletoe berries in a wreath formation. I am so excited to get lots of wear out of it this autumn!

The Hannah dress pattern has two sleeve options, the short sleeve you see here and a long, voluminous bishop sleeve. I do absolutely adore the bishop sleeve but as I plan to wear this throughout the colder months, I didn’t want big sleeves that would be uncomfortable stuffing inside the sleeves of jackets and cardigans. This short sleeve is going to be perfect for layering!

The Hannah pattern is my first By Hand London make – I think what they do best are special and occasionwear dresses and I haven’t bought one of their patterns until now. I love the design of the Hannah and very much enjoyed sewing it. I found it really thoughtfully written, the bottom layer of the wrap isn’t gathered in the front so the dress doesn’t have two layers of gathers laying on top of each other. I like that the two sleeve options can make two very different dresses and I like the drafting. It was a really enjoyable sew!

My measurements are 37 bust, 30 waist and 45 hip – I chose to make the size 12 and I am really pleased with the fit straight out of the packet, no adjustments were made to the size as there is enough ease in the skirt to go over my hips. It is a tiny bit long in the back so if I were to make it again I would do a tiny sway back adjustment.

Here you can see how the back isn’t sitting on my natural waist

I must admit I tend to avoid wrap dresses as I don’t see how you get them to not gape. I wonder if you need a full bust to fill it out ? As you can see I have a small bust and while the front of the dress sits very flat when I am standing still, as soon as I start crawling around after my little boy or sit down (I slouch) then the bust gapes. Maybe wrap dresses are better suited to more elegant ladies? Or I need to stick to stretch fabric ones! Either way, I always wear a camisole underneath this and my Chalk and Notch Orchid Dress to preserve my dignity!

I still love it though, and will thoroughly enjoy wearing it all autumn and winter (and beyond!)

*Fabric sent to me by Minerva as part of their Brand Ambassador programme.

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