Happy Little Trees Anna

8.07.2014

Did I say that I rarely blog sewing repeats?  Ummmm yeah, seems I need to work on a little self examination about my sewing habits. But I can't think of any way to make that funny so let's talk about my third repeat instead, the By Hand London Anna dress. Cue photo where I'm doing something weird with my hands. Kind of amusing though.
The Tiki Goddess maxi version of this pattern is still on my top list of favorites for the summer.  Can't beat a dress that makes you feel gorgeous and allows the wearing of awesome shoes. The only downside to that dress is that I'm a clumsy bumbling fool that is endlessly shutting the skirt into door frames. My son has also witnessed some physical comedy involving maxi skirts and stairs. Is there a "Living with Maxi dresses" class that no one has told me about, or all of you magically coordinated? Coordination was left out of my genetic package, being replaced with "poses to toy frogs for comedy." Only the magical power of the Tiki Goddess has kept the skirt intact up to this point. Bless you Tiki Goddess, I'll pour out a frozen drink in your name.
Not wanting to put the maxi dress in peril so often, it seemed wise to whip up the tea length version of the pattern. Then I could still wear an Anna dress on days where I'd already ricocheted into several door frames. Damn, when did that wall move? You saw it jump at me didn't you Desmond? Child just gives me a look that says, "Mom you might have some issues."

Annnnnyway back to the whole sewing of dresses thing.  I knew what fabric to use for this project because it jumped into my head during one of my sleepless nights spent plotting the sewing queue. The vintage tree print cotton!  This fabric had a stiff hand so it seemed a good choice for a non drapy pattern like Anna.  The print is also delightful and I'd been itching to sew it up.  Something about those petite trees made me think about Bob Ross and painting his "happy little trees" and left me with happy feels
*Quick pause for back story - Growing up my paternal grandparents lived next door to us and were the default sick kid minders. A sick day at grandmas usually involved laying on the couch watching things like "My favorite Martian" and "The Joy of Painting" while grandma made you no less then 5 lunch options. Since I've always been an introverted child who loves eating and old TV, sick days pretty much rocked.*
One could argue that since the trees are blue and gray that they are depressed little trees. I choose to believe that they are just happy little trees that also enjoy my color scheme. High five trees, blue and gray together is one of life's perfect pairings. Let's make a dress together.
Not too much to talk about construction wise.  I'd worked out all my fit issues in the maxi version and didn't notice any new problems. The white background on this fabric was surprisingly opaque, so I didn't even have to mess around with underlining. Hooray! This time I was smarter about the skirt and only took the pieces off the labeled patterns right before serging and then sewing each panel. There were still a few moments of, "Is this the right edge?"  Those almost identical skirt panels will always make you question your sewing aptitude.

It's interesting how the shorter version of the dress has more of an Audrey Hepburn-ish feel to it, rather than the va-voom vibe of the maxi. In the tea length dress I'm just chilling waiting for Gregory Peck to arrive and take me on a tour of all the sites. He's going to tease me by putting his hand down a statue's mouth and screaming, that rascal.  Where as in the maxi version I am all goddessy like and ready to dispense festive cocktail umbrellas to all. I like both versions because some days a girl doesn't have the head space for always thinking about where her maxi skirt is. Ahhh I'm stuck in a door again! Find help! Confiscate their cell phones first. I don't want any pictures.

Last photo is for my husband who liked my legs in the sitting down poses. Ooohhh knees!

42 comments:

  1. "Maybe in our world there lives a happy little tree over there." Oh I remember them days at Grandma's too. We loved watching Bob together. Cute dress!

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  2. I think we had the same sick day routine. My nana used to stock the house with my favourite treats and never put a limit on how much I could eat, until the day I ate approximately two boxes of creamsicles and fudgsicles and barfed everywhere. I also grew up to the smooth, dulcet tones of Bob Ross. And this dress IS filled with happy little trees! As for your Anna maxi, it really involves a lot of dramatic skirt clutching as you are climbing stairs and such. Not super practical for day to day wear, but nothing makes a better POW impression.

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  3. Love those little trees. They look like happy trees to me. Beautiful!

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  4. Lovely dress! The fabric is just adorable!

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  5. loved watching Bob Ross! yes, happy little trees... this is a great dress, i love the fabric, and you almost don't see the trees until you're close up. beautiful!

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  6. One day I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to make a maxi skirt and he pointed out that I would most likely trip on the stairs and break something (like my neck). So I hear you on the need for how to live in a maxidress tutorial.

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  7. I could watch this for hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLO7tCdBVrA
    Life advice, man! (Oh, and love the dress, of course!)

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  8. Very pretty print. The dress is very simple yet looking amazing. You sew seamless products. I really appreciate your colour choice n the kind of simplicity you infuse in your dresses.
    agoodstuff.blogspot.in

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  9. They're definitely happy trees-- I mean, look at those cartoony trunks and branches! Who wouldn't be happy when looking at that?

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  10. Gorgeous! Oh, and the dress is nice, too. ;)

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  11. This is lovely! The trees are definitely happy and I now have images of goddess Heather floating round the house, cocktail in hand until a door suddenly slams, throwing her backwards! If it's any consolation the only way to negotiate stairs is to channel a level of princess and gather up the front of the skirt a bit in one hand. Don't ever try to carry something upstairs that needs both hands whilst wearing a maxi - it doesn't end well...

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  12. The fabric is adorable and the dress really flattering. Speaking of trees, that tree in the background of your last photo is gorgeous - is it in your garden?

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  13. Helen // Grosgrain GreenAugust 8, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    Love the trees. They are definitely happy!

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  14. I seriously love your sewing makes. You are fabulosity incarnate!

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  15. disqus_j7Nk12ud7zAugust 8, 2014 at 5:20 AM

    Gorgeous version of Anna and I love the little colour splooshes of blue. Perfect with your cobalt colour pop shoes.

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  16. Hooray! It makes me smile finding out that so many of us enjoyed this show with our grandmas.

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  17. HAA HAAA!! Two boxes of creamsicles? Then grandma's like, "I put my vomit cleaning years behind me, you're cut off."


    I may need to work on my dramatic skirt clutching. It sounds fun when you phrase it that way.

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  18. Thanks Debbie, this fabric was an etsy find that I bought almost immediately. Those trees!

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  19. Thanks Kelli. I love the fabric too. Couldn't let it wait around in the stash for too long. (Though I guess a year isn't sewing it up quickly either.)

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  20. Thank you Lisa. It is a pretty delicate print, at least considering that I usually go for bolder ones. Maybe that's why I feel all Audrey Hepburn in it. Oooo Ladylike. :)

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  21. Haa haa haa Maggie! Can we put a "Living with Maxi dresses" class request to craftsy. :)

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  22. Awww Bob. This makes me a little weepy but in a good way.

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  23. Hee heee, just talking about cartoony branches makes me giggle. I think that must be the reason they are so happy looking.

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  24. Haa Haa! Thanks Laura.

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  25. Thanks Fadanista. Sadly this is not my garden but down at the borough hall. But I thought it was lovely too and wanted to get it in one of the pics. :)

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  26. LOL!!! I'm cackling with glee at that mental image. I did once try to carry something up the stairs in a maxi and also learned that lesson.

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  27. Thanks Kate. :) I agree 100% about the shorter length being so darn elegant. Can't believe it took so long for me to buy this pattern.

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  28. It sounds like a generation of Grandma's all indoctrinated us with Bob Ross. I love it!
    Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only "coordinationly challenged" Heather out there. Let's trip together!

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  29. Thank you Helen. Glad those trees look happy to people other than me. :)

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  30. Awww thanks Poppykettle. I'm just living up the warm temps before having to swaddle myself in multiple layer of wool.

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  31. Thanks! I was also pretty pleased with the shoe + fabric combo. My husband was pleased that I already owned the shoes. :)

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  32. Thanks so much Ruchi. The Anna pattern does do a lot with simple design lines. Probably why I keep making it as is or mixing the bodice with other skirts. :)

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  33. Shell from SewEnSowAugust 8, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    Loving the Audrey vibe of this, gorgeous. Glad to hear its not only me, I need a how to live in maxi-length class too! Since a few ripped down hems, then the clincher, standing on & pulling down a skirt (evil yoga waist didn't help with that one) I steer right away from anything long!!!

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  34. Awwww Bob..... who didn't love to watch Bob. Love the dress!!!!! A new fav for me but then again, you always show up with my new fav dress.

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  35. Oh, Bob... what a guy! I watched him at my grandparents', too, although my grandma wasn't much of a cook so we always ate Kraft mac & cheese, ha! This dress is so happy and fun and your shoes are mega cute, too! You look super glam, dude!

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  36. Love the fabric looks perfect paired with the Anna pattern! Thanks for sharing! As far as sick days as a child, I remember spending my sick days with my Mom watching Elvis movie marathons, i may have faked a few sick days just to watch the whole marathon!!

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  37. Fist bump Shell. We can be maxi dress uncoordinated together. That is until we get that "Living with Maxi Dress" class going.

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  38. Thanks Sonja! I feel like Mac'n Cheese and Bob has to be equally good. You can't go too wrong with cheesy carbs.

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  39. Oooo Elvis marathons sound like a good time too, much better than going to school. I'd be tempted to fake some sick days too.

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  40. Thanks Margo. Oh no, I may have set the bar too high now. :)

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  41. Awww how nice that it brings back such nice memories. Lovely dress and lovely knees rawwwr ;-)

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  42. I love this dress! Fabric is awesome and the cut is lovely.

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