By Hand London fabric inspiration

I’m so delighted that the By Hand London sewing patterns are finally available in printed format again. When they were originally released, they were like collector’s items and looked so pretty altogether on a shelf!

And in excellent news, the size range has been extended so that there are two size bands B Cup – UK 6-24 and D cup – UK 16-34. (Please note, the cup sizes refer to a dressmakers B/D cup, which is not the same as bra cup sizes. This takes the difference between your high bust and full bust into account, rather than the difference between your full bust and underbust.)

And there is now the option of twinning with the Little Anna, Little Hannah and Little Flora patterns, which cover age ranges from 2T to 13 years (Height 18 months – 158cm), so great value for money!

Here is a little round up of fabric suggestions for each of the patterns:

Anna Dress

I love the elegance of the Anna dress – the bodice is iconic amongst home sewists. Depending on the fabric used, it can be a casual every day dress or a glam evening dress.

Ideally you need a light to medium weight woven fabric and something that will press well to hold the pleats in place. It works well in a rayon, cotton, silk or satin. I would avoid anything heavier than a cotton lawn as the a-line skirt may stick out too much.

I’ve made a few versions of the Anna dress in a cotton lawn and I think it works really well. My latest one was in this Lady McElroy Armelle Coral cotton lawn and it is a great combination for a day time version. I lined it in our gunmetal acetate and rayon lining too and that was a lovely combination.

I also think you could make a real statement version with the Crowded Faces cotton lawn!

If you were looking for a more evening appropriate version of the Anna, you could use a soft drapey rayon like this beautiful Airflow Bloom from Ruby Star.

Or this beautiful Bethany rayon would be stunning for the maxi version.

Hannah Dress

The Hannah is a cool and breezy summery wrap dress with the option of making it as a top as well.

The Hannah dress looks great in natural fibres like cotton, linen and rayon. Again, I wouldn’t go for anything too heavy in weight, as you still want something with some drape and movement.

It would work beautifully in a linen – something like one of our enzyme washed linens, which are beautifully soft. We will be getting lots more colours back in time for summer!

The Hannah would also work well in a slightly more structured cotton, such as the Rifle Paper Co, Strawberry Fields cotton.

It would also look stunning in one of the Ruby Star cottons, such as this Florida Shade cotton.

Or how about this stunning Blush Blooms rayon?

Tamzin Dress

This pretty summery folk dress needs a fabric that will press well to hold those gorgeous pleats in place, so I would avoid anything synthetic.

Again, this dress would work well with lots of light-medium weight woven fabrics. How about trying a double gauze or a cotton sateen?

It would work wonderfully in a cotton sateen like this raspberry colour.

A floral Tamzin would look beautiful. How about this lovely ditsy Isabelle floral cotton poplin?

Or how about this gorgeous daisy print rayon?

Or a beautiful rayon chambray would look and feel dreamy.

Why not try a bold print like this new Fly Ruby Star cotton.

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