Amazing new pattern! No wait, it’s another Anna!


I know what you are all thinking, does this woman own any other patterns?? Yes I do, this is just the perfect summer dress and it fits me like it’s custom made (because it is!). I was recently on a work/pleasure trip to the UK and of course bought fabric on my days off and it only seemed fitting (ha! punny, right?) to use this fabric for a By Hand London dress. It’s a super soft lightweight cotton that is really nice to wear. It’s a summer dress so there was no need to line it. I used French seams everywhere except the bodice side and shoulder seams.


I love the print – it’s mini parasols and reminds me of a birds eye view of a packed beach. You can see here that my facings are off by 1 cm, oh well it’s on the inside so really who cares? I also love the Anna dress pattern. I feel like it’s kind of 40’s/70’s era vibe to it and I love the 1970’s style.


The only change from my last alterations to this pattern that I made this time were opting for the V neck version and a regular zipper instead of the invisible zipper. I find them hard to get out of with higher back necklines and they are flimsy. This fabric is so colourful it was hard to match a zipper to, but it also makes it easier to hide the zipper. Dressew (Vancouver’s notion emporium) sadly and surprisingly did not have a cream coloured regular zipper, so I matched it to the turquoise in the fabric.


Regular zipper – easier to get out of!

This is a TNT pattern, and so easy to make, everything matches up nicely it’s really a dream pattern. I am sure this will not be the last Anna, I am already thinking of making another version with a different skirt….

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Fabrics from Goldhawk Road and Shepard’s Bush Market

These are the fabrics I picked up in Shepard’s Bush Market and along Goldhawk Road in London. So many fabrics to choose from, so little time!  And money – you have to think of the pound as the same as the dollar, otherwise your vacation becomes sad. I didn’t pay too much attention to how much these fabrics were, except the one on the top in this pic – 1.5 meters for under 9 pounds for a wool cotton blend which was not expensive and not easy to find over here in the colonies. The market itself had lots of fabric stalls as well as a large amount of ugly shapeless women’s clothing made from pretty fabrics. The market has an entrance/exit along Goldhawk Road which has fabric shops lined up next door to each other.

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Shepards Bush Market


Another Lady Skater and Shopping in L.A.

Lady Skatergreen

Right before I headed to LA for New Year’s to visit my friend, I decided I just had to have a short sleeved version on my Lady Skater dress. I used a dark green ponte this time, and decided to shorten the bodice by one inch. I am pleased with the results, except that the back neck seems to gape, and I am not sure why. With my hair down or if I am wearing it with a cardigan it is not noticeable. Not bad for a quick 2 hour dress!

green LS

This photo was so dark it was hard to see the dress, had to play with the colour so the details could be seen – ignore the orange face !!

This dress is really so comfortable, I wore it on the plane and on out a couple of times. I would love to make one with a black bodice and a colourful print on the bottom…..More more more!!

Ok onto shopping in LA. I had  only 2 hours allocated to fabric shopping during my stay. My friend Kelly and I stayed overnight in the city (she lives an hour and a half outside of LA) and I couldn’t bare to subject her to many hours of watching me walk around fabric stores touching every single fabric that caught my eye so I knew I should stick to one store. Thankfully the sewing blogosphere made my research on picking one store very easy, and decided on The Fabric Store. I was not disappointed, this store is beautiful, the staff was so friendly, and best of all there is a large table with chairs where Kelly set up her laptop and worked while I shopped.

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For anyone who is looking for Merino wool jersey, this is should be your first stop. This store is based in New Zealand which is Merino wool central, and The Fabric Store has a large selection – solids in any colour, stripes, and a couple of patterns. The silks they carry are also incredibly beautiful and plentiful which makes it hard to stick to a budget. I chose only one silk in black with woven dots as I have yet to try working with silk. The sales lady said they do ship to the US and to Canada, and although there is no online catalogue, they will send samples upon request. The store also has a frequent purchaser stamp card, perfect for me as I plan to visit again next time in I am in LA.

Oh – they also carry Papercut Patterns. I picked up the Coppelia and La Sylphide with the intent to use with the Merino jersey and silk I picked up from the Fabric Store. The others fabrics are cottons (some with a kiss of spandex) and a wool cotton blend for a skirt.

In case you are dying to know what Kelly was working on while I was shopping (because I know you were all wondering) she is a relationship expert at Cal State University San Bernardino, and she was working on her latest blog post.

It’s hard to come back from sunny Southern California to the Westcoast winter rain….good thing I have my fabrics to keep me busy!!

Les tissues de Paris!


I just came back from Paris, and of course the only pics I managed to take were of the fabrics that I brought back with me. I was there for work for 4 nights so I did not have much time to shop, but managed to get to the Saint Pierre area and did most of the fabric shopping there. Fabric there is so cheap/reasonably price it’s hard to hold back. I did most of the buying at Les Coupons de Saint Pierre as they sell only 3 meter pieces and which saved a lot of time for me.


Theses  are the silks that I picked up, only 1.5 metres for the brown and black dots, and 3 of the blue geometric patterned. I see a blouse with a front tie for the brown silk, not sure for the blue yet.


These two cottons are so soft, I think the one on the left is sateen. I wish I had more room to bring back more of these, they feel that nice. Both were 10 Euros for 3 meters!



This cotton was the same price as the others I think it must be either voile or lawn as it’s slightly sheer and will need to be lined. I love the pattern. And yes I seem to be attracted to blues.


This mystery fabric was a super steal, only 5 euros for 3 meters. It’s black with a woven design and has a slight stretch. I am fairly sure it’s a cotton spandex mix, and I am hoping to get a skirt and a dress out of it with some careful planning and cutting.


I broke my personal rule of staying away from polys and synthetics, but these next two were so pretty and I think they would be nice and summer dresses, either more Vogue 8870’s or maybe a Sewaholic Saltspring or even Cambie dress. For polyester they are surprisingly light and have a lovely drape.


I did have to calm down on the fabric shopping even though all of this was only 90 Euros which is about $130 Canadian!! I am heading to LA soon and I have to have some money and room in my suitcase for more fabrics of course.

Any suggestions for specific projects for these fabrics??