Simple Sew Blogger, Lena King is back with her gorgeous, festive version of the Annabelle dress. Discover her top tips and hints below for acing this pattern and sewing with satin.
This is a lovely, versatile dress! This is a dress I could happily and comfortably wear all day, every day. Not this one, because it’s made from a rather luxurious satin, a bit much for the everyday!
This pattern could be made in cotton, viscose or linen perhaps and be a great day dress. Or it could be glammed up like this. The fabric is from ClothSpot and it’s just gorgeous. Let’s talk detail.
The Annabelle is a pattern for the adventurous beginner and I would agree. It is a straightforward make. A simple raglan short sleeved bodice with an inset waistband and neckline. The waist is gathered and finished with an invisible zip in the side.
I chose to make the dress in satin for a dressy feel, after all, Christmas is coming! To be honest with you, when the fabric came, I couldn’t decide if I wanted the satin side or the crepe side to be on show. You see, I’m not one for shiny fabric normally, not really sure why, but my daughter persuaded me to shine! The waistband and neckband are made from some fabric I had in my stash, it has a slightly raised leaf pattern which felt like a nice contrast.
Now, I’m not one for making a muslin. One day I may be caught out but not today. I’m really pleased with the fit. I made a size 14 based on the finished garment waist size and the waist is really comfortable. And although there is a little excess round the bust I’m ok with that as it makes getting in and out of the dress nice and easy.
Techniques & Pattern Details
I didn’t make any alterations or hacks to this because I really like it as it is. Whilst the dress was not technically difficult, it did take me a bit longer to make than I thought because I decided to concentrate on getting the zip just right. I struggle with invisible zips because I am impatient but I am really pleased with how this one turned out. I hand basted it in place before machine sewing it. I haven’t got round to buying an invisible zip foot for my new machine but I got round this by using a narrow ¼ inch foot, I was able to sew really close to the teeth for a beautifully sewn zip.
I also did a lot of hand sewing. The skirt hem and sleeve hems were finished with a close zigzag stitch then I rolled a tiny hem and hand stitched them. When it came to stitching in the ditch for the facing, I did that by hand too. I’m super pleased with both the zip and the hand stitching.
It was the first time that I’ve sewn with satin and I learned that I love it and it frays a lot. It helps to finish the edges before you sew the pieces together, if not, be prepared for lots of mess. Also make sure you use a sharp, slender needle and that your nails are nicely filed, this fabric snags easily. I’m happy to report that no snagging occurred here.
All in all this is a really lovely dress pattern, it’s one I’d like to repeat. I love the shape of it, I love the fitted waist and the length is just right for me. I may add pockets to the seam if I make another but would have to navigate the side seam.
A bit early I know, but wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas, whether you’re dressing up or lounging, have a good one!
We hope you loved Lena’s gorgeous of the Simple Sew Annabelle dress as much as we do. Click HERE to see more pattern reviews from the Simple Sew blogger team.
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