A Maxi Anna in Chambray

So… you remember how I was not so thrilled with the chambray fabric I used on my Hawthorn Dress??  Well… I found some more chambray that was both thinner and cheaper (in cost) and I’m liking it a bit more now.

I liked it so much more that I bought the same fabric in two different colors – a red/white chambray that looks pinkish and a black/white chambray that looks greyish.  It was only like $2.99 or $3.99!  How could I go wrong?!  And they’re both becoming Anna dresses.

I wish I hadn’t made them both up as Anna, but it’s too late now.

Being the mega shortie that I am, I never dreamed that I would be wearing a long dress (outside the house) and look decent.  Long dresses generally make me look like a super squat-looking gal, but Felix approves so I feel confident I don’t look 2 x 2 (2 feet tall by 2 feet wide).

I’m having a love affair with the Anna pattern.  I keep finding more and more excuses to make up *just one more*.  Case in point: Lladybird’s silk wonder dress, Rennous-oh-glennus’s color mix dress, Seamstress Erin’s Floral Silk dress… and many more.

I see these gal’s lovely versions and I’m like, can I make one more??  I was soo close to buying silk crepe de chine (in the turquoise color) after seeing Lauren’s swishy dress several weeks ago (while mood WAS having a 20% off sale to boot).  I was soo close to purchasing; I had it in the cart peeps!

Then I thought…. if I can’t justify wearing my own pink silk mix Anna to work, how can I fathom wearing a crepe de chine one?  heh

I’m currently going back and forth with myself – if I can justify purchasing that fabric again.  heh  So bad I know!

So here we are with my red/white chambray Anna (aka pink chambray).

For my first, silk pink Anna dress I had cut out the boat-neckline version and had a great fit.  But now that I stitched the V-neck it was a bit gapey for me and seemed to want to fall off my shoulders.

I already added silk organza around the neckline for stabilization, but I had to make it a bit more secure for my own peace of mind.

Afterthought-Neckline Gap Fix:

One trick I had learnt somewhere is to create a casing for elastic, with feather stitching.  You can secure the ends to the area that is gaping with a small amount of negative ease.  So when you’re wearing the garment it *hugs* your body instead of gaping away.

I thought I needed to adjust the neckline, but after adding in some elastic, it was still gaping.  I then realized that it was due to too much fabric in the back bodice neckline.  I could either unpick my invisible zipper and pull in the bodice back or I could unpick the neckline facing and add in some darts.

I decided the best & easiest fix would be to add in some darts.  Since I did all of this after the whole dress was fully stitched together, I had to add a dart to both sides of the bodice but also to the neckline facing pieces to match.

It was tricky sewing, but this fix worked like a charm and I don’t have a gaping neckline anymore!

I even stitched the slit in the dress – I don’t think I’ve down skin above the knee since I was last swimming.  heh

I’m surprised I liked the slit as much as I do.  It’s not too high, and doesn’t show that much – just enough to make a feminine & breezy summer dress.

This isn’t my ‘usual’ look – but once I had the necklace on I figured why not…

I’m even sans glasses.  (They were in Felix’s pocket during the shoot).

Front Bodice Detail:

I raised the waistline seam up just a tiny bit – 3/8″ and it’s now perfect for my short waist!  The cap sleeves – while wrinkly – they’re perfect coverage and have a relaxed look to them, which is lovely for this chambray Anna dress.

What’s the best part besides the great fit & design of the Anna dress?!  I’m pretty certain I spent less than $10 making this dress!

The red zipper was from my stash, the silk organza for the neckline was from my stash, and I even used a basic white thread from my stash to stitch this up.  This means the only money I actively spent was the $2.99/yard (or $1.99) for the 3 yards of pink chambray which comes to $8.97.  Isn’t that awesome!?!?!  heh

This means I’ve officially got my sewing mojo back peeps!  Thanks for talking me through it.  I just needed a bit of R&R, some knitting time and here I am back at my sewing machine.  Wooot!


In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (38)

  1. Tasha October 14, 2013 — 8:07 AM

    Yay Liz, it’s gorgeous on you! It fits you so well and you can totally pull off the maxi!! The flowing lines look beautiful, and the bodice is such a great look on you.

    As an aside, this summer I bought a vintage (probably late 60s or 70s) maxi Hawaiian dress and I was obsessed with the idea of sewing another, but never did find a pattern. I now realize Anna has pretty much everything I was looking for then. So next summer watch out! lol

  2. This is such a beautiful dress! And it totally suits you well. I’m also afraid of wearing long dresses (currently I have none) because I’m also quite short (5′ 2”) but this dress you’ve made makes me want to make one for myself. We short ladies can also wear gorgeous long dresses! Lovely, Liz.

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 9:23 AM

      Hey Elena! At 5’2″ you can totally make the maxi version! I’m a mega-pear shaped gal and only 4’11” and somehow it works. I’m thinking its the sleek design of the waist & hips on the Anna dress that makes it work.

  3. Jenny October 14, 2013 — 10:14 AM

    You look so pretty! I just discovered this summer that long maxi dresses indeed look good on short women like us (I’m 5’2) ~ yay!!

  4. Sarah October 14, 2013 — 10:24 AM

    Woo hoo! This is one fantastic dress! I’m a shortie, too, but I am very tempted to make a maxi Anna for myself.

    I love, love the red chambray on you. You look great in this colour and should wear more of it! :)

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 11:31 AM

      Thanks so much Sarah!

      You totally should give the maxi a try. Even if you don’t end up liking it on your lovely self (which is highly doubtful) it’s a great dress to wear swishing, around the house.

  5. Wanett October 14, 2013 — 10:58 AM

    You look lovely!!! Your fit is so perfect and I love you in this pinkish color!

  6. Looks so great! It makes your legs look a mile long! Embrace the long dress look. :)

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 11:32 AM

      Thanks Stephanie! While I’d love to accept this comment, I fear that if I was standing next to someone of normal size, you would say quite the opposite. :) heh

  7. Kirsty October 14, 2013 — 11:28 AM

    This is stunning!

  8. Debbie October 14, 2013 — 12:45 PM

    This is beautiful Liz! Being vertically challenged myself, I tend to shy away from maxi dresses, but yours definitely makes me rethink this.

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 3:07 PM

      I had the chambray – and so I figured “I’ll give it a shot and see how it turns out”. Felix decided it was indeed wearable outside the house so here I am! :)

  9. You look gorgeous! It was your first Anna that inspired me to actually make my silk version, so I really appreciate hearing that you like it :) Although I just finished another boat neck, I may need to make a third with a V-neck because yours is so beautiful. I feel like I should start singing Jungle Book “I wanna walk like you, talk like you, too-ooo-ooo.”

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 3:04 PM

      Heh The sewing blogging circle goes round and round. I, too, feel like I keep stitching up things/designs that are eerily similar to Stephanie over at Star Spangled Heart blog too. (Although I haven’t posted about them yet.) She has a great vintage style.

  10. Sue October 14, 2013 — 1:52 PM

    Liz, I love this! The chambray is such a great idea for the Anna maxi. I need to go buy this pattern now! :)

  11. Meg October 14, 2013 — 2:40 PM

    Honey, it’s so lovely! The modifications worked really well for you, and omg chambray works prefectly as a maxi! I love all of the styling you’ve got going on here – it’s wonderful :)

  12. Erin B October 14, 2013 — 2:49 PM

    Another shortie over here who’s afraid of looking squat in a long dress but I’ve always said I’d look like a 4’x4′. You look fantastic in this dress so I may have to rethink my maxi fear. I might revisit my ’40’s silk dress pattern that you said was so much like the Anna and try it out in a maxi version in some more casual fabric. Did you see my finished Something in Silk, Liz?
    Also, hop on over to my blog for a giveaway! http://vinthillvintage.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/giveaway/

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 3:01 PM

      Thanks Erin! You can’t be any shorter than me though, at 4’11”! If I can do it, so can you. :) Worst case scenario: Just wear it around the house and feel fab swishing about.

      I love those cards you’re giving away – totally entered your giveaway. :)

      And yes – your new black silky dress is pretty. I think you should make one in wool crepe next for layering in the winter. That pattern would be lovely in a wool too.

  13. Meli October 14, 2013 — 3:27 PM

    sooooo prettttyyyyyyyyyy

  14. Ginger October 14, 2013 — 4:16 PM

    This looks awesome! It’s really a different look for you, but you look fab!

  15. Great dress, and you look absolutely stunning in it!

  16. Gail October 14, 2013 — 4:36 PM

    Oh, I love it! I actually think it makes you look taller – it’s very elongating. Don’t fear the maxi! Love the pink on you too! Honestly, I was never a huge fan of the V-neck version . . . until now!

  17. K-Line October 14, 2013 — 6:28 PM

    Liz: The fit is PERFECT. You look terrific!

  18. You are totally working it in the last photo! You look fabulous and you have given me hope that a long dress would look good on me too (I’m 4′-11″)! I just might have to get this pattern now….

  19. Melizza October 14, 2013 — 7:40 PM

    You look very statuesque. Gorgeous Anna dress. That color is very pretty on you.

  20. Oh my GAWD you are the epitome of glamour.

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 11:19 PM

      heh You’re such a dear, Rochelle! Thanks. :D

  21. Gina October 14, 2013 — 10:37 PM

    Wow, I love this! I think the trick for us shorties with maxi dresses is that it has to go all the way to the floor, and then it’s lengthening. I used to wear dresses that ended at the ankles and they tended to make me look shorter. Your length is perfect!

    Also, is that chambray from Vogue? I feel like I remember seeing some colored chambrays there – if so I’ve got to get me some of that because it’s gorgeous!

    1. Liz October 14, 2013 — 11:18 PM

      Hey Gina! This fabric is sooo from Vogue – I nabbed this one from the store on Roosevelt Rd, but I think I recall seeing it at the other location in Evanston too. (Not 100% on that…)

      It’s a great weight for spring/summery dresses or even some blouses; not too thin and not too thick.

      1. Gina October 16, 2013 — 1:02 AM

        Hmm, I might have to take a walk to the Vogue on Roosevelt since it’s so close to campus and it would mean I don’t have to drive all the way to Evanston!

  22. Jessica October 15, 2013 — 1:04 AM

    That colour is Amazing on you!!

  23. Jenny October 15, 2013 — 1:11 AM

    Liz, this is beautiful! I think the trick to maxis for those of us not overly prone to dressing up is to keep the fabric stylish but simple, just like you’ve done. It makes them a lot more wearable I think. I do hope you’ll wear yours out & about because you look stunning in it :) Loving your necklace too!

    Oh, & thanks for the shout-out!

  24. Liz October 15, 2013 — 1:54 AM

    This is a super, sassy dress – the fit and style is great on you! The more Annas I see, the more I am tempted by this pattern!!

    1. Liz October 18, 2013 — 10:37 AM

      YES! It’s a great pattern, I swear if you make one you’ll be compelled to make several.

  25. Amanda October 15, 2013 — 2:26 AM

    Check you out! This is absolutely smashing and the fabric works really well :D

  26. This looks so gorgeous on you! Really delighted that the Anna Dress inspired you to not only rock a maxi, but to show off a little leg too. x

    1. Liz October 18, 2013 — 10:36 AM

      Thanks Charlotte! The Anna pattern is such a lovely design, thanks for creating it for me/us. :D

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