Anna top, pattern modification and a tip for sewing lace

I wanted a lace blouse to go with my velvet Gabriola skirt. The Anna dress has such a simple and flattering bodice, I used that as the basis.The lace top is based on the Anna and the camisole underneath is bias cut and self-drafted. (I’ve made a silk bias cut nightie, trimmed with lace, using my own pattern before. It’s rather luxurious.)

Lace anna top

Back view of lace anna top

Front view lace anna top

Lace anna top close up

I made the cami considerable shorter than I would if it was not going under the lace. I wanted the lace edge to show up but still be decent.

Silk satin camisole

I added about 15 cm to the length of the Anna bodice flaring it out from the fitted waist. I decided to replace the two front pleats with one to keep things as simple as possible with the lace.  Similalry I used a pleat in the back rather than have a dart.

Anna pattern alternationsAnna pattern alterations

I really must start making muslins. When sewing lace, my advice is to avoid unpicking – it’s a nightmare! (that’s my tip). I unpicked both the front and back pleats at least twice before getting them the right length and in the right spot …………..aaaah!

I eliminated the back seam and moved the zip to the side, again to reduce the cutting and sewing of the lace. I eliminated the facings and bound the edges in self-made bias binding from the same silk as the camisole.

It was easy to make the bias binding. Once I’d cut the camisole out I simply used the bias cut and made as many strips as I could with the remaining fabric. I made them nice and wide, so they wouldn’t be too fiddly to fold. I made them the width of my ruler.

2014-05-19 07.31.152014-05-19 07.30.43

I used the same strips of silk to sandwich in each of the seams because there really wasn’t much actual fabric in the lace to sew. The silk gave the machine something to grip and helps keep the lace seams together.

I’m entering the top in the ‘pattern hacking’ category of Sewing Indie Month. This is being hosted by Rhonda’s Creative Life, so you can have a look at other ‘pattern hacks’ there. By Hand London, who designed the Anna dress are participating in Sewing Indie Month.

I don’t like the the term ‘pattern hacking’, I prefer to call it modifying, but either way the Anna is perfect for it. Are you making anything for Sewing Indie Month?


Fabric: lace and silk satin from Clegs.

Pattern: based on BHL Anna

Notions: side zip.

I’ve linked this post up at Sewing Saturdays over at Simple Simon and Co. where you can see what other people are sewing this weekend.

sewing saturday image

12 thoughts on “Anna top, pattern modification and a tip for sewing lace

  1. Pingback: Holidays and fabric buying! | barbarajanemade

  2. Pingback: The Australian Women’s Weekly Fashion: The First 50 years | barbarajanemade

love to hear from you.................

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s