Do you ever get so ridiculously jazzed by a new pattern that you basically push everything else off your sewing table in your excitement to get started? This was essentially my reaction when Kristiann at Victory Patterns released the Hannah Dress this spring. I got to see this feat of engineering live on Kristiann at Camp Workroom Social last year, and I was blown away by how innovative the construction is; this is a very special pattern.
At first glance it’s a chic little shirt dress with a tunic placket and a deeply curved hem. What really sets it apart is the crossover back panel that wraps around the front and dies into the front pockets. It’s sculpturally interesting enough on its own to be made in a solid colour (how fabulous in linen!) but I decided to dive into my immense stash of shirt making fabric instead. I pulled out this lovely blue oxford, and waited for the right contrast fabric to sing my name.
It happened at Fabrications in Ottawa; I knew as soon as I saw this huge floral print quilting cotton that I had found my match. Of course I failed to save the selvedge so I can’t remember the company, but it’s very soft with a much drapier hand than typical quilting cottons. I’m not normally a big floral print kind of lady, but I loved how modern and graphic this one was, and the blues matched my oxford perfectly.
It’s a great pattern to experiment with dramatic prints since they only pop in as an accent and don’t dominate the entire dress. I am utterly in love with the final result of this pairing; it feels modern and feminine and very very cool.
Other details to love? The super deep pockets (perfect for dog walking!), the slanted side seams and the wide hem facing. I LOVE HEM FACINGS! Full disclosure, I was working on a shirt dress last year that had some of the same design features of Hannah, and I was experimenting with a wide hem facing as well. It’s such a nice alternative to a rolled hem. I forgot to snap picks of the guts, otherwise you’d see that the facing is also from the same floral cotton; a little special touch that only I can see. #secretsewing
The placket is drafted and explained well, which may be a relief to some of you since they can be a little frustrating to sew if the instructions aren’t crystal clear. The button band is hidden, and while I liked the detail, I skipped the buttons because a) I would never do them up and b) I could probably use a little more room in the bust. I’m fine with how clean it looks sans buttons. You can see a little pulling around the placket but since I don’t have to do it up I’m not sweating it.
This pattern is definitely on the more advanced side; the way it’s assembled is a bit like origami and while the instructions are written well and Kristiann provides more than enough match points, you’ll have to pay attention when it’s time to put it all together. However, this is a pattern that is absolutely worth a little care and time; I get borderline harassed by people whenever I wear it.
Have you made Hannah yet? Have I sold you on this little miracle of a dress?