Sewing Projects


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.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files

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.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case FilesHannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files

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

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files

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.

Hannah Dress by Victory Patterns // Closet Case Files

Have you made Hannah yet? Have I sold you on this little miracle of a dress?

Details: Hananh dress in oxford and cotton, handmade leather sandals from Etsy, prescription sunnies from Firmoo

  • I have hearts for eyes! I love the combination of fabrics you used- they really highlight the cool design details. I have this pattern printed out and taped together, but haven’t gotten around to picking a size and going for it yet. Someday…

  • TOTAL BABE. I have fallen head over heels for this. Love that combination of print and colour. I really need to get on to making this. So clever

  • Looks really cute! I love the contrast between the two fabrics.

  • Carolyn Norman

    You look absolutely amazing in that dress! Love how you used a print and a solid for it. Just awesome!

  • YESSSSS! This looks so, so great and also like it’s really cool/breathable. I wasn’t too sure about this pattern, but I love it with the contrast in the back. I just got back from your neck of the woods a week ago, and the humidity there is no joke! I wish I had thought to bring looser-fitting dresses.

  • …oh, this is so cute! I hadn’t seen this pattern before and I love the magic it holds. Great fabric and print too Heather. Yep…I just might be needing a Hannah of my own!

  • Rita

    That pattern’s been on my to-buy list for a couple of months now, and you just tipped me over the edge. I LOVE it.

  • I”m so glad you made this – I also think the pattern deserves a little more attention and am surprised that more haven’t made it. I’ve just made my second, but still need to hem it. I lengthened mine this time, so will need to draft my own facings.

  • mokosha

    that’s a really unusual construction, and a great dress indeed.. and looks lovely on you as well 🙂

  • K_Line

    I freakin’ love this pattern! You look awesome.

  • I, also, really liked this when it came out, but haven’t seen too many versions around blogland. You’re convincing me I should add it to the list (the never ending list…)!

  • I’m so glad to read this, I also haven’t been able to get this pattern out of my head since I first saw it and your version looks sooooo cool!

  • Kerynne

    You’ve done a gorgeous job on your Hannah! I have this pattern but am waiting to find the perfect pattern match and warmer weather to sew it. Thank you for sharing, the colours are fabulous!

  • I just added an other pattern to my wishlist. Your version is amazing! I love the combination of the two fabrics.

  • Heather… heart eyes… wow… just beautiful… This pattern is so amazing and I’ve been loving every version I have seen.

  • Megan O

    I made this for winter as soon as it came out and I love it. I can’t wait to make a summer version. Yours is fabulous and I love the linen idea

  • Very nice. This pattern has possibilities for my Japanese cottons.

  • Kirsten Gobel

    I love this dress! Thanks for sharing! I made this dress yesterday but unfortunately its 2 sizes to big & looks very shapeless on me. Obviously I didn’t pay attention to the sizing even after all the work it takes to assemble the pattern & trace it off again. Im going to give it another go though but In the meantime I have a lovely size 12 that I’ll just donate to a good cause I guess.

  • Yes I’m definitely sold! I love the details 🙂

  • patsijean

    I like the dress, the back is wonderful. One thing I’ve been doing lately when sewing with precious fabrics is to cut a strip of the salvage with the design name and company, even the date if there is one, and sew it into one of the seams. The fabric info is there if needed, and you also honor the designer of said fabric.

  • A very interesting dress indeed!

  • Katja

    I love your version! I bought the pattern right when it was released but haven’t found the fabric for it yet, but now I guess I have to do a proper search for something that fits my vision.

  • Looks beautiful! I might have to add it to the list!

  • Oh wow, it’s fab! Love the contrast floral print and I heart me some crossover action. This is going straight on my Pinterest board.

  • Lynsey

    This is a fab version of this dress, I love the usual details and the contrast fabric shows them off

  • I don’t know how I missed this, but I LOVE this Hannah! Looks so cute without the buttons. Bravo!

  • This dress is so great! Did you do an FBA at all? Do you know what cup size the patterns are drafted for? I’m a D and I wonder how it would work with the unusual seaming.

    • I didn’t do an FBA. I think it wouldn’t be that different from doing a typical one.