Completed: Simply Sew Annabelle Dress

This is Annabelle! Isn’t she pretty?

Annabelle was given away free with last month’s issue of Love Sewing Magazine and she is an absolute beauty.

I quite liked the look of the dress when I first saw the magazine cover but I wasn’t that fussed to be honest. Yeah it’s nice and all but nothing that special and there’s so much else to sew and so little time. Then I saw the purple version inside the magazine and it was a total game changer.

I loooooove this dress! Made in a delicious plum ‘peachskin’ polyester from Sherwood Fabrics. A colour I never wear and a fabric type I would never usually go near – but look how lovely the fabric drapes on the model.

I did something I have never ever done before and bought the exact same fabric. It was reasonably cheap – £9.90 a meter – so I figured it would be a good choice as a wearable toile.

This dress is so lovely. A wide neck band set on raglan sleeves; gathered shoulders; a fitted waist band with gathers above and below and a concealed zip in the side seam. Beautiful.

I had a few problems with the pattern though. I cut a 12 – according to my measurements – and the dress is huge on the bust and hips. The neck is so big that it constantly slips off my shoulders and shows my bra straps – not the worst thing in the world but it does mean I can’t wear it for work unless I am wearing a cardigan over it. Again, not the worst thing in the world but a bit irritating. I also added a couple of centimetres  to the waistband after I had traced the pattern  – probably taking it up to a size 14. This seems to fit me fine.

When I make it again, and I will make it again, I am going to cut a size 14 waist and a size 10 skirt and bodice. Then I am going to take a further 2cm or so out of the centre front bodice and neck band.

So it is clearly not one of those where it fits straight from the packet but that is the reason why we make a toile, I guess. Fitting issues aside, this is a gorgeous dress and it is very much a wearable toile, which I will wear a lot.

I think I might start adding a bit more purple to my handmade wardrobe too. I never really considered it as ‘my’ colour before but I am pleasantly surprised by this.  I think it works well with my pasty northern English skin tone.

Have you made an Annabelle? What do you think of the pattern?



  1. What a beautiful colour, and it really suits you. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I really want to try my hand at my own clothes, but accept I need to start a bit smaller and work my way up


    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’ve been making a really easy dress today – The Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress – and it is possibly the easiest dress I have ever made. Very straight forward with just a couple of bust darts and a hook and eye fastening. I reckon you’d be able to make it with no problems. I’ll be doing a blog post about it next week if you’re interested 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks fab Wendy! I wish I had more time to learn to see myself- maybe once this year of study is out of the way. The colour is lovely and you should definitely add more purple to your life!

    Liked by 1 person

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