Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A Scissor-Happy Anne Adams 4769

My latest graded up sample for Elsie George has been this wonderful Anne Adams Pattern from 1954

Whilst ridiculously cute, this pattern is also ridiculously small, for a 29" bust! So some major grading up was needed before I could even begin. Luckily, I had some time to work on that while working at Elsie George last weekend.

To make sure the cute scallop detail didn't get lost, I wanted to make sure I used a plain fabric or a not-too-fussy print. Most of the time I don't buy much plain coloured cotton, usually just 1m or so for contrasts, linings and pockets, so I managed to find this cute cream quilting cotton with a print of yellow-ish scissors that I thought would work great, without taking away from the design details.

Initially I graded up the pattern by adding the difference of the original 29" bust size compared to my 44" bust size, divided into 4, to each of all the bodice pieces (as well as a slight redraft of the neckline/collar pieces) Even though when I measured the original pattern pieces, it seemed that it could fit a 33-34" bust, so my graded up pieces seemed quite a bit too big. I went ahead anyway, figuring I could just take any excess out of the side seams.

The bodice went together fairly easily. I started with the darts in the back piece, then overlocked around most of the pieces (not the scallops or the neckline pieces) The front bodice pieces were then sewn to the back bodice piece and the seams and darts pressed. Both the bodice facing and the front facings (which I had interfaced beforehand) were sewn to the bodice right sides together. To attempt as neat scallops as I could manage, I drew a line 1/2" in from the edge along the whole front edge to stitch along, using very small stitches. I wouldn't say they turned out perfect, but I'm pretty happy with them. I clipped all the curves (a lot) and turned the facings, then pressed them flat.

At this point, pinned on my mannequin the back did look way too large and gapey, but I left it for now. The front neckline pieces were sewn to the back neckline pieces, then the top and bottom were sewn together right sides together, leaving open 2 sections to attach the bodice. Pretty much all the edges around the neckline had to be clipped, then it was turned right side out and pressed. I then gathered up the top edge of the sides of the front of the bodice, leaving the facings free. The facings were then folded back where they went and the top edges all lined up, then pinned into the openings in the neckline pieces. A bit of top stitching around the neckline, and a hem at the bottom, and all I had left was the buttonholes and buttons.

I originally had picked out some much smaller white buttons, but another look in my button jar and I managed to find 5 large, yellow buttons. They are a bit old and scratched up, I think I stole them from my Grandma's Button Jar, and they may have originally come from a dressing gown... BUT they worked perfectly on this dress with the size of the Scallops, and it was exactly the number of buttons that I needed. I tried to be very careful with buttonhole placement, as they are quite large and due to the nature of large buttons, don't sit centered on the button, but rather slide a bit to the side when done up, and I didn't want to be showing skin through the corners of the scallops.

To finish off the ensemble I chose to make a simple gathered skirt, which I have made a million times before. Like always I added side seam pockets, and used a zip in the centre back. I decided to go with a gathered skirt rather than the circle skirt with gathered sections from the pattern, as I was a bit low on fabric, and this works out to be the most economical way to get a full skirt when you have a directional print.

I wore it to work yesterday, and snuck up to Elsie George in my lunch break to snap a couple of selfies in the change room mirror.


I am going to be announcing my first very own Sew-Along! It will be a free graded version of a Vintage Australian Home Journal Pattern, that I hope everyone will love, so keep an eye on my blog for more details soon!

I really hope I will get a few people to join my sew along, so I would love a comment from anyone who is interested. I may even grade the pattern up even more if there is enough interest. At the moment it will be available in bust sizes 34-44".



  1. Your sew along sounds very tantalising, especially since most of the patterns in Australian Home Journal are utterly gorgeous. It will all depend on whether I have actual space in which to sew!

    The front details on that dress are wonderful. I love interesting features like that.

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Oh Katie, I do hope your sewing space will be set up in time for the Sew-Along! I was hoping to do it for October (Frocktober!) but the way things are going it will probably beginning sometime in October, but not finish til sometime in November.

  2. I'm pretty excited about this! I love seeing your creations and I'm interested in the sew-along too!

    1. So glad to hear you're interested : I will be posting more details soon!