Apparel · Sewing

By Hand London: Hannah Dress

Hi Peeps!

Today’s post will focus on the sweetest little wrap dress: the Hannah Dress from By Hand London.

To start things off, this will be my second BHL dress to sew. Here is my first one, the Tamzin Dress (blog post for this dress can be found here).

Knowing what a pleasant experience I had sewing the Tamzin, I anticipated the same with the Hannah. With regards to sewing the rouleaus, or skinny straps (simple in theory, but difficult to execute for me) and getting a little bit confused with the pocket placing on the skirt pieces, this sew was indeed, very easy and enjoyable to carry out.

BHL patterns come in both printed and PDF patterns. I’ve used both (PDF for Tamzin, printed for Hannah.) With the PDF pattern, printing proved a little bit of an issue for me—although not at the fault of BHL. I think my printer was the culprit there. But what I really like about both types are that the directions for sewing are pretty easy to read and follow, and all steps come with an illustration next to it for further understanding. I had very little trouble with the directions. Another thing I really liked was how well packaged the printed version is.

I love how the booklet and pattern pieces are placed in a little side pocket upon opening. The cut pieces and booklet fit neatly back in when I was finished.

After reading through the pattern booklet, I couldn’t wait to start sewing. Although I intended to use my Alison Glass Kaleidoscope plaid for another project, I thought this cotton fabric would work great for the Hannah because of it’s lightweight feel and nice, subtle drape.

But before cutting into my pretty fabric, seeing as I usually have fitting issues when it comes to wrap dresses in general, I knew I had to make a toile first.

My measurements according to the pattern put me at a 12/16, so that’s what I cut out. The toile bodice fit me pretty well, so I didn’t feel I needed to make any changes. What I really like about this dress is that the By Hand London website has this great section dedicated to the Hannah Dress that gives all kinds of handy tips and tutorials for making your dress fit just right. You can find it right here. There is also a nice blog post on how to fix a gaping neckline on any wrap dress which can be found here.

Like I said earlier, the rouleaus proved difficult to make for me. I know for a fact that this is because I do not own a loop turner (YET! It’s a must on my sewing shopping list, I promise!) and I’ve just been using whatever kind of “skinny stick” I can find to turn my straps over. Well, I did not have a skinny enough stick for the inside straps, so I tried following the tutorial on the BHL post. I had no problems with the process, but every time I tried to pull the strings through, they came loose and broke. I managed to find this neat tutorial on YouTube by Tilly and The Buttons using the thread on your machine to act as the “pull” for the fabric, but you can guess what happened with the thread pulls on that one. After many frustrating failed attempts I tried one more trick using a small safety pin to aid in pulling the fabric through and right side out, and Hallelujah! It was a success!

Thankfully, I only had to make the two skinny rouleaus for the inside straps. I decided to make my outside ties a little wider.

After that, sewing and finishing the bodice was a breeze. Constructing the skirt was where it got a little tricky. The directions in the book that explained pocket placement on the skirt pieces kind of alluded me. The wording and illustrations weren’t super clear on that part, but thankfully, I was able to find this post which helped greatly with pictures and steps for where to place each pocket piece. Also, since I had made two different sizes of ties, I had to be aware of which side I was attaching the overlap/underlap skirt pieces onto the back skirt piece. Since my dress ties on my left side, I needed to make sure the overlap piece ended up on the same side of the thicker ties, and vice versa with the underlap piece. It took a little bit of fiddling and visualizing it in my head, but I was able to get it right in the end.

And here is my finished Hannah Dress! Isn’t it pretty?

I really love the color palette on this plaid print. It’s so Summery! It’s also not in the usual colors that I’m used to wearing—I did say I was going to try and step out of my comfort zone when it came to bright hues—But I think the blues and purples tone all the pink down at least.

The underlap of the skirt is made to be flat and not gathered so the front of dress won’t produce too much bulk with the gathered overlap skirt piece. I thought that was genius.

Also, both sides of the wrap skirt are generous when it comes to covering you up, so you can be comfortable enough knowing when the wind blows that you will not expose your hoo-ha or your unmentionables. 😉

A gust of wind tried to blow my skirt open just now. Not today, wind. Not today.
I love bows on dresses. The side ties give it such cute detail! I’m glad I made them just a tiny bit wider on the outside
The pockets ended up being a smidge too low for me, but it’s ok. I’m just glad they are attached to this dress!
Thank you for making such a gorgeous wrap dress pattern, BHL! I’m a very happy girl!

This dress will definitely be getting lots of wear throughout the warm Summer days here! I’m so glad to have finally found a wrap dress that actually fits me nicely! Here are my Spool Ratings for the By Hand London Hannah Dress:

  • Sewing and Construction: 🧵🧵🧵🧵 1/2
  • Style and Fit: 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵

I’m really liking BHL patterns and hope to make more of their creations in the near future. Do you have a favorite “go-to” sewing pattern brand?

God bless,

7 thoughts on “By Hand London: Hannah Dress

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