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Now that the summer weather is coming, I am still on the lookout for new patterns for summer dresses to try. But I do like to stick to one particular rule: they must have pockets! The range of sewing patterns from Simple Sew seem to suit my style and size. So I decided to try the Simple Sew Anneka tunic.
The Simple Sew Anneka Tunic
The Simple Sew Anneka Tunic is marked as a pattern for a beginner. It gives finished garment measurements on the back, which I always find so useful. I always make a wearable toile (find out why in this post) , but it does still amaze me how much I have to adjust patterns sometimes.
The pattern comes in size 8-20. The pattern states that it can be made in winter and summer weighted fabric to make it relevant for all seasons. Suggested fabrics for winter include denim, wool blends and tweed. But for summer they reccomend linens and cotton. I wanted a lovely summer dress, so decided to make a wearable toile in this flamingo chambray fabric.
I cut the size 20 based on the finished garment sizes.
The layout and cutting plan in the instructions for the dress are really easy to work out and see. There are only 3 pattern pieces creating 4 fabric dress pieces. Which makes it such a quick make. But the pattern also calls for bias binding tape to finish the neck and armholes.
Sewing Up The Pattern
Sewing up the Simple Sew Anneka Tunic is also really quite easy. Not only are the instructions really good, but all my cut pattern pieces went together perfectly. Firstly you prepare the pockets and sew them to the front panel. Then you create large front and rear darts for both the back and front panels. Sew the front and back pieces together. Bias bind around the neck and armholes and the dress is done!
Actually, at this point I was glad that I had made a wearable toile, as the armhole for me was very large. I ended up putting a dart into the armhole towards the bust to remove the excess material from this area. And because you are bias binding the armhole rather than putting a sleeve in, this makes no difference to the finish.
Actually, as you can see from the picture above, I wasn’t entirely happy with the dress once finished according to the instructions. It was very flared. It fitted me at the bust brilliantly, but was very big on the waist and hips. Some people may like their dresses to be like this. But for me I felt it needed more. So I made a belt from the same fabric to bring it all in at the waist. You could also add belt loops.
The Finished Dress
I love this dress. It is a brilliant example of a beginners pattern. It is very easy to make. For a more expert sewist I am sure it can be made in a couple of hours quite easily. It is also incredibly easy to wear. A pull over the head, throw-over style. Even suits me as a larger size 18 lady. It’s perfect for those summer days that we are promised.
The only fiddly things for me were placing the extra dart and adding a belt.
The pockets are a great size – I could even fit a paperback book in one!
I did find the dress to be quite long. It is below the knee by a number of inches. Even though the front of the pattern shows the design as being knee length. This does not bother me, but you may wish it to be shorter.
I made the dress once more, this time a size smaller and in this wonderful bright floral cotton.
I have yet to try and make it in a tweed or wool. I can see how this would work, and I am sure that they would look brilliant over a long sleeved top and opaque tights for a winter outfit.
Fancy getting your hands on this pattern? Buy it here!
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