Linen Anda Dress

You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to make this simple dress. Let’s just say I now know the German word for “bias tape maker,” where to find them, and what size to get.

The dress started with a much-used pattern from Burda Style. Burda’s website is a great place to visit if you’re interested in women’s garment-making—it’s got its own social network. Burda is also a wonderful German monthly sewing magazine that includes traceable patterns in each issue. If you’re a Burda member, find me under “Emily Smith Pearce.”

The Anda is a simple shift dress with a drawstring waist and bias-tape finishing around the neck and armholes. I used the downloadable version of the pattern.

The sizing was way too big for me (a lot of other Burda members mentioned this as well), so I modified the pattern by tracing a dress I already had. I also traced the neckline from a blouse I liked to give a more open look.

I opted for an inner elastic waist rather than the drawstring and made a self-belt to give it a more polished look.

Sadly, the linen (from the local fabric market) faded in an odd and unattractive way after the 2nd washing. You can kind of see it in the photos. I’m wearing it anyway, though!

It’s a really comfortable dress. I restrained myself and chose the rather boring color so I could wear it with anything. You should’ve seen the look on my seven-year-old’s face when she realized I was bypassing all the bright prints for brown linen. Mom!

I definitely like the linen look. I think it would be too boxy in something less drapey.

I have to give lots of credit to blogger Kathleen Frances, who featured this pattern on her blog grosgrain as a sew-along (she calls them A Frock by Friday). As in all of her FBF’s, she walks you through the pattern step by step.

I always have trouble with pattern instructions, and the Burda instructions were particularly confusing and minimal, so I’m grateful for all her photos and hints.

In the end the dress really isn’t that hard to make, but figuring out the instructions, modifying the pattern to fit, and finding the tools in Hannover made it a bit of a challenge.  It was more like  A Frock by Next Summer. I might try making this dress again in a different fabric.

Necklace by world on a string.