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Anna top

Just in case you thought you had seen the back of this wine coloured Abakhan’s fabric, today I’m back with a third make (after my maxi skirt and my shorts) in this fabric in this colourway (and there is still plenty left!). This time I’ve used the Anna bodice as a starting point and turned it into a top. I will never make this top again because I assumed I would make just a few adjustments and began writing them down, but this hack got a little out of control as I tweaked more and more and for that reason I don’t have enough notes to recreate this top again, which is such a shame as I really like it.

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Originally I wanted to hack this top as I really like the bodice and I’m always short of tops to wear. I began by toiling this top, which is very, very unusual for me. I sewed up the bodice of the Anna dress without any alterations and added an exposed zip into the centre back (added in upside down so I could get it over my head). The toil bodice was cropped (as per the By Hand London Anna bodice), I never wear cropped tops so this probably won’t be seeing daylight anytime soon (although perhaps I should add a skirt to it? or just get over it and wear it as a crop top). Once I was convinced this would work as a top I set about making it up.

So here’s a quick run though of the amendments I can remember.

  1. I adjusted the neckline as I think I have a “hollow chest” and necklines often gape, which my first Anna does. I did this by cutting through the middle of the outer most pleat and spreading it (adding fabric into the pleat), and then folding the pattern piece in to take width out of the neckline.
  2. I adjusted the back to a deep V, and added an exposed zip up the top. The zip was a bit too long so I’ve turned it into a “design feature” by following the back neckline and the zip, so it will always look a little undone.
  3. I lengthened the bodice by about 7inches to that is skims my hips and isn’t cropped.
  4. The originally Anna has pleats to shape the bodice front. I just extended these down to the additional length in the bodice, and then very unscientifically unpicked the pleats until I thought it looked ok. This is what gives it the peplum look, but without adding an additional piece in. This was a really lazy way of doing this, because if you look carefully you can see the stitching coming undone at the bottom of each pleat, because I haven’t finished the sewing off neatly, but it’s not bothered me enough to sew it up properly.
  5. Because I tweaked the neckline to the extreme, I didn’t bother redrafting a facing, but instead finished the neckline with bias binding.

I really enjoy wearing this top, even though it’s summer I’ve been wearing it lots, and I think that it’s quite a wintery top, both the fabric weight and colour makes it very autumnal so I expect that I’ll have a lot more wear out of this in the winter months. I’m glad that I gave this a go, hacked it to pieces and got a top that I wanted. Some of the photos here look like it doesn’t fit overly well and it pulls and creases in weird places, but it’s not like that when I wear it. I’d like to make this again in a cotton and see how a different fabric alters the look of this top. Perhaps something to add to my long long sewing list, but I wouldn’t hold you breath for seeing it anytime soon!

I think I have exhausted my enthusiasm for this wine fabric for the time being so I think I’ll put the rest of it away for the time being and revisit it when winter sewing rolls around.

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