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Summer Dress Project: My Second Anza

As I hinted in my last post, I've got several versions of Anza Dress swirling around in my brain. Can you believe I've already got another one ready to show off?

This second Anza Dress is the same size and style as my first, only I've left off the breast pockets. Isn't it amazing how the fabric you choose changes everything? 

Summer Dress Project

I spend so much time sewing lovely things, yet I find myself day after day living in my mismatched ratty PJs. I have a milestone birthday coming up, and while I know that it's really not a big deal, I can't help but feel a bit melancholy... drab... frumpy.  So, as I sat in my Anza muslin, comfortable as could be, piecing together my first dress last week, I wondered: Could I challenge myself to get dressed this summer? 

Staring into my closet I find a sea of same old t shirts and jeans. How boring. How safe. I want to make dresses. The kind I can put on in the morning and wear all day. I'm off to a good start with my two versions of Anza Dress! 

About That Second Anza Dress Fabric...

The bodice fabric for Anza Dress #2 is special. 

You can see the stitch holes at the edges from it's previous life as a kimono.

It is 14.5 inch wide vintage kimono silk, purchased several years ago from a Japanese Flea Market site. Bright orange with flowers and leaves in cream and jade green, it also has an interesting grosgrain ribbon type weave. The fabric is medium weight, but because of the weave, it maintains a lovely drape and is not glossy or slippery at all. 

Being vintage fabric, It has a sort of patina that comes with age as well as the occasional flaw. I feel like this just adds character and interest to a fabric like silk. 

Beauty In The Details

Even though I'm usually the only one who ever knows what goes into a garment, it's worth crafting the small details. Especially on a day dress. Unlike the "evening out" dresses I usually make, day dresses are not worn in darkened rooms behind restaurant tables. They are out in broad daylight for all the public to analyze. The average person who sees me doesn't understand the amount of time spent pressing, the importance of understitching or the careful precision of edge stitching. But they do see the professional and well executed results. These are the things that instill confidence in me when I wear my handmade garments.

Double edge/top stitching on the skirt pockets, side seams and hems. These were done individually, not with a twin needle.

Precise understitching and careful pressing of the facing ensure it lays flat and does not distort after stitching to the bodice.

Tiny eyelet button holes for the drawstring on a narrow waistband.

Right down to the self fabric 1/4 inch wide draw string. Because, you know it's impossible to match that color orange with modern ribbons!

Finished Photos

This is really what you are all here to see, now isn't it?

He had to run right out to photo bomb me. If it's not one, it's the other....or both!

If you run across any REAL jade buttons, 5/8 inch, for a reasonable price~gimme a shout!

What's Next?

Well, I'm feeling pretty fantastic about my Anza Dresses, and I'm not done with the pattern yet. For Anza #3, I'm working on a little bodice modification that I'm excited to share soon! 

If you didn't grab a copy of the Anza Jumpsuit & Dress Pattern on launch day, you can still pop in to the Itch-To-Stitch shop and grab a copy discounted through April 30, 2017 for $10. 

Did you miss the post about my first Anza? You can read all about it HERE.

Talk about what you are sewing at Itch-To-Stitch Designs on Facebook


  1. Just love reading your blog - like sitting down and talking with you - bet you would be a blast to spend a sewing day with - only problem - I couldn't keep up!! Your son is a good looking kid!!

    1. That's so sweet of you! Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy reading. I don't know how much either of us would get done if we were sewing and chatting together, LOL. That boy is a good kid, and he'll be taller than me before much longer....

  2. nice! congrats on the topstitching!

    1. Thank you, Heather! I was so proud of myself, LOL!

  3. I so get that significant birthday and nice clothes thing. Sadly two years on, I'm still stuck in jeans. Got lots of nice fabric though...

    1. Yes... realistically, I'll probably follow the same pattern. It's so hard to change habits. But, I'm going to try and see what happens. You know, if the weather would cooperate!


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