A Holly-Anna hybrid

This post may be a little out of season. Apologies. I made this dress in late September when the weather was still warm in Portugal and it was feasible to walk around in little more than a frock and cardigan. Now, as I type, I'm huddled up in a big fluffy dressing gown with a mug of tea in my hand. I don't know why it's taken me so long to publish this post but still, it's cheering to look back at photos of warmer times and be reminded that they will come again!

The fabric came first. I found it in Feira dos Tecidos when the summer sales were on. I think it's a kind of synthetic crepe with a bold palm leaf print. I had some idea about turning it into a skirt or tunic, but nothing too complicated or time-consuming. I haven't been very ambitious with my sewing recently, partly due to lack of time and resources.

While I was perusing Instagram over the summer, I saw a number of BHL Holly jumpsuits come up on my feed. I have the pattern for both the Anna dress and the Holly jumpsuit so I came up with the idea of combining both in a summer dress. I've used the Holly pattern a couple of times, but I've never used the draped-front bodice before. The fabric seemed like the perfect material to try.

I fore-went the muslin and cut a size 10 all over. Unfortunately this didn't work out on the bodice which was way too big. Also the Holly top and Anna skirt side seams didn't match up, which showed my classic lack of planning and perfectionism. In the end, I unpicked the bodice and took a massive 2 inches out of the back panel. Once I'd attached the bias binding the mistake was well covered.

I can't remember exactly why I decided to use halter-neck straps. I think it was an unplanned, momentary decision that just seemed to work. I really like the way they look and the flexibility they afford, through being able to adjust them.

It's probably going to take another six moths before I can actually wear this dress again. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with the outcome and I'm glad it's in my wardrobe, ready and waiting to be worn.