Hi All,

After going back to basics with very practical trousers last month, it must be time to be a little more frivolous and make another dress.

This month I made the Named Ansa Dress Pattern from the Named Playground collection.

I made the Reeta Dress Sewing Pattern from this collection back in April and it has been getting regular wear. The Ansa dress feels a little more dressed up than Reeta - Named describe it as a cocktail dress but I will probably be wearing it for days with meetings at work since I very rarely get to drink cocktails these days!

I was really excited when Minerva started stocking Atelier Brunette Fabrics and I couldn't wait to try them out! I love all of the print designs but in the end I went for this Viscose Crepe Fabric in midnight blue. The fabric is a shade lighter than a navy blue and has almost a petrol blue colour. I love the breathability of viscose and this fabric has a lovely texture and is perfectly light for a summer day.

I was surprised that this dress can be squeezed out of less than two meters of 150cm wide fabric - this makes it a great choice for splashing out on some special fabric!

I really love the billowy butterfly sleeves on the Ansa - the drapey viscose means that there is plenty of movement. This year has been all about sleeves and this is the perfect project to enter for #sleevefest2017 over on Instagram!

Having made a number of Named patterns this year I feel fairly confident about my sizing now and I threw caution to the winds and went ahead without making a toile! I cut a size 42 shoulder and bust, grading out to a size 46 at the hip.

Ansa is described as semi-fitted and the pleats at the front allow you to adjust the fitting quite easily - I added a bit more width to the back pieces around the hip as I was worried about the fit there, but I ended up taking it off again after trying the dress on. 

The soft viscose fabric definitely benefitted from being interfaced to stabilize the fabric where the zip is inserted. I neatened most of the seams with my overlocker. The only place where I wasn't entirely happy about the seam finish was on the curved seam at the bodice. The seam line there is too curved to use an overlocker so I sewed two rows of straight stitches to stop the fabric from fraying and that seemed to work.

I love this dress - the fabric is a great match for this pattern and the colour is beautiful - perfect for summer and beyond.

Thank you to Minerva for the supplies as ever,

Louise x