Outfit · Sewing

By Hand London Jenna Dress

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By Hand London recently released a new pattern- the Jenna dress! I was instantly drawn to the 90’s vibes of this dress. Jenna has two versions- a square neck and short sleeves with sleeve ties like what I made or a higher neck with a peterpan collar and bracelet length sleeves. They both feature a lined bodice and bias cut skirt (two different length options) , and of course can be mixed and matched for a variety of combinations. This was my first time making one of their patterns. I have the Sarah top but haven’t gotten to it yet!

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I found a textured cotton at Joanns. I couldn’t resist the peachy pink color or the daisy print! I wasn’t sure what to make with it at first but the next day a lightbulb went off and I realized it needed to become a Jenna! Luckily I had bought just enough. I used a white cotton I had on hand to line the bodice. Unfortunately this fabric stretched a little while sewing because of the texture. I wasn’t expecting any issues so I wasn’t prepared! I switched out to my walking foot after several seams and it helped.

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I really wanted to bring this on my vacation so I stitched it up pretty quickly. I should know better than to rush, though. I didn’t let the skirt hang for 24 hours and since it’s cut on the bias, the zipper ended up pulling weird after the skirt set. I definitely have plans to resew the bottom half of the zipper and possibly shorten the zipper a little, too.

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As far as fit goes, I have to say the bodice is a little large but definitely wearable. Next time I make this, I will definitely grade down the bust and maybe take it in a little at the top of the center back. Despite it’s flaws, I really do love this dress and definitely hope to make another. I think the peter pan collar version would be so wonderful in the fall. Maybe since I am going to fix the zipper, I will try to alter the fit of the bodice while I’m at it.

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And I have to mention the peonies! We took these photos in a local peony garden. I went early in the season last year but this year we happened to catch them at full bloom and it was beautiful!

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