Pattern Review: By Hand London Hannah Dress

Today I will be reviewing the Hannah dress from By Hand London. It’s described as a wrap dress that can be dressed up or down with a scoop neckline. There is also a gathered skirt and three sleeve options – short, tulip, or bishop. There’s also a top view included in the pattern if you don’t want a dress.

Pattern Name

By Hand London Hannah Dress

Size Range

This pattern is offered in the updated size range for By Hand London. The D cup range includes sizes UK 16-34/US 12-30. The largest size includes a high bust of 57.25 in (145.5), full bust of 61.25 in (155.5 cm), waist of 56.25 in (143 cm), and hips of 63.25 in (160.75 cm).

What are your measurements? What size did you make?

I made the Hannah dress in US 24/UK 28 based on my high and full bust measurements. My high bust measurement is 50 in, full bust is 54 in, waist is 44 in, hips are 54 in and I am 5’7” tall.

What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?

I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern because I like to make at least one version as is. This is my first time using a By Hand London pattern and I wasn’t sure whether I needed to make any adjustments. That being said, I chose a straight size only using my bust measurements rather than grading between sizes to accommodate my waist and hips. I didn’t know exactly how I would account for my waist and hips being smaller, so I went ahead with the US 24/UK 28.

What fabric did you use?

I used a rayon challis form Fabric Mart that has a black background with white pebbles on it. I’m thankful that I chose a fabric with a clear right and wrong side.

What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?

The construction process was pretty easy, and the instructions were clear to me. I ended up making my own bias binding from scraps and I’m pleased that it turned out well. I’m not very experienced in making my own bias tape and I usually am not sure how wide to cut the strips. I might just take an afternoon to make some bias tape of varying widths so that I can always have some on hand.

How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your body?

Once I tried on the dress, I noticed that the waist was larger than I preferred. When I looked at other versions, I noticed that the waist was a bit more fitted. This wasn’t the case for me because I chose a size based on my bust rather than waist and hip measurements. That is not at all due to the pattern’s drafting or instructions. I could’ve totally worn the dress as-is, but I wanted to see how I could alter it to make it closer to what I envisioned. I ended up taking some 0.5 in elastic and attaching it to the waist seam for the back piece only. I stretched the elastic as I sewed, so it would cinch in a bit at the waist. It was a super quick fix that made me love the dress even more. My bra does show a bit in the center of the dress, but I am on a quest to find/make the perfect bra for me so that may change in the future.

Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?

I will absolutely make this pattern again. I haven’t quite figured out how I want to adjust it for my next version. I may adjust the waist darts to make the overall bodice circumference smaller. I could also gather the fabric a bit more to match the new bodice. I’m not sure if that makes the most sense, but it’s the easiest way for my brain to process the adjustments. I could also do exactly what I did on this dress and sew some elastic into the waist seam.

Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources that helped you sew this piece up?

I think this is fun project that could look completely different based on your fabric choice. I think a print really shines with the simple lines and gentle gathers. I also really like how secure the dress felt overall. Having an upper and lower front skirt panel makes me pretty confident that everything will stay put throughout the day. I didn’t use any additional resources beyond the pattern instructions but there is a blog post about fitting and sewing the Hannah wrap dress. There is also a post about fixing a gaping necking on any wrap dress that may be useful.

Pattern Rating

  • Size Range: 5
  • Instructions: 4
  • Construction Process: 5
  • Final Fit: 5* with my elastic adjustment
  • Overall Rating: 4.75

I am very pleased with how this turned out. I think many people could successfully sew this pattern and it could become a wardrobe staple. The directions are clear, and I think this would be great for a beginner sewist that wants to learn some new techniques. 

Pattern Review: By Hand London Hannah Dress