Tessuti Annie Dress

Summer is coming to a close here, with cooler temperatures creeping into the mornings and evenings. It’s such a lovely time of year, the humidity has mostly gone (fingers crossed!) but the days are still sunny and warm. Today we ventured out to the Domain to hear some music and stopped by the Wintergardens to check out the amazing plants.



I’ve been working on a Tessuti Annie Dress and finished it this morning, so wore it on our outing. I love this pattern!! This one is my second version, and is the product of a daydream where I imagined layering an Annie dress over a Lark tee for Autumn. I did actually make a Lark for this exact purpose but it didn’t sit quite right (I think I need to work more on the fit) so I ended up just wearing a tshirt I already had. I’m still happy with my layering hypothesis! Although this dress looks great on its own, it’s nice to have options.



My obsession with linen is still going strong. I recently replenished my supplies with this gorgeous check linen, which I love so much. The linen that I used for my first Annie was a bit scratchy and this is nice and soft. Not all linens are created equal, I guess.

This time around I made a couple of changes, based on my first version. I had a realisation recently, and that is that I’m just not a maxi dress person. I’m ok with a long dress for formal occasions but for everyday I’m more of a midi wearer. So before cutting my fabric I lopped several inches off the pattern and allowed for a big wide folded hem. The other change that I made was to overlock the pocket piece edges instead of stitching and turning, as I can feel the fabric fraying when I put my hands in the pockets of my other dress.



For the first time I made a wee label and sewed it into the back yoke facing, It’s just a square of ikat cotton cut on the bias and embroidered with a flower-like motif. I really like it in this dress and might put similar things in future makes if I feel like it. I used a black linen to face the bodice as I’m conserving every last scrap of the check linen, and I think I might have enough left over to make something else. Taking suggestions if anybody has any ideas?

Here’s a photo of a carnivorous plant. Have a lovely week 🙂








  1. This a such a great Annie solution. Weird to say, I know. I also adored mine when I made it, but I am realising that maxis are still what I thought they were years ago – a trip hazard! I also still feel a bit like I’m wearing a nightgown… and the bra issue is annoying. Maybe I should lop of mine… actually now I think about it *runs off to find scissors*

    1. I know what you mean! I’m much happier in a knee/calf length dress, and if I can wear a normal bra, even better! I chopped the hem off my first version, too. Feels much more me.

  2. I’ve not seen the Annie dress layered before & I love it! Clever you!

    Not sure how much fabric you have left, but I’ve made a few sleeveless versions of the Simplicity 1366 top & it works really well. Like you, I use a self drafted facing for the neckline but have simply bound the armholes when omitting the sleeves. Could be cute in your check linen maybe? (I have to remember to avert my eyes from the ugly skirt when I reach for that pattern though. LOL)

    I enjoy seeing your makes, Bella…& I love that you know the difference between “its” & “it’s”! 🙂

    1. Good idea to use 1366 sleeveless! I think I have enough left to make something with sleeves (might make a shirt?) but will squirrel that idea away. I agree that the skirt that comes with 1366 is a true shocker!
      Hah its vs it’s is a pet peeve of mine… Glad someone noticed 🙂

      1. Yep, I was also just appreciating your correct use of its/it’s! It annoys me so much I’ve actually been considering writing a blog post to explain it to people – sure that would make me very popular… Lovely sewing, as ever, Bella!

  3. Everything is lovely in this post: your dress, this checked linen, the gorgeous flowers. The deep hem and the hidden label are nice details on this dress.

  4. I love your dress and I’m so envious of your linen! I’m a bit obsessed myself and have also realized recently, that not all linens are equal. I purchased one recently that was scratchy and I was so disappointed. I thought it would soften in the wash, but it never did (sigh).

    1. Scratchy linen is no good! Someone recently suggested a hot wash and then chuck it in the dryer, have you tried that?
      A few weeks ago I splurged on some linen fabrics from the Merchant and Mills online store and they are incredibly gorgeous and very soft. They were pricey but are soooo lovely if you are a linen fan.

      1. I’ve always washed linen on cold water but I’m game to try hot water if it will soften the rough ones up a bit. I’ll have to check out the merchant and looks store 🙂 thanks for the tip!

  5. Bella, I really love the Annie dress with a tee shirt underneath! When the pattern first came out I thought it was too bare for me to wear but now I am having a second think on it. I also love their Lisa dress. I am also on the Linen love train! I am hoping to find more linens this summer to sew. Enjoy your lovely Autumn!

    1. Thank you Melissa! I really love the style of the Annie dress so am happy to have found a way to wear it when it isn’t so hot. Also this way I can get around the bra dilemma! I also like the Lisa dress but had some fitting issues when I made it (should have done a toile!). Might revisit it though, it’s another great layering candidate.

  6. I love this outfit, it really suits you! That linen is gorgeous. And so are the Winter Gardens! I’ve only been there once, I should try to go again next time I’m up in Auckland 🙂

  7. I do love the Annie dress – especially the bodice, but I could never get my head around wearing a maxi dress. I love what you’ve done here! I’ve only recently fallen in love with linen but I’m a total convert now. Your check is amazing 🙂

  8. A pretty dress, a pretty print and pretty flowers! Your dress is similar to my Japanese apron dress – love the pinafore style. I prefer the midi length too.

    1. Ha I’m not too worried if I’m upstaged, blog photos are awkward enough so it’s nice to have a distraction! Hope you and babes are doing well xx

  9. I love this dress Bella – your midi version is so flattering (and practical). I’m still frozen with indecision re that fabric – I’m now thinking dress or skirt and wondering if you lined the skirt part of this dress – my fabric seems a little see-through…?

    1. Thanks Kate! I know what you mean. For some reason I immediately wanted to make an Annie with this but usually I suffer from a great deal of indecision when it comes to precious fabric.

      I didn’t line it, honestly I think that it’s dark enough that it doesn’t really matter. In my photos you can see the light shining through when there’s only one layer (i.e. just the front) but as a whole (front and back) I don’t think it’s an issue.

      Have you seen this skirt? Pretty sure it’s the same exact fabric but overdyed. http://elizabethandbirgitta.bigcartel.com/product/skirt

      By the way I’m probably about to make an out and out copy of the peach check Aeolian on your blog, can’t think of a better use for that peach/grey linen!

      1. I did see that Elizabeth and Birgitta skirt, it’s lovely and I think it took me off track with my shirt plan! Good luck with the Aeolian, it’s the perfect pattern for showing off fabric and those sleeves really fly with that linen….

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