Sewing the By Hand London Hannah Dress | Sleeves hack

I’ve always wanted to try a By Hand London pattern, and although I’ve already purchased the Flora dress I still haven’t made this up! I came across the Hannah dress pattern recently and knew I wanted to try this pattern. It’s the sort of dress that could work in any season, and I’ve seen so many lovely versions of this on Instagram that I knew I wanted to give this a go!

The pattern

The Hannah dress is wrap style dress pattern that has a scoop neckline and a gathered skirt. The pattern has no fastenings except for waist ties that help wrap the dress around you, so it’s perfect for beginner sewists! It also has several sleeve options and can be made in any light to medium weight linens, cottons and viscose.

Choosing the fabric

I was gifted this gorgeous liberty fabric from Minerva and I knew instantly I wanted to use it for this dress pattern but I was initially unsure if the cotton would be too stiff to work with. The fabric has this beautiful red, blue and green floral detail and has an almost silky texture when I compared this to my other cottons. I asked around on instagram and you all came to the rescue to reassure me that it should work perfectly fine for this pattern, which thankfully it did! I had 3m of this fabric and ended up with a few small scraps that I’m sure I could repurpose into something later on.


The instructions for this pattern are very easy to follow along to and the whole dress doesn’t take long to put together at all! I did end up sewing this over a few days but definitely could have made this in maybe 5 hours if I did a continuous sewing spree. I ended up sewing a size 10 as I wanted a more roomy and looser-fitting style, as now I work from home I like to have comfy dresses that look stylish but are easy-wearing.

I did have a hiccup when attaching the sleeves, weirdly the sleeve head was 4″ too big and I had to cut off the excess when trying to fit it into place. I really didn’t want to add volume to that area so I passed on gathering into the sleeve but alas everything worked out fine! I wasn’t too sure what sleeve finishing I wanted to use, but I knew I didn’t want to faff about sewing eyelets or buttonholes so I opted for a sleeve finished with an elastic casing. I cut the sleeve hem shorter by about 6″ and then turned once by 1/4″ and then again by 5/8″ and stitched the sleeve hem down, leaving a 1/2″ opening to insert the elastic and then sewing the gap shut. The elastic I used was 1cm by 7 and 1/2″ and I’m really pleased with how they turned out!

I then sewed the skirt and tried the dress on. I felt like the length was a little too long for me, especially as cotton fabric holds its shape more and I didn’t want the dress to feel frumpy on me. I cut the hem 5″ shorter and I’m so pleased with the result! I feels like such a great dress that can be worn in any season. I’m glad I tried this in a cotton and I will definitely be trying this again in a viscose and possibly adding a ruffled hem!