I’d had my eye on the Anna Allen Demeter dress ever since I saw tester versions popping up on Instagram after its release in August 2019. I didn’t originally intend to buy it as it is quite similar to a few patterns I own (or could be, with a few simple hacks), but I figured as I was still thinking about it over a year later, I should probably just get the pattern and add it to my ‘make nine’!
I actually already had the perfect fabric in my stash for the project – a gorgeous, weighty linen in a soft mint and ecru gingham. I only had 2m as it was the last piece that Bawn Textiles had in stock at the time and they were unable to get any more. Not having quite enough fabric seems to be a recurring theme in my sewing of late, but you know I love a pattern tetris challenge!
View A was my favourite version as I often prefer to cover my upper arms rather than wearing sleeveless garments. I opted for the size 2 – as the dress is a very relaxed style I knew that the most important measurement was the bust, so the fact my waist and hip measurements were better suited to the size 4 didn’t really matter. The only change I made to the pattern was to use the slightly narrower skirt piece from View B, as this was all I was able to fit on my fabric. I don’t think anyone would ever notice a few centimetres of missing width and the dress is still very voluminous!
It was a really easy project to sew, especially in such a well-behaved linen. I made the dress during a buddy sewing session with Patsy (although she was making a Hinterland dress) and I finished the whole thing in a few hours of incredibly leisurely (read: spent most of the day talking and scrolling) sewing! The instructions are fantastic – clear, well laid out and easy to follow. The diagrams are particularly good, so I would definitely recommend this pattern to a beginner dressmaker as they would be well-supported throughout construction.
The finished dress is just how I imagined it and I definitely think it’s a pattern I’ll make again. The relaxed fit is so comfortable and the scooped neck is the perfect height for me. I do love the volume in my version, but the linen is incredibly ‘bouncy’ – I think quilting cotton or a lighter weight linen would be perfect if you wanted some volume along with a bit more drape. A cotton lawn version would feel super luxurious and floaty for very hot days – there are so many great options!
After making my Demeter dress mid-March, I didn’t think I’d have a chance to wear it for a good couple of months, but the warm spell we’ve had this week was the perfect opportunity to take it out for a twirl, albeit just around our garden (thanks, pandemic)! This is the fourth project I have completed from my make nine and I’m very excited about starting the next one – watch this space to see what I’m making!