2 weeks ago

Shirt Dress Orla – An Orla Affair

I apologize for posting this later than I intended. This month has been insanely busy with work and trips, and for my final trip with my family this past week and weekend I was out of reception zone, which I did not anticipate at all. 

I hope everyone is enjoying Orla Dresses popping up everywhere on social media. I certainly am! You guys have been so inspiring with your makes and hacks. I will be blatantly copying some of your ideas in the future.

I am back today to show you my final hack of the Orla Dress. I want to say I saved the best for last, but I can not chose my favourite out of the four hacks I have now done. I love them all. However my last hack is more involved and having extra time to complete it was definitely helpful. As you can see, my last Orla is a proper shirt dress, with button up front, yoke and a shirt collar.

Keep reading “Shirt Dress Orla – An Orla Affair”

4 weeks ago

Orla Shift Dress – An Orla Affair

How many Orlas are too many? I don’t know the answer to that question because my Orlas are multiplying and I still haven’t had enough. Today I am showing you my Shift Orla! Whaaaaat? I know… This Orla seems to have very little in common with the original Orla pattern, but as I’ve said before, I think Orla is a great starting pattern for all kinds of hacks.

I love shift dresses. If I could get away with wearing one every day I totally would. Shift dresses would be my first choice for a “uniform” if I ever had to chose one. They are just so easy to wear yet can be styled into all kinds of looks.

The idea to hack Orla into a shift dress came to me very unexpectedly. I didn’t plan on it, I was on a look out for a good shift dress pattern for a while and when An Orla Affair started, I half-wondered if it would be possible to hack Orla into a shift dress. Orla fit me really well and required minimum fitting. It has a great bodice and the sleeve fits so well. So, after playing around with that thought I decided why not give it a shot?

Keep reading “Orla Shift Dress – An Orla Affair”

1 month ago

Another Sleeveless Orla Inspiration – An Orla Aff...

I am starting to question if I have anything against sleeves… All of my Orla hacks to date have been sleeveless. I really don’t! I love sleeves! I blame the insane heat that Calgary has been through in the past few weeks for all the sleeveless Orlas that are coming your way. It has been so hot that I haven’t sewn as much as I want to because turning on the iron seems like the worst form of torture.

Sure, this Orla is sleeveless, but I think the similarities between this version and the other one I posted earlier stop here. On this version I have changed the neckline to a slightly curved v-neck both at the front and the back. I have added a waistband to separate the bodice from the skirt, which now has 4 box pleats instead of gathers. Oh yes, I forgot about another similarity, this Orla also has pockets. Because pockets rock.

Keep reading “Another Sleeveless Orla Inspiration – An Orla Affair”

1 month ago

Sleeveless Orla – An Orla Affair

As promised, today I am back with a very simple hack for a Orla Dress. A sleeveless Orla is a logical next step in hacking this pattern. Going sleeveless makes for a wonderful summer dress if it is made out of lightweight fabric. At the same time it will be a great layering dress for colder months since you can easily throw a cardigan over it without bunching up the sleeves, or you can wear it over a blouse or turtleneck for a fun layered look.

I am not going to lie and pretend that I came up with this design. This dress is a direct rip off a dress I saw on Pinterest years ago and saved for future reference. When An Orla Affair came to be, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to finally make it.

My dress is made out of cotton satin with a very slight stretch. I had both white and black fabric in my stash for years. I bought it with a box pleat black and white striped skirt in mind. The skirt was never meant to be and this Orla was.

I have drafted both facings and pockets for this Orla, and also made modifications top the bodice to make it sleeveless. I also slightly modified the skirt to create irregular width stripes out of white and black fabric.

Because I used cotton satin, which was a little heavier, the gathers on the skirt made it a bit stiffer. And rather than allowing it to hang nicely the skirt is slightly, poof-ier. This is the effect that I wanted and I am really happy with it.

I think this would be a perfect dress for a summer wedding or any other dressier occasion. However, I don’t want it to be an occasion only dress, so I will definitely be wearing it to work!


To learn how to draft facings for Orla go here.

To learn how to draft inseam pockets for Orla go here.

To learn how to modify bodice to make sleeveless Orla go here.

And finally to learn how I modified the skirt to make it striped go here.


Tomorrow I will be back with a super detailed sewing tutorial on how I put this whole thing together.

Until then,

1 month ago

Facings and Pockets for Orla – Introduction

I am here today with my very first post for the Orla Affair! This is the very first post of exciting, as least in my opinion, content I have for you this month together with the other three amazing ladies –  Rachel, Allie and Maddie.

I think pockets are a great addition to any garment and Orla dress is not exception. Being able to add pockets to any garment should be a kind of superpower, in my opinion. And I have prepared a very straight forward tutorial for you on how to do that. Keep reading “Facings and Pockets for Orla – Introduction”

3 months ago

Me Made May 2017 – Week 1

How is every one’s Me Made May going? Are you participating? What are you learning so far?

My first week went reasonably well. I mean, I managed to get dressed in the mornings and take pictures, so I consider that a success. I find that participating definitely takes some planning on my part, by that what I really mean is the first week taught me that I have to plan a little better. For example, I really should finish doing my laundry and have the clothes pressed and hanging in my closet. Running around in the morning trying to think what I should wear, then ironing it and taking photos is too much. I am notorious for doing laundry and then throwing clean clothes in the baskets to iron later. Later rarely happens, and if it does, it is only when I really need it to happen.

I am a little late with the round up of my daily outfits for the first week of Me Made May, but here they are.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 2. Today I ventured outside to snap a few photos before heading to work, so that I don't present you with a wrinkled and likely stained version of this dress. I still feel very awkward taking photos outside 😳 this is my very beloved Orla Dress. I can race about this pattern for days. It is seriously good! I only had to lengthen the bodice by a bit to accommodate my height, and there were no other adjustments! The dress is made out of suiting wool I found in FabricLand years ago. Sadly it slightly shrank in the wash, my fault really for refusing to dry clean it. I'll just be more careful next time I wash it! This has been a perfect dress for all occasions! Blog post on it is coming up later today. And the best thing is that the pattern is free! . . . @frenchnavynow #mmmay17 #memademay #sewingtall #memade #memadeveryday #memadeveryday #isew #sewcialists #orladress #frenchnavypatterns

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Day 3:

Day 3. Neighbours are watching me take photos on my driveway by myself and I can't look up. If I don't look then they don't see me, right? I'm hoping by the end of May these driveway selfies will get less awkward. I'm wearing a pair of easily my favourite pants by Kommatia and slightly modified Eucalypt tank. I changed the neckline very slightly and added a half facing to avoid bias binding. I love both of these patterns. They have been true workhorses in my closet. The fabric for the tank came from Blackbird Fabrics. It's some kind of voile I got a while back, but they have a very similar one in stock now. . . . #mmmay17 #memademay #memadeveryday #memadewardrobe #isew #kommatiapatterns #megannielsenpatterns #blackbirdfabrics #eucalypttank @blackbirdfabrics @kommatiapatterns

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Day 4:

Day 4. I am looking up. Purely because I am hiding on the side of our house as only half of the cul-de-sac can see me there. Clearly I think my neighbours are obsessed with me and have nothing better to do #selfabsorbed The forecast is 18 degrees (Celsius) today and it already feels very warm outside! I'm wearing Alyse slim leg pants by Designer Stitch, which I made out of my favourite RPL gabardine from @emmaonesock. The tshirt is a wardrobe builder Lark by Grainline, made out of rayon bamboo. I love this very neutral colour. I found fabric at FabricLand but EarthIndigo @earthindigofabric and TheEmeraldStudio @theemeraldstudio have very similar fabrics in stock. Both are stellar shops! . . . . #mmmay17 #memademay #memadeveryday #memadewardrobe #designerstitch #alyseslimlinepant #alysepants #larktee #grainlinestudio @grainlinestudio @designerstitch

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Day 5:

Day 5. Ok, Anya, nobody cares about you taking photos in the driveway. Get over it and embrace the awkward selfie month 😉 Happy Friday everyone!! We made it through the work week. My take on casual Friday is skinny high waisted Kommatia Jeans (seriously love that pattern) paired with cream Eucalypt tank, not visible, and a brand spanking new Archer Shirt. I don't know why it took me so long to make Archer, but now I want to make all of them! This Archer is not cropped, I just tied it at the front for styling. I'll try to remember to post a separate photo for what the tie looks like at the front. It had to be work appropriate afteall 😉 . . . #grainlinestudio #archershirt #kommatiapatterns #blackbirdfabrics #memade #memademay #mmmay17 #isew #memadeveryday #memadewardrobe #sewingblogger @kommatiapatterns @grainlinestudio

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Day 6:

Day 6. Guys, I figured out the perfect disguise to take photos in public. Sunglasses. I am basically unrecognizable in them. Whoa, where did Anya go?? And who is this cool chick? I'm off to run errands today before I get to some sewing later today. I'm wearing Lark Tee (I sized up for this one) made out of soft jersey from Blackbird Fabrics. It's super warm but I still grabbed my Hampton Jean Jacket just in case. The jacket is also made from denim I got from Blackbird Fabrics. I have a feeling this jacket will be making a lot appearances in Me Made May… sadly my leggings are not me Made. They are leather looking spanx leggings and I want to wear them all the time. . . . #memade #memademay #mmmay17 #ootd #isew #memadeveryday #memadewardrobe #larktee #grainlinestudio #hamptonjeanjacket #alinadesign @blackbirdfabrics @grainlinestudio @alinadesignco

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Day 7:

I have started Me Made May with taking photos in my new photo space, but I have really been feeling the pull to take photos outside. So I have been pushing myself to do it, and Me Made May provides a great opportunity to start doing it.

I was, and still am, feeling super self conscious and insecure about taking photos in public spaces, and my way of dealing with it is to make jokes and poke fun at myself. So little write ups of my thoughts and feelings, which started off as a way to cheer me up and loosen myself for photos, inadvertently became a daily occurrence on my Instagram. It makes me so happy that other people find my silly jokes funny! So I think I have to continue it for the rest of the month. I have no idea how I will do it… but I will try!

Until next time,