Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Painted Portrait Autumn Wonderland Dress

Painted Portrait dress in Eloise Renouf

Anna Maria Horner's Painted Portrait Dress is a garment as beautiful as it sounds. Sold as a make-it-yourself dress and blouse sewing pattern it has become one of those oft-pinned items that this seamstress couldn't stop thinking about. Last week I succumbed and ordered the pattern from Backstitch as a Christmas treat (ahem).

Eloise Renouf Bark and Branch: Autumn Wonderland

Only the best fabric would do, hence a trip to Worthing's Eclectic Maker. I was excited to find they had Eloise Renouf's organic cotton Bark and Branch range and though I would've liked to buy some of each design in the collection, the Autumn Wonderland tree-print was my favourite. For the contrast yoke I chose a grey printed cotton designed by Rebekah Ginda for Birch Organic. The two fabrics look and feel great together. 

Organic cottons from Eclectic Maker

The Painted Portrait sewing pattern can be made up in several different variations. I decided to opt for a dress with solid yoke, sleeves and pockets this time. Before beginning I perused a few blogs for advice from expert makers. Fancy Tiger Crafts has blogged a parade of pleasing Painted Portraits, Lempo Bee gave good advice on the sizing (I adore her Melody Miller version) and on her recommendation I cut the dress out in a small size (I'm usually a medium but found this pattern rather roomy - if in doubt make a toile first). I followed Cookin' and Craftin's lead (see her superb blouses) in cutting the back yoke as one piece. I'll always choose a button-free dress if possible – easier to sew and more comfortable to wear.

Anna Maria Horner's Painted Portrait Dress

The finished dress is much more lovely than these photos show as I took the pictures on one of the greyest days of the year and eventually resorted to using a flash outdoors in an attempt to capture the colours of Renouf's print. Here's to sunnier days and more Painted Portrait Dresses...

Painted Portrait Dress, back yoke view


  1. This is absolutely gorgeous! I came across it on Pinterest and just love your choice of photos. Is it an easy and quick pattern? Greetings from Italy!

  2. Thanks Jillian! Yes, it's a straightforward pattern and the instructions are easy to follow. It's a lovely dress to wear too. I'm planning to make another with short sleeves next...

  3. Stunning, I absolutely love your fabric choice here

  4. Thanks for your compliments on my Painted Portraits! I looooove yours- great fabric choices. This reminds me that I should make another one...

  5. Thanks Verykerryberry and Meg! I'm thinking I may have to make another one too - where will it all end? x

  6. Oh sigh, I just saw this on pinterest. I bought this pattern last year, moved before I made it, and now cant find it anywhere. Hate to buy it again at that price, but your take on it is SO gorgeous that I think I am just going to give in!

  7. Ah, bad luck at having to buy another one Ali! It is a pricey sewing pattern but I'm sure you'll get lots of use out of it. I've just made TWO more of them (will blog soon)! It's the pattern that keeps on giving...


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