By Hand London Charlie Dress


This is my first attempt at a BHL pattern. This pattern was included with Simply Sewing Magazine issue 12 and 13. The pattern pieces and instructions for the bodice were in issue 12 and the rest of the instructions were in issue 13. Really, you could get away with just buying issue 12. A word of warning though, you do need to trace off the pattern pieces because the sheet is printed on both sides but it’s easy enough, it’s not a Burdaesque tracing horror.

The sewing of the bodice was straightforward enough but I think the instructions could have done with a few more diagrams to make things clearer. I expect, because it was in a magazine these were limited but I don’t know what the usual quality of BHL’s instructions is.

On to issue 13, this was another double page spread, this time without pattern pieces. The instructions basically tell you to make a quarter circle skirt. I hope that if you were paying £10 for a pattern you would get actual pattern pieces! I have quite wide hips compared to my waist and there was no way I could cram myself into a quarter circle skirt so I made a half circle skirt instead using the circle skirt calculator. In went an invisible zip and I let it hang for a day or two before hemming it.

I thought it would be a quick sew but the circle skirt toile drama added some extra time. If it had come as a full pattern with better instructions it would have been but even so it was wrapped up in an afternoon. I’m tempted to try one of their other patterns now.

I used a slightly sateen cotton that I got from my local market for £1/yard, invisible zip was 80p so the total price was about £3.50….not bad!


If you live outside the UK, don’t worry because BHL said they are planning to release it themselves at some point.

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By Hand London Charlie Dress

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