the well composed pattern is very simple to sew, and i find that i can make the dress out of 1 1/2 yards of wider fabric (56"-60") which makes it economical. my favorite well composed dress is the one made with indigo cotton linen (i think it is this, although it's hard to tell when i can't touch it). it is my favorite dress all autumn and winter with tights and tall boots. i wear it every sunday to church and can switch the look up a bit with a different sweater or scarf.
i also love the red indian block print top that i made with the same pattern. i first made the bias tape long enough to have long ties hanging down from the neck bias. it was cute, but i ended up removing them. i'm thinking of either making this top's sleeves shorter or making a short sleeved version in another fabric...because i think it would be another cute (and possibly more useful) option.
i've also made anna maria's socialite dress without the sleeves in white linen. i liked wearing mine with the rounded neck to the front. it's fun to have the option of wearing it with either a rounded or v-neckline in front. i sewed it as a top as well. the neckline of the socialite can be a bit tricky to get just right, but it's totally doable.
and for the baby boys, i love the pants from her book handmade beginnings...the quick change trousers. they are completely reversible and have a big cuff that allows them to grow with that little sweetie. i've made them for a baby gift as well.
i've always loved this version of the painted portrait dress. i mean, woah. i think it would be interesting to try sewing it in a knit...but on the machine. so maybe someday. :)
i find anna maria's sewing patterns to be clear with ample illustrations. i don't think that her goal is to teach the technical side of sewing so much as to encourage creativity and play in the sewing arena. i think she wants people to just go for it and have fun with it. sounds good to me! :)
anna maria has written a number of books, all of which i think are beautiful and inspiring! check them out from the library. if anyone is interested in picking up a few of anna maria horner's sewing patterns, now is a great time. she is offering one free pattern with the purchase of two until the end of june!
parts 01, 02, 03, o4, and 05 of this series.