Oh I am so happy to say that I finished my Hinterland dress for the #hinterlandsewoff on schedule, yay! When Sara announced the sew-off I was actually on the verge of losing my sewjo, that usually happens to me after an involved project – this time it was the making of my Clementine. I needed some comfort sewing, something new to get me excited and at the same time familiar- if that makes sense at all. The Hinterland dress showed up on my IG feed and I knew straight away that this dress was destined to be my next project. I’d never tried any of the patterns from Sew Liberated before, and I have no excuse for that to be honest. Right, on to the review.
I bought the PDF pattern for this as there was a
20% 25% discount available for those who wanted to join in the #hinterlandsewoff. (Edit: at the time of writing this post, the pattern is only available in PDF format). The pattern offers a few options; sleeveless, short sleeves, or 3/4 sleeves, short skirt, or midi length – even maxi, also full front button placket, or partial button placket (bodice). Love all this options!
The size range is from 0 up to 24, how amazing is that? There are fitting tips included in the pattern, which is always appreciated. I also love that the pattern piece for the front bodice includes the apex point, which makes it a lot easier for alteration.
The fabric suggested is medium-weight woven, such as linen, silk noil, cotton ikat (which means tie, as in fastening with cords in Indonesian, sorry, can’t help it), light to medium weight chambray or denim. I’m dreaming of one in chambray now.
The fabric I used.
Olive colour linen-cotton mix that was possessed by the fraying demon from hell. The fabric is 55% linen, has got very nice drape and is loosely woven. I didn’t like working with it much – gosh, the fraying drove me nuts! – but I looooove the finished garment! I wasn’t sold when this fabric arrived either; I didn’t like the colour, I didn’t like the texture, and when I took it out of the washing machine it was so tangled with loose threads that I was convinced I lost half of my fabric there! But as time finally revealed, perseverance does pay off. Once the dress “came out” of the tangly mess, I fell in love with it. Hard!
The fabric is 54″ (137 cm) wide, I purchased 2.7 yards (2,5 m). I have a good amount of leftover, certainly enough for sleeves if I wanted to add sleeves.
The changes I made.
- The pattern was drafted for a C cup, so I knew straight away I needed to do an SBA as I’m a B cup.
- Fixed gaping on the back neckline.
- Fixed gaping on the front of the armholes.
- I french-seamed everything on this dress, including the bodice-skirt join. I had to do this as I don’t think zig-zag finish would be sufficient considering how easy this fabric frays.
- I omitted the in-seam pockets. I am not a fan of in-seam pockets, I don’t like that they’re not “anchored” and they feel too flippy-flappy for me (yes, that’s technical term 😛 )
- I reduced the width of the binding for the neckline and armholes by 1/2″ (roughly 1.25 cm). I found the bias binding to be too wide, I didn’t want the topstitching to be too far away from the edge of the neckline and armholes. So I basically sewed the binding to the bodice first, graded the SA, understitched the facing, and then removed the excess 1/2 inch from the facing, double-folded and topstitched it down. My topstitching is now exactly 3/8″ (1 cm) from the edge, I like that. While we’re on the subject of the binding, I find the instruction for this rather confusing too. Fortunately binding neckline and armholes wasn’t a new thing for me, so I just ignored the instruction.
I made size 12 of the sleeveless version with short skirt. I didn’t change the length of the skirt at all, and the hem falls above my knees – that doesn’t happen often to me. I did make toile first and I’m glad I did as I love the fit of this dress; the bodice is slightly fitted on the bust but quite loose on the waist, the ties help to tighten the waist. I chose sleeveless version as I knew I wanted to layer up now that Summer is over. Also one reason why I chose Autumnal colour. The dress is so comfortable, the drape is amazing and thanks to the cotton content in the fabric, it doesn’t wrinkle much. Perfect. I also now love the colour! Yep, my taste can change in a blink of an eye.
Now, style is a very personal thing, isn’t it? I’ve seen people styling this dress a million different ways, it is that versatile. When I first saw this dress, it just reminded me of Pyne and Smith, and those Japanese loose-fit dresses. Meg, the designer, had been photographed wearing layers of skirts underneath her Hinterland dress. As for now, I go with more conventional way; layering with a t-shirt, I can also add a denim jacket with the sleeves rolled-up, and tights and boots for cooler temperatures. I imagine in the warmer months I’d just wear the dress as is, maybe with a jacket and that’s it. Ah the joy of having a dress that you can wear all year-long!
I mentioned how versatile this dress when it comes to styling, but I think this dress is also that versatile for hacking. Button back? Cropped top? Add a Chelsea or Peter Pan collar? I could go on forever. This is why I dedicated one full day for making the toile and making sure I got the perfect fit, this pattern is basically a building block!
This is such an amazing pattern. This pattern is great on its own, but also it holds a lot of potential. It loses one star for me because:
- The pattern instruction is a bit “stingy” when it comes to cutting layout. There’s only one layout plan provided for all versions and I’m guessing it’s based on the 45″ width fabric, you’re supposed to figure out the rest. An additional step in the making process that I could do without when I’m not doing fussy cutting, and I very likely will have to do again for the next makes.
- It doesn’t include button or buttonhole placement. I don’t have one of those gadgets that you use to help distribute buttonholes evenly, such as the Simflex Expanding Sewing Gauge (non-affiliated) here, so I had to do it manually and it disrupted the flow of my sewing.
Would I recommend this pattern? Hell yeah! If I were to teach someone to make a dress, this is very likely going to be it! There’s enough challenge to make it interesting, but there’s safety net too – it is not a form-fitting bodice, plenty of wiggle room.
Now, the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I’m not including the “changes for the next make” in this review, that’s simply because the dress is perfect as is for me. If I were to make changes, it’s very likely going to be trying out the other versions, or hacking the hell out of this beautiful pattern! I am sure this is not going to be the last time this pattern makes an appearance on my blog, in fact I’m currently working on a post that will cover the changes I made for this dress; SBA (I will include FBA too), fixing gaping, etc. So stay tuned 😉
There you go, my entry for the #hinterlandsewoff. I couldn’t be happier to have this pattern in my collection. Thank you to Sara and Tori for hosting the sew off, and especially to Meg for this amazing pattern! ❤
So, are you joining in the sew-off? Let me know if you do so I can check it out.
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