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The Hinterland Dress from Sew Liberated.

You know when you make a dress, and you let out a little squeal when you first try it on because you love it so much. Well, this ..

If I’m honest, I totally love most dresses that I have made – I wouldn’t be making them if I didn’t love their style and the fabric that I have lovingly cut and sewn together to create the image that I had in my head before I started. But this dress is another level.

The Hinterland Dress from Sew Liberated is a timeless classic design. The loose fitting silhouette can be mixed and matched to your own choice with options including sleeve lengths, placket length choices along with optional waist ties and those all important in-seam pockets.

Line drawings from Sew Liberated

Things that impressed me about this pattern right from the get-go …

The size range for this pattern is 0-34. Yes you read that right. This accommodates bust sizes from 31″ – 58.5″

The dress is part of a capsule collection and there are numerous patterns available on the Sew Liberated site that it can be paired with. (All very tempting too I might add).

After reading about the founder Meg McElwee, I can’t help admire her values and the business that she has built upon them.

Ok, back to the dress. First up let me tell you that I made a straight size 8. My measurements are 34-29-38, and I am 5’2″. As you see I chose to make the 3/4 length sleeves, and the bodice-only placket version.

I wanted to keep the colour palette neutral, so my fabric choice was a bargain beige tencel from Rainbow Fabrics. I’ll link it here as it is in stock now as I type, but beware, there is a high turnover of fabric in this store – fabrics just fly off the shelves!

This is the first pattern from Sew Liberated that I have sewn and I can’t fault it. It’s thorough, easy to understand with clear written instructions and drawings, and is a great advanced beginner pattern for those that want to challenge themselves with buttonholes, bias facings, bust darts and inset sleeves.

It was important to me that the bodice fitted nicely and felt comfortable, so before I started I made a quick toile of the bodice only to see how it looked. I noticed that it had a slightly gaping back neckline, so I knew that I needed to make a small gaping back neckline adjustment to my pattern piece which was no problem to do. There are several tutorials online which give great instructions on how to rectify this common fitting issue.

The bodice neckline is finished with a bias strip. Rather than using the dress fabric for this, I used a strip of bias tape that I had made myself with some ditsy floral cotton leftover from a previous project. I have lots of this in my stash, and is my favourite way of ensuring that no fabric ever gets wasted.

A cheeky little floral pop of colour for the bias facing.

No details are left out, and the sleeves are finished with a sweet little cuff piece. How sweet would this cuff be in a different fabric ? (like the ditsy floral that I used for the neck facing) – I must try that another time! Talking of the sleeves, they went in effortlessly leaving a smooth shoulder seam with no puckering. I chose to add 5 buttons to the placket. (The pattern recommends either 4 or 5).

Also let’s not forget the lovely in-seam pockets. I raised the height of the pockets by 1″ BTW.

The waist tie is quite a statement from the back I think. It’s fairly wide and I wasn’t too sure that I would like this width. However now that I have seen these pics I feel that the width of the tie is very much in proportion with the dress – especially with this sleeve length. I am currently sewing my next Hinterland (yup, that’s how much I like this dress), and because I am making that version with short sleeves in a softer fabric, I might try making the tie a little narrower so as not to overwhelm it from the back view. We’ll see.

The final thing that I wanted to mention, is that I thought that I would try a ‘blind hem’ technique for the hem of the skirt. I actually don’t think that I have ever tried this before, as it looks a little bit tricky. I recently purchased a new sewing machine and noticed that it had a blind hem foot, so there’s no time like the present, and voila – it was really quite straightforward.

The video tutorial that I watched before giving it a go is this one from Made to Sew. It was really easy to follow.

Oh, I guess I should admit that I bought the hat first … and made the dress to go with it! I think I might have been a teeny bit inspired by one of the sample pictures on the Sew Liberated site. Ha! The Fedora is from T.K Maxx.

Thanks as always to my very patient husband for taking a million photographs at the beautiful Whatton House Gardens in Leicestershire.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Follow me over on Instagram @sew_dainty

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The Tula/Hemlock combo – a lounge set of dreams.

Despite the arrival of Spring, it’s still Baltic here in the UK, so I am certainly not ready to give up cosy loungewear yet.

What I did want however was to make a more stylish set than what I currently reach for when it’s the end of the day and I just want to throw on the comfies. You don’t even want to know what my current loungewear looks like – I’ll give you an idea – it’s oversized fleecy pyjamas that are several years old and several sizes too big for me too. Not a great look but I must admit that when I throw those ridiculous pyjamas on, wash my face and pop on some face oil, it’s like magic. Aaaand breathe….

Instagram has fed me images of pastel coloured cashmere loungewear sets for far too long, and now was the time to do something about it. Whilst cashmere is not in my budget, I took a chance on this marl pink melange from eBay, and I was not disappointed. I like the subtle dark shade of pink, it washes beautifully and was easy to sew with.

The trouser pattern that I picked is The Tula Pants from Papercut Patterns. This is a new release from Papercut and as soon as I saw it I jumped right on it – which is unusual for me as I almost always wait for a sale to come around before I purchase any pattern! For some time I had been searching for the discontinued Amina Pants from Papercut as I had seen so many lovely versions, however this pattern seems to be their replacement, so it’s all ended well.

Line drawings from Papercut Patterns x

The great thing about this pattern is that you can make it in either woven or knit fabric, there is a wide or tapered leg choice, and there are shorts too!

Elasticated waists all round – hooray! Pockets, yes please! and a faux fly and ankle cuffs if you like too, yee ha!

This pattern is available in a size range of 1-8 (UK 6-20). My measurements at the moment are 34-29-38, and I made a straight size 4 (UK 12).

I thought that they would be a super quick pattern to sew, but actually there is more to them than I had considered. The pockets and faux fly are not quick (but not difficult either). The pocket construction is enjoyable and I like how it looks. I chose to stitch a couple of rows through the waistband elastic (optional) as this keeps it neat and in place and I liked the buttonholes that are sewn into the waistband so that you can quickly slip through a length of cord/fabric to create a faux drawstring tie. So many lovely details.

I would like to mention that these are the full leg length with no pattern alterations. I chose not to cuff the ankles, but was surprised that they were not longer (not that I needed them longer), as I am only 5’2″ and I always have to shorten trousers. Bear that in mind if you have beautiful long legs unlike me! I imagine that I will usually wear these rolled up a little, kind of 7/8th length.

I already have some grey sweatshirt fabric lined up to make another pair, more like joggers, sweatpants, trakkies .. whatever you call them, with a cuffed ankle probably. I also would like to sew a wide leg version in linen for the Summer so watch out!

For the top I chose the Grainline Studio Hemlock Tee. I’ve linked it here on the Grainline website where it is available for $5.00, but it is also available as a free pattern if you are signed up the the Grainline newsletter πŸ˜‰

This pattern is available is sizes 0-30.

Image from the Grainline Studio Blog.

This pattern is an old favourite and has been around for quite a while but was updated a couple of years ago to give the maker some more style and size choices. I made the mid length version with full length sleeves, but you can also mix and match between short or long sleeves and the lengths are also available in a cropped or tunic length if this is your preference.

I made a size 6.

The pattern is a drapey dropped shoulder tee/tunic and is the sort of top that I reach for all the time. It’s suitable for a beginner, and you can whip one up in no time at all. The instructions are clear and helpful and it’s just the style that I was looking for to complete my lounge set.

The dark grey acrylic scissors necklace is available in my shop x

I wonder if I should leave it how it is or grab my Happy Fabric vinyl and add a design to the front? We’ll see.

Hope you like this set, it’s a little different to what I normally sew, but I’m glad that the photos for this blog are now taken so that I can relax and actually wear it!

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Follow me over on Instagram @sew_dainty

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The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company.

The Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company is (described in their words) ‘a knit top with billowy statement sleeves that are gathered up at the shoulders and hems with elastic. The length is slightly cropped with the hem hitting just below your bellybutton’. Very nice.

Line drawing from Friday Pattern Company.

I’ve been sitting on the fence about this pattern for a while. I wasn’t sure that the style was very ‘me’ if I’m honest, and I was worried that the voluminous sleeves might swamp me as I’m only 5’2″, (thinking that the impression of excess width might make me look smaller).

It wasn’t until I read a blog post by lovely Sarah here that I realised that the pattern has adjustment markings on the sleeve piece that enables you to alter the fullness of the sleeve easily before cutting it out! When I realised how easy it was, i was ON IT!

I slimmed the sleeve down by 4″. This has resulted in the perfect sleeve width for me and now I am asking myself why I held back in the first place – I really like it! I feel like the sleeves are still statement – just not shouting as loudly!

The pattern was really quick to cut out ( such a chore don’t you think – especially when you are matching stripes), as there are only three pattern pieces – the bodice ( same piece for both the front and the back), the sleeve and the neck band. I used the same fabric for the neckline band, but it would be super lovely cut from ribbing fabric.

My measurements are 34-29-38 and I cut the size medium.

I liked the construction of the blouse – especially how the sleeves are gathered at the top with elastic before they are attached to the bodice. The pattern gives you recommended elastic length suggestions, but I actually sized down my elastic lengths (for the sleeve head and the cuffs) and cut the ‘small’ length in the elastic for both. For me this is just right!

Something that confuses me a little is how different the neckline looks on different people’s makes. When searching the hashtag #adrienneblouse on Instagram, I noticed that some of the necklines seem to sit higher (like mine) and some are really much lower. The sample used for the pattern itself also shows it as being much lower cut than my version. I can only guess that this might be due to the amount of stretch in your neckband piece?

The cuff openings are generous (even when using the ‘small’ size recommended length), however I’m glad that I didn’t just measure my wrists and make my own length as I would have been tempted to cut the elastic smaller, and this opening as it is allows the sleeve to slide up and down your arms easily when reaching out for things. One of my pet hates is feeling restricted by tight cuffs when you lift your arms up.

Oh, I also would not consider this a cropped length at all on little old me. I cut the pattern length as it is, and it feels neither short nor long. Kind of t-shirt length if that makes any sense!

The fabric that I used was a lovely jersey knit which I picked up from a #sewbrum sewing meet-up a couple of years ago, from the fabric swap table. Thank you so much to whoever dropped this generous length into the swap because in additon to making this blouse it has also made the Tilly and the Buttons Tabitha dress that I blogged about here.

And there’s more…

You know that cheeky little half metre of so of jersey that you always seem to have left but is not enough to make another garment? Well what about cutting it into strips to make t-shirt yarn and crocheting yourself a little basket?

Ta dah!!

Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to make my leftover KNIT fabric into continuous strips of t-shirt yarn ( I really didn’t want to have joins in it if at all possible), and despite knowing how to do this with woven fabric to make bias binding, I knew it would be slightly different with a knit fabric. Luckily I came across this youTube tutorial here and it worked! Thank you @thediymommy

Whilst I was over on youTube I came across this tutorial by GratiaProject which shows how you can use the ‘cross stitch single crochet’ stitch to make a basket using t-shirt yarn. I have never even heard of this stitch so I was ALL OVER IT! Let’s learn something new why not? Turns out the tutorial is fabulous, the stitch is really easy, and even though the stripes in the fabric make the stitch quite hard to make out I hope that you can kind of see the pretty cross pattern that it made. Thank you @gratiaproject_crochet and when I get a chance I would love to make another in a plain knit fabric yarn so that the stitches are easier to see.

I have a small amount of yarn left, to crochet into a little project another time, but I feel that using almost every scrap of this fabric has been so satisfying, especially as it was ‘donated’ in the first place. I’m chuffed with my new blouse and basket, and the sun is shining as I type this. What more could you ask for? πŸ™‚

Do search #adrienneblouse on social media if you are looking for more inspiration.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x