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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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Simplicity 8816 Cross Back Apron

Since the launch of my acrylic jewellery business, a great deal of my working day is spent at my craft bench making acrylic necklaces and brooches. I will be the first to hold my hand up and admit that I can be clumsy at times and pretty soon I realised that an apron was going to be a necessity.

In the previous few weeks I had seen a lot of cross back aprons and this was the sort of style that I wanted. (Although having said that I’m not ruling out the addition of a frilly retro number another time).

I really loved The Maria Apron by Maven Patterns, especially when the lovely Sarah blogged about it here. But in the end I could not resist the big old wrap around pockets that Simplicity 8816 had to offer.

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There are a few different options with this pattern, and I went for View A, (the orange version in the top right of the image above), which is the mid thigh length cross back version – although it’s almost knee length on me – I’m 5’2″.

I’m really happy with my choice of fabric. Some of you will probably recognise it – it’s the beige Lenda fabric from Ikea. At £5 per metre, and nice and wide, I think I only needed about 1 metre to make the medium size. Also – who doesn’t love cutting their own fabric! The fabric is a sturdy, medium weight, and ideal for protecting my clothes from a battering of glue and paint!

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It’s such a quick and easy pattern to make, perfect for a beginner. The pattern pieces that you need are simply the apron front, the pocket, the front band and the strap. Easy.

The instructions call for the addition of bias binding to finish the armhole edges of the apron. I have tons of home made bias which I cannot resist making if I have leftover fabric (especially ditsy floral fabrics), so I was over the moon to have the opportunity to use up some of it. I may have got a little carried away with it, as I also decided to use it to finish the side and bottom edges of the apron too…and the top of the pocket!

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I particularly like the pockets – they wrap all the way around the entire width of the apron, divided by three rows of vertical stitching, giving you a whopping FOUR massive pockets. Oh joy! Add a bit of bias to the top and your pocket dreams are right there!!

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There’s a little bit of topstitching on this one, which is a part of sewing that I really enjoy. Hence I had a great old time with this detail on the front band, straps and pockets.

 

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Shameless plug – but the button brooch is available from my shop x

The cross straps at the back give me just the right amount of coverage – I felt other styles of cross back aprons covered too much of the back which I didn’t need and felt might make me too warm when I was working. So this was just right. Putting it on initially was funny as I was putting my arms through the wrong bits – if you have ever put on a cross-back item of clothing you will know what I mean – but I’m used to it now.

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So this is definitely a good investment in my handmade wardrobe. I have been wearing it for the last few weeks and I wouldn’t be without it now.

Although I am using it for crafting purposes, it would be equally as suitable in the kitchen as an alternative to the butchers style apron don’t you think? Wouldn’t it be fun to colour block it? Imagine using different fabric for the pockets, band and straps!

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x