Betwixt And Between – The Hinterland Dress

More pattern designers are getting their plus sized blocks on lately I’ve noticed which is a good thing. It has been a case of watching a new pattern come out and promoted via social media and having to scroll on, much akin to having your face pressed up against the chocolate shop window like Charlie Bucket whilst others chomp away on Wonka bars oblivious to the exclusivity. There’s still lots that aren’t bothering themselves yet though but it’s nice to see some positive shift forwards. I have absolutely no problem with doing pattern adjustments just like everyone else, but having something that doesn’t need a complete redraft as a starting point, where there’s even a number you can fit between or up to or down from, do all the grading between (the simple things) is a win and something that will pique my interest. It’ll at least give me a bit of a break from my own self drafted patterns, things I attempt by looking at other things or thinking of how something might be made and having a stab at it; freestyling. I decided that I’d have a pop at the Hinterland as I’d had a largely positive experience with the Sew Liberated Arenite pants. Granted they needed a lot of adjustment from the biggest size to scale up for a tall person but I felt excited at the prospect of trying out the dress as I’d been hankering after a button front affair and liked the look of the designer’s teaser photos. I bought it the same day that it was released, it was printed and send the next day via Patternsy and I set to it.

I decided on the 24 because the measurements given were closest to my bust and hip and waist measurement. On cutting out my paper pattern, the front plackets were completely the wrong size. I had to re-print the pattern out to check them out side by side after the fact:

The placket piece was about three times too wide it turned out. I received an email with an amended pattern later on but mine had already been printed by that point. Oh well. I managed to work it out despite this and knowing I’d have to add length for my height I proceeded to make all the adjustments on all the pieces (bodice length, skirt length, placket etc. as I normally would) then cut it out of my intended fabric. I used a cotton sateen that I’d dyed olive green and made use of a fat quarter of cotton fabric that my Mum had brought me back from the U.S. that had been in a box for far too long – for bias tape.

I started on the bodice and on trying that on it was evident that the sleeves, the shape of them, were not going to be remotely suitable. They had drag lines in really weird places plus as anticipated the shoulders were massive as it is commonly believed that the bigger your bust is the bigger your shoulders are (!). At least that’s what I experience. It seems more plausible to not be the case given weight and gravity but such is the consensus it’s become normal practice for me to remove 3cm from a shoulder. And then alter the sleeve head. Sometimes necklines need to be redrawn. Well all was the case here. In fact it got a different bodice in the end. New sleeves too.

One thing I did like about the pattern was the binding method on the neck. I’m not usually a fan of neck bindings rather than facings as the facing serves as a barrier to protect the outer fabric from wear and discolouration etc., and I want things to last. Just a personal preference but I must say that I really liked the finish doing it the prescribed way for this pattern.

I also elected to bind the side seams, waist seam and pockets:

I use the Sew Me Something method of three lines of gathering stitches and then sewing between the 2nd and 3rd as it’s worth doing that extra row for neatness I’ve found.

So aside from incompatibility for me, the pattern was a really simple thing to sew. I was buoyed by the fact I was getting my Vanguard buttonholer out for a spin at the end as there were many buttons to put on given the added length and the fact I’d chosen to make the full placket version.

I had some nice buttons from a jar my Mum gave me a while back too.

I wasn’t aware until I received the pattern that it had a tie element to cinch in the waist. I had mistakenly thought it was achieved with a fitted bodice. However I decided that I’d find a tie restrictive and uncomfortable and it’s not a look I really like in the small of the back on me so I made my bodice smaller at the sides by 10cm or so than that of the original one. I put my darts in a different place too and made the back shorter by 3cm to keep the hems even. I also raised the pockets, it’s something I find I need to do a lot, probably because I have to lengthen the bodice of most things I’m guessing. Anyway, here is the only photo I have of the dress on and finished. I wear it mostly as an overdress opened up now but here’s how it was on it’s first outing.

I’d had a notion of making this in tea towels initially but went a bit off the boil with it, though since the cooling off period I might resume my plan as a lot of work went into the re-draft.