Hello readers. Coming at you with some warm sewn comfort this time. I know, I know, two finished makes on the blog in as many weeks…what is this, 2012? Well, not exactly but I thought since I’m spending more time at home now (as are we all) I might as well have a go at trying to commit all/most of my winter makes to the blog before it gets too silly to still be posting about all things cosy and warm.
I made this dress back in January when I had come to the conclusion that my sewn cold winter wear was a bit lacking. Fair enough, I like sewing things I can wear for a large part of the year so I guess sort of in-betweens which I then dress up with my vast amount of knitwear when it gets colder. For the same (ish) reason I had previously established that my high summer wardrobe was also lacking. The difference with cold weather makes is that I can fill that void in my sewn makes with my ample collection of woollen knits so it’s not much of a problem. The thing is though, I actually like dressing for and making things for cold weather so this January I decided to tackle that department of my wardrobe by way of this make.
The pattern I’ve used is the Hinterland dress by Sew Liberated. It’s a simpler take on the time honoured classic shirt dress that replaces the standing collar with a round neckline. It comes in two skirt lengths, either a full or partial button placket and 3 sleeve lengths. In addition to those “in pattern” variations it lends itself for many more different takes on the pattern. It is a popular dress and for many sewist it is an ideal blank canvas to play around with and you can find many different interpretations, helpful tips and tutorials on the pattern hashtag on instagram and on blogs. The size range currently stops at a 48.5 bust, but the designer is working on releasing it in and extended size range. There was a call for testers in her last newsletter, so hopefully we’ll see that soon.
I haven’t gone wild with my first version and pretty much made it as it came out of the package. I opted for the partial placket and 3/4 sleeves. I picked the longer length for my cosy winter Hinterland. I didn’t need to alter the length for this dress at all, what the pattern calls the midi size on me is what I would call “generously over-knee” length. That said, I often have to take out length cause I’m short-ish so if you are taller, you’ll probably want to add some length here.
If I were to do it again for a winter version I would raise the neckline. Drafted as it is, isn’t super low for a dress in general, but for a cold weather dress I prefer it to be higher. I wish I would have thought of that before I started sewing, but it’s one of those things that you notice after the fact. These photo’s were taken on a brisk day and I cough the cold wind in my neck quite a few times! For this dress it isn’t a huge problem as I mostly wear dresses layered with knits and I wear scarves or shawls almost everyday when it’s cold out, but I have added it to my notes to keep in mind for future use.
I used a cotton brushed flannel fabric which was a dream to sew with. The fabric is really soft and a delight to wear, but with enough body to it for warmth. I think this is the cosiest garment I ever sewn for myself. It was really easy to sew with as well, making it a pleasant experience altogether. In fact I was so chuffed with the entire experience of sewing with it that I promptly made a flannel shirt for my partner the next project in queue when I finished the Hinterland.
Flannel pieces feature quite a bit in my wardrobe, mostly in the form of years old RTW shirts that I wear until there is absolutely nothing left of them. So given that, I was quite surprised to realise this is the first time I’m sewing with it. I suppose it’s a combination of being nervous to mess up the plaid and that good quality flannel is hard to find over here and hovers on the pricey-er side. This was such a satisfying sew though and I’ve worn the dress a lot already so it has definitely won me over.
It did take me some extra time during the cutting phase, because I wanted to pay a bit more attention to pattern matching. To be honest, this particular plaid doesn’t even need it, since the plaid bands are so narrow that incongruous matching isn’t very noticeable. I figured that made it a good candidate to give it a go, as it wouldn’t really matter if I made a mess of it (haha!). The one thing sewing this dress did teach me is that it’s basically no (or little) use to try and pattern match when the fabric is folded. You get ok results, but if you are taking the trouble of paying extra attention to patterning you might as well go all the way and cut it on a single layer.
The main colour of the fabric is charcoal with a hint of brown mixed in, paired with the red plaid stripes it feels a bit more warmer in tone which suits my wardrobe well. While I have enough to pair it with as it is, I have also found myself dreaming up knits to wear it with, maybe a cropped sweater or a cardigan, or a boxy woven top. Going to have to see if any of this ever happens, as there usually is no shortage of make ideas floating around on this side of the screen, but the ideas are there so we’ll see.
This dress has seen a lot of wear since I made it. It’s a shape that works well in my wardrobe and I also just blooming love shirt dresses which helps. I anticipate it will soon change because of the changing seasons and the warming days – we certainly had a handful of those already! Hope you are all doing ok, and if not hang in there ♥