On this sunlit warm September day I thought I would come and tell you about what’s possibly my favourite summer dress… ever. I’ve had this exact dress in my head since at least last summer, and I stitched it up just now right at the tail end of another summer while outside, the rose hips are coming out for a late summer greeting.
I’ve been in such a green-loving mood this summer, that is, more than the already considerable green-wearing state of mind that usually inhabits my heart. Really properly craving wrapping myself in green at all times. When I announced this to my partner at the start of the summer I felt like a stubborn caterpillar declaring they just much rather want to stay a leaf munching short worm instead of a colourful butterfly flying of in the sunset. My heart was dramatically calling out for moody pine greens, lively lemon balm shades, mossy greens, bright fern green, warm olive tones and all the other greens you can point out in the forest or in your pantry.
This shirtdress is the Hinterland dress, which I made and wrote about two times before, so usually would not warrant a lengthy separate blogposts. However this is the first time I’m making the sleeveless version and I have tinkered a bit with the pattern fit so I thought I’d give it some love on the blog anyway. Also I would be a stranger to myself if I passed up a chance to lyrically muse about all things green, mossy and woodlandsy.
As this blog is a testament to, a loose fitting shirtdress with multiple sleeve-, button placket-, and dress length customizations is right up my alley. The round neckline makes the Hinterland stand out among my shirtdress pattern collection and makes it perhaps a bit more versatile than other shirtdresses when it comes to layering. I’ve no illusions about this being my last take on this pattern; I’ve got some more ideas yet and I’ve quite a few hacks that I’d like to try as well.
The sleeveless version uses a different bodice than the sleeved version, so before I cut my fabric I took some time to trace this bodice. I then made some adjustments to the bodice to better accommodate my bust, one of which was to lengthen the bodice with a few cm. The bodice on this dress hovers towards the shorter side and if your bust eats a lot of fabric it inevitably becomes even shorter. Because of this extra length I added an extra button which makes the placement look more balanced. On a sleeved version I would also raise the neckline a bit as it is quite a cold and wind catcher drafted as it is, but on a summer dress I’d like to petition for all the wind and cold to reach me so I left it as per pattern.
Another thing I changed was to use bias tape to finish the neck and armholes instead of the fabric cut facings from the pattern. The finishing per pattern is essentially making bias tape from the self fabric and then using that to finish so it’s not a huge difference, but I think for beginners it might be nice to mention that they are interchangeable and you don’t have to buy an extra 1.5 meter of fabric just to make some bias tape. I know that, especially when I just started out as a sewist, it really made a difference whether I could eke out a sleeveless dress of 2 meters of fabric or 3.5 meters, and it still does sometimes.
The fabric is a beautiful dark forest green linen. It’s a plain weave fabric, the individual threads are a slightly thicker weight than I usually see in these types of fabrics, giving it a slightly more substantial weight and a rustic homespun appearance from up close. I love it dearly, and it’s one of my favourite fabrics to have worked with and wear. If I were pressed to pledge my alliance to one fabric only for the rest of my life (which I thankfully do ~not~ have to do, but let me spin out this imaginary scenario for a moment) this might be it. Because of the rougher tabby weave it is quite prone to fraying, but nothing a good finishing cannot handle.
I really love this dress and I love how much I feel like myself in this dress, which for a sleeveless summer dress is quite a feat! The fabric looks and feels amazing and matches this workhorse of a pattern brilliantly. I’m already thinking of ways I might stretch the time frame of this dress far into autumn. It’s also been a reminder that simple cuts that tick my boxes in the important areas do a lot of work in my wardrobe. While they perhaps don’t make for terribly exciting viewing and reading material I think I’m going to make an effort to make some more basic workhorses in solid colours for my year round wardrobe and make some pieces that I will always feel at home in (even when…shudder…the sun is warming my bare arms).
There were so many bees, butterflies and other pollinators in this heather field! Wish you could hear the sound through the photo, proper loud buzzing and bumbling in the September sun. It was amazing! I will leave you with this magnificent photo my partner took of me of what I’m guessing is my attempt at directing the orchestra of bees and other buzzers. Hope you are all well! xx