It’s my turn to post on the Curvy Sewing Collective blog this week and I was going to post about my self drafted ski pants, but I couldn’t muster the energy for that epic post. Hopefully soon! So I was brainstorming about what projects I finished recently and hadn’t talked about and I remembered the Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress that I sewed way back in the early fall. Blame it on my pattern drafting coursework, which has taken a ton of brain space.
Speaking of my pattern drafting class, I think I also finished this dress right around the time that I was realizing how much better it could fit (and how easy it would be to draft from my block) so I ended up a bit disappointed in the project even though, in hindsight, I do truly love the finished project and I’m glad I’ve revisited it and have worked it back into my wardrobe. And honestly, the fit isn’t THAT bad!
I was already a bit apprehensive when I started this project based on the pattern photos. I really appreciate that Sew Liberated included a version on a plus size model in the pattern listing, but it fits quite differently on the plus size model than on the smaller sized model, who is the pattern designer herself. Specifically, the neckline is quite wide on the plus size model and the shoulder seam sits a good 2″ off the shoulder, while the shoulder seams sits squarely on the shoulder on the smaller version. To me, that’s a huge red flag. The pattern should fit the same across all sizes. Of course we have to account for differences in body types/shapes (not all size 24s have the same with shoulders, this model could have particularly narrow shoulders), but if the pattern designer was not attuned to the fact that there was a fit issue in her product photos, I approach with caution!
All that said, I didn’t make any major modifications to the pattern, though I did measure the flat pattern very carefully before I cut it out, which is something I always advise, but don’t always do! I measured the shoulder to shoulder width on the pattern and decided that the 22 (which matches my bust measurement) would actually be fine. I cut a 22 at the shoulder then graded out to a 24 at the bust and through the waist. My waist and hips are out of the size range for this pattern, but there is a lot of ease in the waist (6.5 inches) and with the gathered skirt, it didn’t really matter, so I just focused on shoulder and bust fit.
Of course, I kinda botched it on the sleeves. I don’t normally have an issue with sleeve width, so I kind of made a half assed adjustment and they are VERY tight. Like I can still wear it, but just barely. Since I wanted to cut the 22 though the armscye, I did that and then graded out to the 24 for the rest of the sleeve, to give myself a little extra width. That was not enough, so I then had to sew it with the tiniest seam allowance I could. And I can wear it, so I guess thats a win. And otherwise, its a quite nice looking sleeve!
I’m finding the fit through the bust to be a bit strange in these photos, though it doesn’t bother me too much when wearing it. There is a lot of pulling, maybe I should have done an FBA. It was hard to know since the upper bust measurements are not provided. The instructions say it is drafted for a C cup, which should be fine for me, but there just seems to be a lot of pulling and tightness, despite the fact that I cut a 24 though the bust, which is a size bigger than my measurements. It just seems to be strangely tight, even though the shoulders are still a bit wide. It’s also long though the back, which is standard for me, and I should have shortened it a bit but with the loose style I think its probably OK as is.
I found the directions on this pattern to be slightly confusing, I was sewing it with a friend who is just getting back into sewing and she also had quite a few questions. I recall the binding and placket instructions were particularly obtuse. It has several styling options, and that comes out confusingly in the directions. Also, the instructions are hand illustrated instead of technical diagrams, which, while charming, does add a bit to the confusion. Obviously we both got it done- and we both looked adorable when we wore our dresses to the brewery together! Actually we both love them so much we have done that again at least one other time since!
All said, there were a few struggles with this dress, but I do love how it turned out. I added patch pockets to play a bit with the stripe direction, and I think thats my favorite features. So, while I love the style, I think rather than sewing another and working out the fit issues, I’ll probably just draft something similar from my block for my next version. It will be much easier and quicker! And good news for those of you who love this dress but aren’t in the size range (it currently stops at a 24/48.5″ bust), Sew Liberated just sent out an email to their newsletter subscribers saying that they are going be testing a new size range in size 22- 34! Woohoo!! That is awesome news, so fingers crossed its released soon!
Pattern: Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress
Current Measurements: Bust: 47″, Waist 44″, Hip 56″
Size: 22 shoulder, 24 bust, waist, and hip
Fabric/Notions: Imagine Gnats (RIP)