I am not usually much of a pattern hacker. I love really getting immersed in a pattern and giving it my complete focus. I find it so therapeutic following the flow of a pattern and like all the steps being laid out for me so I can just follow them. Pattern hacking is an extra effort that I cannot usually be bothered with, it involves extra brainwork that I get no joy from. I know loads of people who love the challenge of a pattern hack but that definitely isn’t me!
That being said, I saw a RTW dress last Christmas that I really loved and wanted to copy. I waited patiently all year for someone to bring a pattern out that was similar. I began obsessively trying to figure out which patterns might work, maybe the Fibremood Rosie? Schnitten Patterns Amanda? PmPatterns Mome? None of them were quite right and all of them were pattern companies that are new to me. When Tilly and the Buttons started posting all their smock dress inspo I thought they were going to release this exact pattern but sadly the Indigo was released and while the shape is right, there are no ruffles!
So when Fibers to Fabric asked if I would like to try some of their fabric and I saw their amazing plaids/checks/tartans (whatever you want to call them!) I finally accepted that I had to have a go at hacking it myself.
I already have a couple of dresses with a similar shape that I could use as a starting point but I chose the Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress as it it such a great blank canvas. I started by sticking together the sleeved bodice as I’ve only made the sleeveless version before (this version) and the pattern very conveniently comes with a different bodice for each version. I then drew a line on the bodice where I wanted to have the ruffle and cut along it. I placed the centre piece on the fold and then added 1.5cm seam allowance along the cut line. I then cut 2 of the side bodice pieces, again with 1.5cm seam allowance added to the cut.
To make the ruffle, I measured the length of the cut line I made in the bodice and multiplied that by 1.5 so that the ruffle is one and a half times longer than the seam it is going to be sandwiched into. I cut the ruffle 8cm wide and then double turned it by 0.5cm and hemmed one long edge. Then it was a simple case of sandwiching the ruffle in between the two bodice pieces and sewing with the 1.5cm seam allowance I added.
Once the bodice was together I then assembled the rest of the dress as instructed by the pattern which was easy and a joy to sew! I hope I have explained this well, if you have any questions please feel free to ask!
The fabric was really well behaved – it is a lovely yarn-dyed woven cloth from Fibers to Fabric which feels lovely. It’s thicker than a lawn and feels like it is going to be warm yet breathable. I am absolutely thrilled with the colours that look a bit different in real life to how they look on screen. The listing makes it look really dark blue/almost black but it is more of a teal-green which is an absolute bonus! It’s such an unusual combo of teal and a warm-but-not-eye-watering orange that I think looks cool and modern woven in this buffalo plaid check. In fact, I think this is my first ever foray into wearing orange but it is such a lovely shade I am thrilled with it!
After I couldn’t find a pattern to copy my inspo dress, I kinda wished I had just bought the RTW garment but now I am really pleased with my version. I love that it has pockets and the fabric is handmade in India and I know exactly where it came from. I think if I wanted to make an exact copy then I should have raised the neckline but I am happy with this and I think it will see a lot of wear!
Until next time, happy sewing!