Pattern Hack: Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress

Pattern Hack: Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress

I’m a huge fan of the Sew Liberated Hinterland dress, and after coming across Sara Johansen’s (of TheSaraProject Blog) bishop sleeve hack tutorial, I knew I wanted to create my own version. (By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just a huge fan of the Hinterland and bishop sleeves!)

Close up detail of Rebecca's green Hinterland dress with bishop sleeve hack

A Hinterland Hack Inspired by the 1830-40s

Like many others, I am a fan of history bounding. History bounding, if you’re not aware of the term, is a category of style that broadly encompasses dressing in historically inspired – yet not necessarily or strictly historically accurate – clothing. The clothing can be vintage, modern, handmade, or ready-to-wear, it’s more about the overall spirit of the outfit that counts.

Rebecca stands in her backyard wearing her green Hinterland dress with bishop sleeve hack

Heavily inspired, in particular, by this dress from the collection of the MET, I felt Sara Johansen’s bishop sleeve hack tutorial for the Hinterland dress on the We All Sew blog seemed the perfect way to achieve a modern version for my wardrobe. Her instructions on exactly how to draft, slice, and split the bottom half of the sleeve, and finish with a simple cuff, worked perfectly. I didn’t duplicate the process here because she explains it really well with easy-to-follow images.

Close up detail of antique lace

Close up detail of Rebecca's green Hinterland dress with bishop sleeve hack

Instead of using a ruffle, as in Sara’s tutorial, I opted to use a small bit of crocheted lace I found in a local antique store. I dyed the lace dark brown with RIT dye, as it was rather dingey and several gentle washings did not budge the grayness (I wish I had a good pre-dye photo, but I forgot to take one). I suppose I could have used bleach, but I really didn’t want a harsh white result anyway. To apply, I stitched the lace on by hand, just over where the seam between the sleeve cap and the bishop-portion are joined.

Sizing

The Sew Liberated Hinterland Dress comes in sizes 0-34. At the time of sewing this project, my measurements were 36″ bust, 30″ waist, 42″ hips. I cut the size 10 with no initial grading adjustments, however, the double gauze I used ‘grew’ during sewing. I ended up installing shaping darts in the front and back to remove about 2 inches from the waist, and the waist is still very loose.

Rebecca stands in her backyard wearing her green Hinterland dress with bishop sleeve hack

I’ve made another hacked, size 10 version of the Hinterland dress in the past in a Robert Kaufman linen and it did not end up with this much ease, so I suspect it was the fabric having a natural stretch in it. As a huge lover of double-gauze and this pattern, it’s highly likely I will sew another but I will probably cut either a size 8 or maybe even a 6, but more testing will be needed. Even though I added shaping darts, the bust and shoulders are just a little baggier than I would prefer.

Rebecca stands in her backyard wearing her green Hinterland dress with bishop sleeve hack

Rebecca stands in her backyard wearing her green Hinterland dress with bishop sleeve hack

Modifications for My Hinterland Dress Hack

Aside from the bishop sleeves, my Hinterland hack includes:

  • Lengthening the skirt to 29.5″, with a hem depth of 4″ (the original pattern skirt length is about 27″ with a 1″ hem depth for the size 10)
  • 4 Vertical shaping darts along the waist at the front and back to bring the extra, unwanted ease back in
  • 2 small darts at the neckline in back – This is a hack I often add to my bodices to prevent gaping at the neckline in the back. I think the gaping is due to my shoulders being rounded from years of abysmally poor posture? I’m not entirely sure, but this little hack usually does the trick!
  • Giant patch pockets

Close up of neckline darts in back

One modification I forgot to make on this version that I did make on my previous Hinterland hack was raising the bust darts a little. I need to examine that version more closely to identify how I raised them, but I can tell that the ones on this version are a little too low for my bustline.

Close up of the front of Rebecca's handmade dress

Despite my difficulties with the fabric creating unexpected ease, I really love this dress. It’s very cozy, warm, and easy to wear, and I suspect it will now be a fall/winter staple for me. It also helps that I feel a bit like sitter in a Pre-Raphaelite painting while wearing it!

More Hinterland Hacks

I was a bit late to the Hinterland dress hacking train, as a year-or-so ago there was a hackathon on Instagram hosted by Sew Liberated. However, judging by an examination of the Instagram hashtags #hinterlanddress, #hinterlandhack, #hinterlandhackathon, and #hinterlandsewoff, the hacking never stopped. This pattern is clearly highly customizable and versatile – definitely a wardrobe staple if it is your style.

Rebecca stands facing away in her backyard wearing her green handmade dress

Rebecca stands in her backyard wearing her green handmade dress

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