Hi everyone!

Sarah from Wanderstitch here, back with my next Minerva Make!

This month, I've made the Hinterland Dress from new-to-me pattern company Sew Liberated. Sew Liberated is run by Meg McElwee, and she believes that sewing is 'self care'. I like that :) She has a carefree, bohemian style. If you buy from her website, all the patterns are pdf - but Minerva have paper patterns available here.

I chose the Hinterland Dress because I was looking for something that I could wear in the autumn over the top of shirts and t-shirts. It's an easy-to-wear dress with a gathered waist, and a functional front button placket which cain either stop at the waistband or continue all the way down to the hem. You can make the dress with or without sleeves, and there's the option of adding waist ties too if you fancy something a bit more fitted. I actually had the intention of sewing mine with the waist ties, but I forgot to cut that piece out of the fabric and by the time I realised, I'd moved waaaay on and couldn't be bothered to go back! In hindsight I'm not sure how I would have felt about tying them in a bow at the back anyway, I don't think that's a look that I could have pulled off.

I've used a gorgeous burgundy Linen Fabric for mine, which softened up really lovely after the first wash. For the neck and armhole facings, I used some autumnal Liberty lawn - you don't need to faff around with making your own bias tape, the pattern includes pieces to cut your own facings (which I really like), so you can easily use up fabric scraps that you've got laying around!

If you're a bit scared of gathers - don't be! The instructions are super-clear and have you stitch your main waist seam in-between a couple of rows of basting stitches, and then you pull out the one line that's visible (the one underneath the main seam). This helps keep the gathers nice and tidy and stops them from all leaning to one side as the fabric is fed through the machine. Believe me, it works! Previously my gathers had been a little bit ropey and uneven, but using Meg's method really makes a difference. I'll be using this in the future!

I chose to end the placket at the waistband, and picked out some beautiful metal buttons for the front.

The insides of the neck and armhole are finished really neatly and look very professional, and the placket does too! I used French seams on the inside, just for extra neatness :)

The only modification I made to the pattern was to add elastic to the inside of the waist seam, to help bring it closer to the body a bit. It's still a little loose for my liking, but that's the style of the dress.

The Hinterland Dress is a pretty quick make, and I'd recommend it for an adventurous beginner. There's no zips to contend with, and you can actually get the dress over your head without undoing the buttons - so if you weren't quite feeling brave enough to attempt the buttonholes, you could just sew the buttons through both layers of the placket without making the buttonholes. You'd end up with the same look, and if you don't tell anyone that the buttons aren't functional, they'll never know :)

It's a really versatile pattern - you could easily adjust the hem length to whatever length you prefer, and you could make either short or long sleeves depending on the season. You could make many dresses from this one pattern!

Even though I'm not *quite* sure that the Hinterland is my style, I've had a positive first experience of Sew Liberated. Their patterns are really well drafted, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow (something that I've found you don't *always* get!). I would definitely be happy to use more of their patterns, which is just as well because I have their Arenite Pants pattern that I'm eyeing up some viscose twill for!

In the meantime, you can look forward to another pattern from me next month - again with gathers! I seem to be in a gathering mood lately...

Happy Sewing

Sarah // Wanderstitch