Hi everyone, I’m Tamlyn (known on Instagram and YouTube as ‘Sewn on the Tyne’) and I’m happy to be here on the Felicity Fabrics blog today to share my make with you.
I love supporting Felicity Fabrics as a business. They stock a well-curated selection of beautiful fabrics, patterns and haberdashery items and receiving a parcel from them is like receiving a gift – so beautifully and thoughtfully wrapped – so it’s a really special treat.
When they first asked me to choose some fabric for my blog post, I knew straight away which one I would choose. I’d been eyeing up the Glittery Star corduroy for a while as I loved the light blue shade and the sparkly silver star detail. I thought it would make the perfect Nina Lee Camden Pinafore, so I also requested some suitable lining fabric. The parcel arrived a few days later and I was thrilled with the quality – the baby cord was beautifully soft and the Blue Dot lining fabric that they had chosen was a perfect complement to this.
However, not long after receiving my fabric in the post, I found out I was pregnant. Obviously this was extremely happy news, but I knew I would need a rethink on my pattern choice. The Camden Pinafore is a fitted dress with a waistband, which would not be suitable for a growing baby bump. I started to think about other dress options – I wanted something with a gathered skirt with plenty of growing room – and I decided to go with the Sew Liberated Hinterland dress. Although this isn’t a lined dress, I’ll explain how I incorporated the lining later.
The Hinterland dress is described as offering a timeless, comfortable and elegant silhouette (The word ‘comfortable’ definitely appealed to me!) It features three different sleeve options (I went for sleeveless as I like to layer dresses over long sleeved tops), either a partial or full button down placket (I went for partial), different lengths and inseam pockets (An absolute essential!) The dress has a loose fit, which would be perfect for my changing body, with side bust darts, a gathered waist and optional waist ties (I did include these as I thought it would add a bit more waist definition). The recommended fabrics are light to mid-weight wovens, so the baby cord was a perfect option. Just a word of advice – I didn’t need anywhere near the 2.5 metres of fabric recommended. The sleeveless version can be cut from much less than this.
My measurements are constantly changing at the moment, so I took my up-to-date measurements before deciding on a size 12. I then made a toile of the bodice using muslin fabric – I would definitely recommend taking the time to do this. This showed me that I needed to lower the bust darts by around an inch. To do this, I followed the very simple tutorial at the By Hand London blog.
I pre-washed and dried the fabrics, separately, on a 30-degree wash. I then cut them out using plenty of clips, pattern weights and my rotary cutter. Just a word of advice if you haven’t sewn with corduroy before: You must cut all of your pattern pieces out in the same direction, as the fabric has a nap. As you run your hand down the fabric, it will be smooth in one direction but rough in the other. The colour of the fabric will also appear different if you were to ignore the nap and cut your pieces out in different directions. I prefer the fabric to be smooth as I run my hands down the garment, so I made sure to cut my pieces out accordingly.
Before sewing, I tested the fabrics on both my sewing machine and overlocker to check which needles and stitch settings worked best. I would definitely recommend taking a few minutes to do this before starting on your actual garment. On my sewing machine I used a Universal needle, grade 75, with Gutterman all-purpose thread. For my overlocker I used four different shades of blue thread and didn’t have to change any of the settings from the standard set up. I intended to use the overlocker to finish seams throughout the garment.
The construction process of the Hinterland dress is really well explained, with detailed instructions and hand-drawn diagrams to help. I used the lining fabric for the neck and armhole facings. I do think that the finished look of these facings is neat, but I would prefer them to be wider. Next time I make this dress, and there definitely will be a next time, I’ll draw out new facing pieces at double the width. I also used the lining fabric for the pockets and I used it to cut out two extra skirt pieces. Corduroy can stick to tights, so I wanted to line the skirt to prevent this from happening. It was simple to attach this at the same point that I attached the bodice to the skirt. It’s important to remember to hem the lining piece shorter than the outer skirt so that it is hidden.
I can imagine some people may be nervous about the button placket stage, but this was an absolute breeze. I tested out my button hole function on some scrap fabric first, just to check it would work ok, and then went ahead to add them to the dress. I also picked out these beautiful Whim Wham buttons from my stash, which add a really special touch.
I am so happy with my finished dress and feel so comfortable and cute wearing it. There is lots of room for my growing baby bump and it will also be perfect for nursing once the baby has arrived. The fabric was fantastic to work with and it really is beautifully soft.
Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope I’ve inspired you with my make.
Love Tamlyn xx