Hello, I have a finished dress to show today. This is my new Hawthorn dress from Colette patterns. The pattern is beautiful and has clear instructions with some additional help in the sewalong, which I highly recommend. The fabric is a cotton/viscose shirting fabric which looks a lot like chambray. I got it at Mood when I was in NYC last month and I used about two meters of full width fabric (60”). It’s a beautiful fabric, presses and irons well and it’s light and flowy, great for a spring/summer dress.
I cut a size 2, based on my waist measurement but made some alterations to the pattern. First of all I did a SBA, since I am rather small in that area. In the sewalong there are some instructions to do this but I found that they were not complete. They are very clear if you want to do a FBA but I was a bit unsure how to overlap the pattern pieces to get the correct amount of reduction. Anyhow, since I will probably need to make more SBAs in the future I am planing on studying them thoroughly and maybe even post my findings here. FBAs seem to be much more common than SBAs so obviously they get more attention on the web. When I did the SBA the front bodice piece was shortened by 2cm so I also made that adjustment to the back piece. Then I also tightened the dress by 1cm on each side seam so overall the bodice fits me well enough. Its a bit baggy under my chest, maybe I need to make the darts a bit deeper, and I would also like to narrow the shoulders a bit. My final adjustment was to cut 8cm of the length of the skirt(pretty standard for me).
The dress is not hard to sew, of course you have to pay some attention to detail when constructing the collar and making the buttonholes. The hem is sewn by hand as instructed and I am quite happy with it. It took a long time though because the skirt is a half circle and therefore the hem is soooo long. I have one complaint about this pattern though. When attaching the collar and and facings there is only 1/4 inch seam allowance which I find a bit small and it means that there is really no room for mistake. And if you are sewing with a fabric that frays and you have to unpick you might end up having real difficulty when sewing the pieces back together. Also when the seam allowance is so narrow I feel you are in more danger of the presser foot falling of the fabric specially when you have to pivot to make sharp corners like on this dress. You have to be very precise when basting and sewing the collar and facings. Maybe this is just me but I will have this in mind next time I make a Hawthorn. Because I am planing more dresses since I only need a few more tweaks to make this pattern fit me perfectly. I would love a winter version with the long sleeves in cotton flanell or some pretty wool.But overall I love this dress, it is so playful and easy to wear. And it goes very nicely with my new Fieldwork Cardigan.