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.
I know I am very late since this pattern was released some years ago and so many sewers have made this skirt already and posted them online. I have been admiring this pattern and the skirts I’ve seen for a while and a few months ago I finally decided to get one for myself. Now I’ve made two versions of the pattern and I am totally in love with the style of this skirt, the high waist, the button down front and the loose A-line fit I find very flattering and the construction is just so clever. Because it is fully lined there are no visible raw edges on the inside and it looks very pretty and finished. A skirt like this is not a very big garment so it is easy and not very time consuming to give much attention to the details which give a nice and polished finish, for example hand sewn hem.
I made the first skirt in black wool/polyester blend with black and white polka dot silk lining (very luxurious). I made size 2 and shortened it by about 10 cm since I am not the tallest person. It has fabric covered buttons of which I needed 10. I omitted the belt, belt loops and the pockets because I read somewhere that they tend to gape and also, unlike everyone, I do not really like pockets in my skirts and dresses. I like this version because it is a nice skirt, perfect for special occasions and it feels very classy. The fabric is very soft and maybe a little to soft. I guess a fabric with more body works better. Which is the case of the next skirt.
The second skirt is made from a fine cord in a pretty burgundy color. Because of the thickness of the fabric I used quilters cotton from the stash for the facings and the lining is a bright blue typical polyester lining fabric. Not the most usual combination of colors but I think it’s fun. No one ever sees the inside anyway so it is OK to have it unexpected. Since the first version was a little to wide in the waist I still cut a size 2 but made each seam a little bit deeper (1-2mm). Therefore it is a little bit tighter and I also shortened it by 10 cm. I have worn this skirt a lot and it’s been through the washing machine a few times. It keeps it shape pretty well but it does wrinkle. And the only problem with this version is the ironing. Because it is cord I don’t want to iron it from the outside but ironing it from the inside is a little tricky because of the lining. Also, all those buttons get in the way. It is a perfect everyday skirt in my opinion.
In all I really like this pattern. It is well made and the instructions are very good and thorough. I just have a few tips.
- Make sure that the fabric is not to soft and drapy, a stiffer fabric gives the skirt more body and structure.
- You should decide the final length before cutting the fabric since shortening it after wards can be tricky because of the construction.
- When I joined the lining to the facings (the long curved seam) in stead of following the instructions, I stay stitched along the seam line on the lining and the facings, then I clipped the curves and pinned the two pieces together matching notches. This way the seam lines are flexible and you can make them match exactly in length before sewing and there is no need to baste. I did this because I felt that trimming down the seam allowance of one edge before stitching together was more risky and if I made a mistake it would be harder to unpick, Using my way you do not have to measure anything and you can pin the two edges together accurately.
- If I make this again I will try to omit the buttons and have the center front piece whole. I think that then it will look a lot like Deer and Doe’s new pattern, Anemone
That’s it, two pretty skirts and hopefully more on the way.