Sunday, May 4, 2014

FINISHED: Colette Hawthorn

Have you ever had a project that you just weren't sure about until it was 100% complete? I had made muslins for the Hawthorn but somewhere along the journey (ie when hubby saw it 90% finished), I wondered if it was at all flattering. I tend to avoid strong waist definition since I don't have much of one but I think this might work.

Please excuse the iphone pic in the choir robe room - tis all I have!

Anyway, I bought 3 yds of this blueish cotton from Mood specifically for a Hawthorn, and I'm quite pleased with it. It sewed up easily and pressed nicely. I cut a straight 14, removed about 4" from the skirt length and made this version sleeveless. Could I achieve a better fit with a 12 + fba? Probably, but the 14 is nice and comfy without being overfitted.

I thought I had buttons in my stash but I didn't, so I found these nice grey ones at JoAnn. I'm really liking the slightly brighter thread on the buttonholes and topstitching - nice pop of color. 

I used a slightly lighter Gutermann Mara 100 for the hem, about 3.5 stitch length. 

Overall, I think I could maybe wear belts with this under a cardigan - the cardigan adds a bit of waist definition. I put in the hook & eye but I'm not pleased with it and might trade it for a snap. I used stat tape at the waist seam around the entire bodice and serged the waist seam. All others are French seamed.

The side view is nice - just above the knee and nice and swishy. But, the fabric wrinkles...

In her Pants Construction class on Craftsy, Sandra Betzina called wrinkles in linen "rich wrinkles" - polyester doesn't wrinkle. I'm going to go with that here too!

Pattern: Colette Hawthorn size 14
Thread: Gutermann Mara 100 
Needle: Organ 70/10
Buttons: JoAnn 6 for $.99
Changes: shortened bodice 1", shortened skirt 4"
Make Again? I think so - with a snap! 


  1. I really like this. I don't have much of a waist either. I think the Hawthorne should be on my list of patterns to buy.

  2. Thank you Annette! I honestly wasn't sold until I wore it out of the house on Sunday. That evening I dropped the cardigan and added a belt and liked it even more! I think sometimes we think certain things won't suit us but that's just something we tell ourselves!

  3. I’m glad “shirt” dresses have made their way into fashion again. They are timeless. With a bit of planning, a nice, basic dress can last for decades. This Collette pattern is so cute. I think it will become a classic. You’ve done a nice job.

    I’d like to make one suggestion. Narrow machine hems seem to be the trend. They are fast and easy. However, you might want to consider a wider, 2” – 3” hem, finished with either a hand or machine hem stitch. Yes, they take a bit more time to do, but usually look more professional and often have a nicer drape (I think because of the added weight). Depending on the fabric and level of wear, they also give the option of making the skirt longer if/when styles or personal tastes change.

    Many people are starting to realize today’s toss away world is not sustainable. Many women used to plan their wardrobes knowing what they made or purchased would be something they might own and wear for decades. Some are starting to think that way again.

    On a personal note, I have a flared summer print shirt that’s now over 30 years old. I made it without a machine. The double topstitching is in accenting color. Initially, I made it too long but didn’t want to cut the fabric until I was sure of the new length. It had a 5” or 6” hem. I loved it and was never able to part with it. I redid the waist and hem about 10 years later. And, again another 10. The hem has been changed at least 3 times. I still love it but it’s a bit tight. I’m wondering if I can squeak another round out of it, or if it’s time for it to go.

    Just food for thought from an old sewing nut.

    1. Thank you for commenting! Your comment inspired a much needed sewing epiphany! The pattern recommends a 1/2", then 1 1/2" hem and I was trying to remember why I didn't go this route. I remembered thinking the skirt was a bit short when I was trimming the bias stretch to even it out. As it turns out, I haven't been including any length I remove from my bodices into my calculations before I shorten the skirt, and I ended up 1" shorter than planned, which is why I ended up with the more narrow hem. As it turns out I came to this conclusion last night around midnight while lying in bed. Today I went back to my notes on all of my patterns with bodices to make that adjustment. So, thank you for planting the seed that became that epiphany!

  4. Love this Dress, and you did a fantastic job. I have this pattern and now cannot wait to make up mine. TFS!
    PS - I am here from

    1. Thank you! I'm really liking it - just goes to show you never know what suits you until you give it a shot!