Monday, December 16, 2013

A Hawthorn for Autumn

This dress was quite a while in the making. I think it was cut out almost six weeks ago, and the pdf pattern has been assembled (with the bodice pieces shortened, even!) for more than two months. But the usual stuff happened: real life and me not being in the mood to cut out the interfacing. Then I did cut it out, and assembled most of the dress in a few hours one day maybe three weeks ago? But then buttonholes loomed. And you're supposed to let an almost-circleskirt hang for a few days. And then I decided to get a skirt marker. And a rolled hem foot. And then I logically had to wait for them to arrive. But they did, eventually, and so this dress was finished. Yes, including 12 buttonholes, and 12 hand-attached buttons. And with a 3-step rolled hem, because I couldn't figure out how to use the foot correctly with the curved hem. But anyway - yay for stories with happy endings, right? ;)
The facts:
Pattern: Hawthorn by Colette Patterns
Fabric: 2m of checkered cotton from the Stoffmarkt Holland
Notions: 12 purple buttons and some fusible interfacing
Time to complete: after tracing and cutting out, it actually came together pretty quickly. Maybe 2h for stitching and another three for stitching the button holes, buttons and hemming.
bound armholes and overlocked facings
Techniques used: Seams and facings are finished by overlocking, the armholes are bound with selfmade bias tape, the button holes are machine stitched (twice), and I did a rolled hem using the tutorial by Megan Nielsen (which I'm sure was way faster in the end than trying to find out how to use that foot on a curved hem...
First attempt at a rolled hem with the rolled hem foot. Pretty, right...? I think I need a lot more practice...
Alterations: I shortened the bodice using the Red Velvet Torso Length Guide by Cake Patterns
First worn: Out to an evening at the theater.
Will you make it again? With my track record, I'm petty sure I will. Possibly as a blouse, too.
Will you do anything different next time? Well - do you see how the front of the dress seems shorter than the back? It isn't, really (I used that skirt marker), so it's probably a fit problem. I'm thinking it may have to do with either rounded shoulders or a short upper bust or something. I'm also thinking that this version might need belt loops...
So, have you conquered any new techniques recently? And what's your favorite machine foot?


  1. I can certainly relate to getting stopped up at the interfacing step! Your dress turned out beautifully, the colors in that plaid are great! As far as sewing machine feet go, I absolutely love my edgestitching foot. It has actually transformed my sewing!

    1. I love my edgestitching foot, too! It also does blind hems, which is definitely a bonus, and so good for topstitching!

    2. Couldn't agree more for the edgestitching foot...i love it for topstitching! I don't use it for blind hemming though as it always leaves a thread trace.
      I was thinking if the sloping bodice couldn't be that you need to lengthen it at the center going to nothing at the sides or it could be the same issue but above the bust. The best way to judge would be to make a muslin and stitch parallel lines above the bust and above the waist. This is what I learned on Sew the perfect fit craftsy class. Let me know if you need more info.

    3. Actually, I think the total length of the bodice is fine, but it tends to slide upwards. I was going to remove some length above the bust and add it back below, although I'm still wondering if that would be the same alteration as just lengthening the darts...? It may have something to do with the shoulder seams, too, I think my shoulders are sloping forward. Probably a muslin would be the right way to go. ;) Thanks for the tip with the stitching lines, I'll try to figure it out and may get back to you!

  2. Lovely dress, even if it is shorter in the front ;) I noticed that the lines on your front bodice are going up, so maybe you have to do a bust adjustment to get them straight? I think Colette Patterns might have covered that in their Hawthorn sew along. Just one question, why did you sew the buttonholes twice? I am just curious :)

    1. I always stitch over the button holes twice because even on the shortest stitch setting, I think that my stitches aren't close enough together to be really nice looking. It's just the way my machine (which is about 25 years old) stitches. I'm thinking part of the reason why the bodice looks wonky is that I shortened it, but left the width of the dart, so it's almost as wide as it is long. It probably would have been smart to break it into two and rotate one to the side...

  3. Lovely! The Hawthorne looks really nice in the plaid you chose, and it goes so jauntily with your red beret :-).

    Like the other commenters, I notice in the last picture (side view) that the bodice front is shorter than the back. I have this problem with the Sorbetto, actually (my REALLY lazy fix is to just curve down the front pattern piece by an inch at the center front ... which is the wrong fix, I know). I think it needs a FBA, which would add length to the front (rotating part of the dart to the side might accomplish the same effect). Well anyways, that's what I think my Sorbetto needs, a wider side bust dart.

  4. PS: isn't it funny where the blockages in our sewing progress come from? I have the same issue in sewing (and knitting, for that matter)

  5. Gorgeous dress! I love when a dress is shorter in the front, for me it isn´t a bad thing! I haven´t many sewing foots... I wanted to buy a special foot for knits but it cost 30euros! Too expensive!