Monday 7 October 2013

Autumn Make No1: Colette Hawthorn

You would assume that after having put this pattern together twice (here and here) already, I shouldn't have any problems sewing this dress. WRONG! If it is easy, why not make it more complicated by adding a lining?

10 minutes of sun - photo time :)
To be fair, I had to add a lining because otherwise the eyelet would reveal too much of what I am wearing beneath. We don't want this, do we?

Lining the bodice was not the problem as I had done this before and I just had to attach a underlining and voila could treat the shell and lining fabric as one piece. But how do you add a lining to a full circle skirt when (a) you don't want a full circle skirt lining and (b) your skirt has a button stand?

It took me a while to figure out how to do this and I came up with a okayish idea I think. I cut out a big square from the lining. One side of the square had the same length as the skirts waistline allowing me to baste skirt and lining together at the waist. I then sewed the skirt to the bodice and for some reason the skirt was almost 1" two short. To fix this, I just made the waist darts of the bodice a bit bigger. Big mistake. Although I had some ease on the waist, the dress is now quite tight, buh.

However, I am just able to wear it BEFORE breakfast, haha. If I want to wear it after breakfast, I have to move the two buttons and the snap fastener at the waist a bit.

See how the lining pulls at the waist?

More pulling when you open out the facing.
To avoid having the slippery lining fabric in between shell fabric and facing (I really didn't want to sew button holes on two layers of slippery lining fabric), I just stitched the lining to the facing as far as I could go towards the waist. That's the reason why there is a pull of fabric at the waist as well. Complicated? Sorry, I didn't take any pics but I don't think my "technique" was really worth it. Do you have any suggestions where I can find info about adding lining to garments in general? That usually gives me loads of troubles because I don't know how to do it.

Hemmed lining. I had to hand-stitch a small section.
Lining and shell hems are finished with an rolled hem from my overlocker :) Did I say, that I loooooovvvvveeee her?

To finish the arm holes I used some leftover bias tape. It is a bit annoying that it is red, but I really wanted to finish the dress and red tape was the only one left. As you will notice, I also had some problems putting it in. That might be because I modified the arm holes. On my other two Hawthorns the armholes are just too tight, so this time a cut them open a bit more. I kept cutting, trying on, cutting and when I was happy with the fit looked in the mirror and noticed that I had cut the armhole too big on the back. So that is why my armholes look differently from the back (I didn't repeat my mistake for the other armhole).

Do you spot the difference?
So, why did I make so many little mistakes? Because I was trying to sew as much as possible during my holidays. And I thought, others can finish one dress a day, I should be able to do so as well. I didn't - it took me two days and the dress is full of little mistakes. I know probably nobody will notice (if I get the tight waist fixed), but I know.

Having learnt from this (and from another fast make - soon to come), I vow to take my time with my next garment. To fit it well and sew slowly :) What about you? Do you feel sometimes the pressure to sew faster because other bloggers finish several garments a week?

Now, just quickly the usual questions and answers (are you still with me?):

Have I worn it yet? Yes, at a stroll in the park and when bending down to collect a chestnut (I think I collected at least 2kg. I just love them. I have them everywhere in the house) the snap fastener at my waist popped open. So no excuses here to wait longer to move it.

Do you like it? I love how it turned out. I used a quilting cotton for the collar and self-cover buttons and just love the look. It was the first time I made self-cover buttons and my fingers were hurting like crazy next day.

Do you see the lining peeking through the eyelet? Love it!

Are you going to make it again? I don't think so because I am having now three Hawthorns in my wardrobe and it is time to try another pattern!

Final pic promised: Front view. Yep, I'm missing one button.


  1. I love the colour!! I'm the same as you, when I rush to get things finished I make mistakes which take forever to fix. xox

    1. Thank you :) Yep, these little mistakes! They are especially annoying when you have cut too much and can't do anything about it. But I am glad that I am not alone.

  2. This is a lovely dress, the fabric is gorgeous (I also like your tights). I also have a tendency to rush and make errors in my hastiness all because I want to get to wear the dress.

  3. I love the fabric choice (and your tights too!!) I also have a tendency to rush and make error in my hastiness, it is all the excitement of wanting to be able to put on that freshly made dress. Everytime I sit down at my sewing station I have to remind myself to take it slow and not rush...but it is hard.

    1. Thanks :) I bought the tights especially for all my petrol blue skirts and dresses that I am making at the moment. I will try to remind myself as well to sew slower, but you are so right, it is super hard. Keep trying and sew on :)

  4. I'm in love with the colour! Too bad these little mistakes happened, I really know how it feels and it's often the reason why I don't wear my handmade wardrobe often. The little flaws really bother me, although nobody will be able to spot them unless they know. But yours looks fantastic. Hurry up with altering the snap, you need to wear it as often as possible now before it gets too cold outside! x

    1. I will try to fix at least the snap fastener - the dress is already sitting on the couch. I just have to pick up the needle and thread... I want to wear the dress with a thin jumper beneath - but I actually doubt that this will fit. Ahh, so annoying!

  5. Your dress is lovely! I really like the two fabrics, and the contrast coloured collar is great. I too am good at making silly mistakes, usually when I'm too tired to think properly!

    1. Thank you. When I was making the dress I actually was not sure if the collar and dress fabric will go together nicely. But I am fully convinced by the endproduct :) I fixed the snap and will be wearing the dress today, juhu.



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