Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Colette Hawthorn in Emerald

I have been a bad blogger. Sorry for the silence, it's been a busy couple of months with a new job, much much longer hours and a very tired Jodie. I do hope you'll forgive me, as I have many new things to share with you (I have found time to sew!).
Even though it's very much autumn now, I have a few summer makes to catch up on so let's start at the beginning.

This is the first of two Colette Hawthorn dresses I have to show you. I literally made one right after the other in the space of a week. Sorry for the poor quality photos, I have had a nightmare trying to photograph anything recently due to long working hours equating to little to no daylight :( the actual colour of the dress is a warm emerald, not the teal-y colour it appears as here. I wish I could show you the colour properly as it really is lovely!

This was the first, and one that's sat at the top of my projects list for ages not getting made for various reasons. The idea came from a RTW dress I saw in a shop a while back, it was a beautiful emerald/forest green satiny-feel dress with a button up bodice, gathered skirt, and 3/4 cuffed sleeves. It was lovely, and about £5 in the sale which I understood why as I tried it on. Not only had the buttonholes been sewn too small to get the buttons through (an easy fix with smaller buttons!) it just wasn't made to fit a human body. Seriously, it was wrong in so many ways, but on the hanger, really sweet. So of course I papped it and decided I'd make something similar.

I've loved the hawthorn since it was released and remembered how excited I got when I first saw it. Love at first sight. I don't know why I never made it sooner, I guess I hadn't got the right fabric in mind. I decided I would use hawthorn to recreate the dress I saw in the shop, and originally planned to make this with sleeves, then realised that polyester and plackets that need to be pressed well probably won't be friends. I also realised I lacked summer dresses, especially sleeveless ones.
So yeah, here it is.

The fabric was cheap, as usual, £4 a meter from World of Fabrics, Cheltenham. We were visiting for the afternoon and I'd convinced Chris to let me have a look in case they had this particular fabric I was after, and it was literally in the doorway waiting for me. Perfect. I also picked up the fabric for the By Hand London Victoria in that shop. If you're ever in Cheltenham I definitely recommend you visit. It's a huge shop with floor to ceiling stock that goes back deeper and deeper until you think there can't possibly be any more fabric in this shop! The range of dressmaking fabrics is huge, the owner knowledgeable and the prices are very reasonable, AND it's only a 5 minute walk from the centre of town. Do it.

So, back to the dress. I'll admit that I didn't put my all into this dress and took a few shortcuts to get it finished. I turned and stitched the sleeves instead of using bias binding - in my defence I couldn't find a close enough match and making my own from this fabric would have been a ball ache that I wasn't willing to put myself through. I also machine hemmed, a habit I thought I'd broke, but I didn't mind too much since I'd finished the sleeves the same way. So this is more a cheap and cheerful dress than a prized procession, but sometimes it's nice to have a mix of the two, right?

I bought these lovely pearly buttons in the Warwick Wools haberdashery for a mere 9p each, so the total cost of the dress was only about £14. I only used 2.2m of the 4m of 45" wide fabric I'd bought, far less than the pattern called for, but I intentionally over purchased as I'd like to make a simple top out of the remains. I'm considering printing a gold design on it too, and I now have the perfect stamp!
So, onto the fit - I cut a size 2 at the bust grading to an 8 at the waist and hips and the only adjustment I made was to the reduce the bodice length by 2". I noticed that this made the dart funny, so that it didn't meet at the bottom, so I readjusted the bodice piece to where I thought it should be. Had I added sleeves I'd have needed to do a broad back adjustment but sleeveless it was very simple to fit. I also cut the back skirt on the fold as the back seam served no purpose and it fit on the fabric. Made sense.

As for the pattern, I love it. It was really easy to fit, is very comfortable and easy to wear and I anticipate making a few blouse versions in spring as I love that sweet little collared neckline! 

Hawthorn no.2 coming soon!


  1. This is the perfect pattern for you! Suits you so well, especially in the green. I nearly always machine my hems, I don't have the patience for hand stitching when more things are waiting to be sewn! Looking forward to seeing the second one!

  2. Really pretty, Jodie! This style really suits you xxx