Skip to main content

Sewing Hawthorn 1026 by Colette Patterns

ALERT: I stopped blogging because my life got REALLY FREAKING EXCITING. Sorry about that. I moved to Portland. I became immersed in vintage fabric and sewing pattern beauty. I met this amazing guy that swept me off my feet. I biked my butt off for pedalpalooza. I adopted a St. Bernard that weighs as much as I do. HE IS HUGE. And I started a new job in Human Services that is pretty awesome. Moving forward... (with a delay of many months)

This pattern was just too good to be true-- a shirtwaist dress with a semi-circle skirt, an opportunity to test a pattern before release, a pattern name that happened to be the neighborhood I'd just moved to after relocating to PDX from Seattle, and a pattern number that matches my birthday.

 I WIN!!!!!! They must have made this one just for me.

I love the way the skirt swings and twirls when I walk, dance, play, etc. My friend Emily gave (read: gives) me a hard for wearing this dress too many days per week, but this is the article of clothing that I feel best in. I took the time to try and get the fit right (sewed my first muslin!) and found that I fell somewhere between size 0 and 2 in this pattern size range. I graded from 0 at the bust to 2 at the waist and had to increase the armscye dept, but otherwise this pattern fit like a charm.

Sewing details? Easy breezy. Colette Patterns have in-depth and some of the best instructions/illustrations for sewing and assembly-- their work is geared toward the burgeoning seamstress and encourages us to learn new techniques or perfect simple things like topstitching. My biggest struggle with this dress is silly in retrospect, but that armscye binding nearly brought me tears. Mind you, this was pre-pattern release and I haven't seen how the instructions have changed, but I read and re-read and read again to no avail. I watched youtube videos. I looked at other books. I was like WHY THE FRACK* IS THIS SO HARD FOR ME?

At the time this was happening the Laurel sewalong (with its many amazing prizes) was taunting me-- I knew I didn't have time to try and slam TWO dresses out. Moving across state lines was hard and I had to hurry and unpack my sewing goods to get going on Hawthorn, and then I broke down and gave up. I just couldn't finish those FREAKING ARMHOLES.And those buttons TAKE FOREVER. I'm just learning to love hand-sewing so don't get mad at me.

 Fast forward: I cheated on my commitment to Hawthorn by just taking a little peak at what Laurel had to offer. I wasn't ACTUALLY cheating, there was no other sewing taking its place, but just a look ya know? That little booklet of extras? That won't hurt anyone.

IT'S A MIRACLE. Therein lies the answers for one struggling with bias binding! ITS EASY! Just read the tutorial in the free booklet of extras and don't be an idiot! SEE! A pretty red contrast binding.

Project details: A lightweight denim that I bought from goodwill for under $10, and this dress didn't even use half the yardage. Vintage/reclaimed bone buttons. If you look closely, each of these buttons is different and they all appear to have been made by hand. Contrast bias binding for the armscye. Hand-stitched hem. And top-stitching/edge-stitching that is less than perfect because the tension on my machine was EFFED.

Good news, I had my machine serviced at Modern Domestic and got it back just in time to start my next pattern testing project. Weee! I'll show you that pretty piece in one week... once the next pattern is released. :)

*Note: random Battlestar Galactica reference


  1. You and the dress are beautiful and you sound so happy!

  2. This is really cute on you! I just moved to Portland and it didn't occur to me that this pattern was named for that neighborhood, duh. I had such a hard time with the first armhole binding I did, an Anna Maria Horner I do it all the time and it seems so easy, funny how that works.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Spinning Jacob Sheep's Wool

Wool = happiness.

Many months back I sauntered on down to the Puyallup fair grounds for the Shepherd's Extravaganza, a part of the Spring Fair that celebrates wooly goodness. It may have been a tad less exciting than monster trucks and demolition derbies but it paired well with the mutton bustin' we saw. Judges rated the best fleeces and awarded corresponding ribbons, vendors sold prepared fiber and yarn of various sorts, and I ate fair food and spent my money on sheepish delights...

... such as this beautiful roving of all black jacob sheep's wool. Above you can see the wool in three different states: prepared fiber (roving in this instance), handspun singles on a bobbin from my spinning wheel, and the two-ply end product. And another view:

I've been practicing my ability to spin worsted or woolen yarns, and I'd call this a semi- worsted. The fiber is much softer than I expected from this sheep and I'm glad to be supporting the livelihood of a rare breed. Long …

March Canning: Pickled Kale

Meet Dinosaur Kale (and Dinosaur Carson).

I came into an abundance of organic kale through a friend and as a means of somehow preserving a bit (there's no way I can eat the lot fresh before it goes bad), I did a canning experiement: Pickled Greens. I could not find any resources on canning hardy winter greens such as kale, chard, etc but it's quite possible that canning kale might result in a mushy and/or tasty mess. Right?

Starting at 10pm, Carson and I inspected the kale for any leaves that were bug infested or diseased-- and this was a most enjoyable activity. I got a good laugh when Carson told me his grandma used to challenge him and his brother to "find as many slugs in the garden" as possible. It wasn't until fairly recently that Carson realized his grandma's ploy was really a way for her to rid the garden of pests. Ha! Anyhow, then I made a potent brine with white vinegar, water, and some pickling spice I picked up from Remlinger Farms last summer (we…

Washing a Romney Fleece (sheep's wool, not a sweater from a presidential hopeful)


Last weekend I attended the Madrona Fiber Arts retreat where my brain was blasted with loads of information about wool and sheep and yarn (more to come on that later. I met famous people! Well, at least famous in the knitting/spinning world), where I spied knitters of all level and obsession, and where I fiercely guarded my budgeted pocketbook. As I squeezed into vendors' booths to admire their yarn, fiber and equipment (and eavesdrop on knitters plans for the lovely stuff) I felt overcome by the urge to spend. Knowing I'm approaching poor (remember, farm internship?) I made an entire round without any purchases and just at the end I spied raw wool. My hands began to sweat with anticipation (weird, I know) as I approached Island Fibers assortment of raw fleece.

If you've never touched sheep's wool before in its natural state I encourage you to add to your life-list. There's something insanely real about losing your fingers in a greasy, smelly mass of fibers …