Damaged Goods

Thank you all for the kind comments about my Hawthorn.*  Sadly I had a little accident on Monday when I wore it to work.  Somehow I caught my sleeve in my purse and tore the fabric.  😦  The hole is small, so I hope I can patch it up somehow. Otherwise, I guess I will be cutting a new sleeve.

I’m a really clumsy person, so it’s nothing new to me to ruin clothes.  But it sure hurts a lot more when it’s something that I’ve spent so many hours making.

Other than figuring out how I will fix my poor sleeve, I’ve been slowly making progress on another dress.  Here’s a peek:

*On a happier note, my dress was selected to be in the Hawthorn Parade over at the Coletterie, which lifted my spirits about having damaged it.  Hop over and check out all the other lovely versions of this pattern if you haven’t seen them already.


Completed: Hawthorn Dress

Here it is, my finished dress for Colette Pattern’s Hawthorn Sew-Along.  I really love it!!

The dress is comfy, yet dressy enough for work — a win win in my book.  I’m really thrilled that it has sleeves.  I haven’t made a dress with sleeves yet, so this is a big step.  I had a few troubles with them along the way, but was able to work it out with the advice from some wise commenters.  🙂  (Thank you!)

The fabric is from my Mood haul.  I have a serious crush on it.  It’s a light weight cotton sateen, that has a slight, but not obnoxious sheen.  It also has a tad bit of stretch.  It pressed wonderfully and didn’t shine at all.  It’s machine washable too.

Oh, and I also made my first ever belt!  It’s hard to find belt making supplies, especially the fabric covered buckle kits.  I ended up getting some vintage buckles on Etsy.  This one is from 1964.
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It was a little tricky to cover the buckle.  I had to try a few times.  But I love how it turned out.  Now I want matching belts for everything!


Summary of modifications:  I cut a size 2; did a 1/2″ SBA; divided the single waist dart into two; scooped 3/8″ out of underarm to make the sleeves more comfortable; and shortened the skirt about 2 inches.

On to the details…


I had a hard time deciding on buttons. I couldn’t find anything to match the fabric. In the end I went with these matte black ones.


Inside front.  I did a Hong Kong finish on the facings.  Details on how I did it here and here.

Inside back.

I did a rolled hem.  It was faster and easier than trying to hem this thing by hand.  Also with the sateen, it’s really hard to make the hand stitches invisible.

Collar and tag.
NOTE: There’s a mistake in the pattern instructions. If you want your collar to line up properly, sew the short ends with a 1/4″ seam allowance!

Sleeve. I like the top stitching.

Overall, Hawthorn is a very wearable dress, and was pretty easy to make.  I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a twist on a classic shirt-waist dress.


Got bored taking photos.   So this will be the last one!

Hawthorn Sleeves – All Better!!

Yesterday I lamented about my troubles with my Hawthorn sleeves.  Thanks to the tips left in my comments I’ve found the solution!  (You guys are awesome!) Look how much better the sleeve is looking!!!

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Today  🙂

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Yesterday  😦

A special thanks to brocadegoddess, your advice was right on, and fixed both the puckering and the too tight underarm!

Now I’m getting excited to finish the dress again!  Ah, sewing, it can be a bit of a roller coaster at times!  😉

Hawthorn – Sleeve Troubles

Everything was going great with my Hawthorn dress.  Until I tried to set in the sleeves.  I think it’s me, I’m not very good at sewing sleeves.  But I feel like I’ve tried everything.  I’ve sewn and re-sewn them countless times.  I even carefully hand basted them in, hoping that would do the trick.
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And this is as good as it gets.  Pucker City.  😦
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I’m frustrated, but decided to call it a “design detail” and move on.  Then I put the dress on realized the sleeves dig into my armpits.  So not only are they puckering, they are uncomfortable!

I think I know the solution – make the dress sleeveless.  I’m gonna sleep on it tonight though before I do any more seam ripping. What I really want to do is give up and start a new project.  Anyone else have sleeve troubles?  Do I just need more practice?  Or am I destined to sew sleeveless dresses forever?

Hawthorn Facing Tutorial Part 2

As I’ve continued to work on my Hawthorn dress, I realized that if you follow my last tutorial on finishing the facing pieces, it might lead to some issues/confusion as you work through the subsequent steps in the pattern instructions.  (Guess that’s what I get for posting a tutorial late at night, and without thinking everything through. My apologies!!)  But I think I’ve worked it out, and so here’s Part Two of the tutorial …

I suggested that if you want to do a Hong Kong finish on the facings, it should be done before the facing is sewn to the bodice. Then I noticed in the pattern instructions that after you sew the skirt onto the bodice, you are told to finish all the facings – skirt and bodice – as a single unit.  (See page 31 of the instructions.)  Oops.  So what do you do if you already finished the bodice facing??  My answer:  You finish the center fronts of the skirt pieces with a Hong Kong finish, and then sew the bodice and skirt together.

1) Trim 1/4″ off the center front of skirt, after the interfacing is applied.

NOTE: You may not need to do step one, but I did. To find out, pin the skirt to the bodice, right sides together, match up the notches and seams.  When I did that, I had 1/4″ of excess skirt fabric extending at the center front.  I trimmed it off because I wanted my finished edges be lined up.

2) Finish the skirt fronts, just like you did the bodice facing pieces.

3) Make sure your bodice facing is opened out away from the bodice.  Pin the skirt and bodice together, and sew.

4) Finish the waist seam. Then press it down toward the skirt.

5) Last, turn the facings back under and press.

Here’s how my fully finished facings look.

If you feel more comfortable following the pattern instructions, but still want nicely finished facings, just do the Hong Kong finish after the facings are installed, and the skirt is sewn to the bodice.  (Specifically, on page 31 of the instructions, substitute the Hong Kong finish for turning the outer edges of the facings under 1/4″ and stitching.)

Hope this makes sense!  If you have any questions, let me know.  🙂