Pattern review: Colette Patterns Hawthorn dress

Pattern: Colette Hawthorn

Fabric: Rayon/linen blend from Joann’s

Size: I cut a 6 in the bodice, graded to a 10 at the waist.  I should have cut at least a size smaller.  My measurements are 33-28-39.

Notes:

It’s been a long time since I made a Colette pattern.  They haven’t always fit me well, particularly in the back, but I decided to make this one anyway.  I made a small bust adjustment of 1/2 inch on the bodice.  I did not make any other adjustments to the pattern.  I did blend a 6 on top to a 10 in the waist.  As it turns out, that was too big, and I should have probably made  a 4 and a 8.  I’m always worried about things being too small, and inevitably cut a size larger.  I took it in at the side seams, but I think it could use another inch at least.

I used a hong kong seam finish on the entire facing, and I finished the hem and armholes with contrasting bias.  I made the bias of some random quilting cotton in my stash.

I like the contrast, and the hem band makes the skirt hold its shape.  It also looks much neater on the top facing:

I think I’m going to buy an edge stitching foot – that collar stitching is just not as neat as I would prefer.

Conclusion:

I think this is a great pattern. It came together more easily for me than other Colette patterns, and it fits pretty well with only a SBA.  I would make a few adjustments if I make it again.  I would cut a smaller size, and I would raise the waist by at least an inch.  I can’t wear a belt with this dress because the waist is so far below my natural waist.  If you are shortwaisted like me, that’s something to watch for.  It’s also perhaps a little big in the back – I don’t think I need the back darts to be quite so full.  This is a common issue for me with this pattern brand, I had just forgotten about it!  I did not make a muslin, because I don’t have the patience right now, but it still turned out well.  As always, I’d recommend sewing the side seams last in order to fine tune the fit.  That’s saved me on a number of occasions!

The pattern instructions were generally good.  There is an error in the printed version of the dress on the collar – you must sew the collar to facing using a 1/4″ seam allowance on the front short edges only.  Otherwise it will not line up.  I used sew-in interfacing, and while there are a lot of layers at the collar I was able to trim.  I used a clapper with lots of steam to get the seams flat, and then at the very end I sewed the collar to the dress at the shoulder seams to prevent rolling.  This is not in the instructions, but I would recommend doing this step.

So, overall I recommend this pattern, and I may make the sleeved version come fall!