Jumping on the Hawthorn & Blogging Bandwagon

(Or is that ‘band wagon’….ummm, no ‘bandwagon’ looks more right, huh?)

So anyway, welcome to yet another sewing blog, and yet another Colette  patterns Hawthorn iteration.  This post features my modern/’normal’ sewing personality.  Hopefully the next post will be about the other one.



Hooray for Hawthorn!

My face may look goofy, but for my first time trying this out myself I’m pleased I actually got a mid-air shot.  This was my first time doing a self-photo-shoot, so there was a lot of experimentation going on.  And Holy Cow look how blindingly white my legs are!  You may want to grab a pair of sunglasses yourself to continue reading this.  Can you tell I live in Canada, lol.  And you know what else?  For me, my arms are pretty tanned right now.  Sad, huh?

I just finished this blouse last night and got a new tripod a few days ago so it seemed the right time to start trying my hand at normal blogging (I have a specific project blog from a few years ago here: http://brocadegoddess.wordpress.com/ I didn’t know what I was doing, I still don’t).

This is view 1 of Hawthorn, sans sleeves (it’s still summer).


Technically I’m considering this a wearable muslin.  I made most of my usual alterations to the pattern beforehand, but then tweaked it afterwards (details below).  I made this out of a vintage cotton print (I’m pretty sure it’s 60s) that I got for something like $2 at the Textile Museum of Canada’s annual fundraiser, the More than a Yard Sale.  If you don’t know what this is, basically it’s a big sewing/knitting/needlework yard sale set-up in the parking lot by the museum the last weekend of May, and it’s so. much. fun.  I had’t been for a couple of years because I don’t live in Toronto (anymore), but I was visiting my parents (in the GTA) at the end of May and actually partially planned my dates around the sale (I’m not ashamed to say it!)  Of course, I told my mom: “oh, I don’t usually get much at this, but it’s fun to look” and this year totally made me a liar.  When you can get a 3m piece of luscious emerald green wool melton for $6 you don’t say no!  And there were other wools, and cottons, and silks, and, and, and.  Hopefully some of my other treasures from this sale will show up on here over time.

This piece of fabric was wonky, it was actually 4 small pieces seamed together and cut with pinking shears all around the edges.  Obviously someone used it for some kind of something, but the print was so fun and in one of my favourite colour palettes.  I was sure I could get some kind of little blouse or dress bodice out of it – and I did!  The pattern pieces for the Hawthorn fit perfectly in between the seams of the pieces.  I even had just enough left over to re-cut one of the peplum pieces that I cut wrong side up (15+ years of sewing and I’m still waiting for a project I don’t make a mistake on somewhere).  The buttons are from my stash and I was very happy to find a good use for such a neutral colour button – and I had the perfect number of them!  I just can’t lose any from the blouse.

Ooh la la

Ooh la la

From bust to hip I cut out sizes 6-8-10 (pear much?).  However, I think sz 8 in the hips would still have been fine, and overall it’s a tad roomy, but I wouldn’t want the buttons to pull and gape.  I also shortened the bodice at the waist by at least an inch.  I’m really short-waisted and usually have to take at least this amount out with all patterns.  Since finishing the blouse, I’ve taken an additional 1/4″ off the bodice at the waist.  I also didn’t specifically use the view 1 pattern.  I bought this as a pdf, and instead of wasting tons of paper printing out each view, I printed view 2 to have the greatest number of pattern pieces and traced/drafted the peplum from the dress skirt piece.  I’d read on a few other blogs that there was an error with the collar piece.  They recommended sewing the front edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance, not a bad idea since you would trim it down anyway.  However, I chose to add 3/8″ to the front collar piece at the shoulder so that in future I won’t have to remember to change seam allowances mid-stitching. Ummm…what else….oh, I also changed the front darts a little to have slightly curved lines for better fit there.  This is something else I do frequently on patterns.

Whoops, missed a button.

Whoops, missed a button.

Like everyone else, I really, really like this pattern.  It goes together easily and has some nice little details like the collar and neck edges.  It’s also one of those pieces that’s comfortable to wear without being sloppy ( hate sloppy, I don’t wear t-shirts and hardly ever jeans).  Seeing other people’s Hawthorn dresses, I’m feeling pretty keen to do one (or 3) myself.  I’m also planning more blouses, with and without sleeves.  This is a gratifying pattern to use smaller yardage amounts on.


I’m not showing you a picture of the back, because I appear to have slouched in those and they look bad.  They also indicate that I, in fact, do need to go to the hairdresser and have my cut cleaned up.  I’d been wondering about this for a while, but since I don’t see the back of my head often I wasn’t sure.  Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!


On the inside, I french seamed the bodice and peplum side seams, bound the waist seam, armhole edges and facing edge with bias tape, and made a narrow hem at the bottom.  One thing that’s hard to see in the photo is that I also did something new (to me) with the facing.  Just a few days ago I got a blind hemming machine!  Whee!  It was Cidell’s fault (not really, but she inspired me to think more seriously about it than before).  She mentioned sewing down a facing with her’s so I decided to try it with mine.  I need more practise.  But it worked in the end!  Oh – and I also managed to do all 8 buttonholes perfectly!  Even though my machine does buttonholes automatically, it’s still rare for me to get through 8 without running into a single snag!

Well, I think that’s it for my first post!  If anyone actually reads this, please feel free to make suggestions on any aspect.  I really don’t know what I’m doing and need help!


6 thoughts on “Jumping on the Hawthorn & Blogging Bandwagon

  1. I need a ton of practice too. But, I was so happy with the non floppies on the facing. Lovely! Please keep me posted on your blind stitcher. And blog it! We home sewers aren’t talking much about them.


  2. I love the fabric you used and the insides of this top are so pretty!! Thank you for your suggestion of curving the darts… definitely going to try that, especially since yours look so good (ha, only in a sewing blog could one get away with opening admitting to staring at boobs 😉 YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN).


    • Welcome, and thank you very much for the kind words and encouragement Jackie! I hope you’ll keep visiting and since I couldn’t stop sewing if I tried (it’s a disease, isn’t it?) I intend to keep posting!


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