Hawthorn plus birds

Hello all! I’m hoping to make a few Indie Pattern Month garments, and this is the first, for dresses week!


The pattern used was mostly Colette Hawthorn, though I substituted in the Sewaholic Granville sleeves so I had long sleeves for winter. I’ve made the Hawthorn before, but not Granville (it’s next on the sewing list, waiting to be cut out. I’m supposed to make it during IPM as well). Strangely enough, unlike everyone else, the sleeves turned out very slightly too short for me – maybe it’s because I did some serious grading when I first made the Hawthorn to get the shoulders narrow enough for me? I’m going to leave them the length as is for my first Granville, anyway, to see if that makes a difference.


The fabric was a cheap cotton lawn from Spotlight, with lining a polycotton sheet from an op shop. The buttons and lace for the hem are also Spotlight, nothing fancy. Which is good, since I’m not sure that I like this dress – this is mostly because of the fabric, which has ended up too bright and too colourful for me, but also the fit ended up really weird. I think I misplaced the buttons and buttonholes, and ended up with the bodice being a lot looser than last time.

As mentioned above, when I first made it I graded from a 10 at the shoulders to 14 at the waist, and also did a FBA, which worked out really well the first time around – for once, I had a dress that didn’t fall off my shoulders. However, it really didn’t work well this time. Strange fitting problems. To line this, I just cut a lining same as the outer shell and interfaced the edges – I’ve since seen someone line the Hawthorn by attaching the lining to facing pieces, like you would a jacket, but I’d already cut this by that time (I also can’t remember where I saw it, sorry).

Overall I found the instructions for both garments – at least, the bits I sewed of each – pretty good. I had difficulty working out what was happening with the Granville sleeve placket at first, and the placket that comes with the Hawthorn was definitely easier to sew, but when I went through step by step with actual fabric, it came together surprisingly well. I also like the way you attach the cuff on Granville a lot better than Hawthorn.


I had one mishap when making this dress. I cut it all on the flat – I barely had enough fabric even doing that – and while I managed to cut all the bodice and skirt pieces properly, ended up cutting two left sleeves. Had I noticed this at the time, it wouldn’t have been a disaster – the sleeve cap is pretty symmetrical, so I could sew it on backwards if I wanted. However, I didn’t notice until after putting in the placket and attaching the cuff. It got to sit in the naughty pile for a while, and then I unpicked the placket and cuff and put a pattern-matched patch on, redoing the placket so it’d be in the right place. I don’t notice this while wearing now, unless I try to roll up the sleeves.

Look at that pattern matching!

Overall I’m pretty meh about this dress, which is disappointing because I loved the fabric before I sewed it up, and I love the pattern, so I thought it would be an instant winner. I’ll wear it a while before deciding, but it might end up being donated. I think I like it better when worn with a cardigan and belt – to break up the pattern a bit – so I’ll see if that helps enough to rescue it.


Happy sewing, guys! If you’d like more photos, you can flick over to my blog.

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