Two by two by two

Hello all! And also – happy second birthday to The Monthly Stitch! Woo hoo!!!

Crazy to think it’s been two years already. The time, it has flown by!

And now, we’re all about the number two to celebrate.

As such, it seemed only appropriate that Mel and Kat pair up and do one of the “twinsie” creations they do every so often, where they make the same pattern.

This time round, they chose the Hawthorn dress pattern, by Colette.

Then they got to thinking – how else can the “take two” theme be incorporated in their creations? And they realised – they both have fabric from the same Camelot range – What A Gem. Mel has the gems in navy, Kat has the arrows in navy. Two fabrics from the same collection, each used to make the same pattern. Perfect!

And then it got mixed up even more – they both used a second fabric in their dress. Kat used a contrast for the bodice facings (and completely forgot to get a photo of it – whoops! But we can say it’s navy blue with little daisys and cartoon turtles on it), and Mel used a soft grey for a contrast collar. Two dresses, each with two fabrics, with the main fabric being two designs from the same fabric range. 2 x 2 x 2!

(Plus an extra two, as they each used a remnant of the other’s main fabric for backing for their labels that they stitched onto the inside of the dress.)

Yep, the number two wins, all ’round!

Except for getting photos together part. That didn’t go so well, since they accidentally ended up in different parts of the country on the day they were meant to get pics. So this post is a little bit late.

Now, let’s find out a bit more….

Mel – how did you find making up the Hawthorn pattern?
I wasn’t really excited about this pattern when it first came out but I’ve seen some really nice versions and you can never have enough shirt dresses right? The collar is a nice detail and quite different from the usual shirt style.

It is typically Colette in terms of great instructions and I’ve always found their fit right for me so I didn’t make any adjustments. It felt a tiny bit big after wearing it a few times however so since these photos I’ve taken in the side seams a little.

Keep an eye on the seam allowances, they change when you add the button placket to a smaller allowance…I’m not saying that I had to unpick the whole bodice length of the button placket on both sides but…just keep that in mind 😉 

Kat – how did the Hawthorn work for you?
It was a surprisingly fun and easy sew! I’d heard some scary things about fitting this pattern, but it all worked out rather well for me, I think. I started off by doing a small bust adjustment – Colette draft for a C cup (which in sewing terms means a 3″ difference between high bust and full bust) and I have a AA cup (which in my case means no difference between high and full bust. Convenient when exercising. Less fun when you can’t find pretty bras to wear.) So I did a 2″ small bust adjustment, taking it down to an A cup (because let’s face it, gotta have some shaping there, right?!?)

The only other adjustment I did was folding out 13cm at the hem of each of the front and back skirt pattern pieces, simply because I didn’t have enough fabric to fit the full skirt width.

Shards of Hope Hawthorn dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But yes, it was nice to sew up! I’m happy with the fit, the instructions were perfectly fine, and I’m already planning on making another one.

Shards of Hope Hawthorn dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Mel – did you use any fun finishings or notions, or anything tricksy like that?
It’s not shown on the line drawings but the skirt has a centre back seam which surprised me when I was laying out. I decided to eliminate that seam by cutting on the fold instead, you can just fold the seam allowance out of the way. However my fabric wasn’t wide enough to accommodate the whole width of the back skirt so I pieced the corners on. I cut these extra pieces from the selvedge so I didn’t need to finish them, this reduces bulk plus it’s a bit fun to have them there, don’t you think? You wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell you 😉

My collar is a grey cotton to match the darker grey gems (I almost went for pink or bright blue but I was restrained) and I love my pearly grey buttons.

I used a scrap from Kat’s dress under my label – it’s like fabric inception…fabriception!

Kat – what notions/trims/etc did you incorporate?
I pulled out one of my current favourite notions for this one – Hug Snug rayon seam binding. I am totally in the middle of a love affair with that stuff! This is the newest colour I’ve added to my collection of it – a lovely bottle green, which I used to finish the facings and for the hem.

I also used a dark green polycotton bias binding to finish the armholes.

And a special mention to the buttons – coral, with lines that reflect the lines of the arrows. They make me happy. And made me even happier when someone on Instagram pointed out that they look a bit like cat faces. Yay, cat faces! 🙂


All these pretty dresses but what’s a birthday without cake?

Did you think we’d forgotten that part?

Don’t be silly!

We celebrated with a delicious high tea at our favourite Wellington girly high tea venue, Martha’s Pantry.

Shards of Hope Hawthorn dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes


Two bloggers, making two dresses. Two fabrics in each, and two fabrics from the same fabric collection.

Happy birthday, Monthly Stitch!

(Now please excuse us, we need to go eat some more birthday cake….)

Twinsies are serious business 😉

(Want to know more? Check out their blogs – Mel’s here, and Kat’s here.)

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