Hawthorn – Complete At Last!

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Happy sewist

^^That is the face of a content and relieved sewist, y’all. After almost 3 weeks of on-and-off work, I have completed my Colette Hawthorn dress! It turned out better than I could have hoped, and I’m excited to finally share photos. (I was so engrossed in getting things done that I didn’t think to take in-progress photos, so…) Up next, a photo dump! Please pardon the wrinkles and slightly rumpled nature of the dress–I wore it allllllllll day and was too lazy to press it for photos. Photos which, for the most part, were taken by me using my phone, and so are awkward and at silly angles. Brace yourselves.

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My shoes for the day: yellow!

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Bodice and buttons

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Awkward side view, duh

 

Without the belt

Without the belt

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Hawthorn twirl!

I wore my first me-made anything (TRUE STORY GUYZ) to work today, and pretty much floated around the office, like someone with a very happy secret. I’m already addicted to the feeling of wearing something that I made, so there’s some extra, if unnecessary, motivation for me to keep working hard at sewing.

I felt that this pattern was really straightforward, and I’m glad I opted for the sleeveless version, which made things even easier. This was my first time making a collar, my first time making buttonholes, my first time trying french seams, and my first time using bias binding. BTW, I really liked the way the binding was utilized for the armholes on the Hawthorn. I had assumed that it would be sewn along the outside of the armhole as a finish, but it was used to create a facing that isn’t visible from the outside. The finished result looks really lovely (and I don’t necessarily mean my Hawthorn, just in general) and I am glad to have learned that method. I had some issues along the way, of course: I screwed up my first collar and had to re-cut and sew everything, I sewed the bodice to the wrong side of my skirt (that’s what I get for not taking my time and paying attention), and I forgot to lengthen the bodice facings after I lengthened the bodice by 1″. And because all that wasn’t enough, I had to wash the dress before I could wear it! The chalk pencils I use don’t show up very well (and I used white on this blue shot cotton) and so I had to press pretty hard. Since my cotton is so thin, the markings went through to both sides! So the center of my back had a big ole’ “W” on it (my fabric is identical on both sides, so I had to manually mark out which side was serving as the “wrong” one), as did pieces of my skirt. After all the work I had put in, I was so eager to wear my dress, and I was pissed unamused. And of course, after washing, I had to iron it. Again. Ironing is my least favorite part of sewing, for the record.

Flickr is down right now (of course), so my uploads to the official group will have to wait until tomorrow. But I’M DONE AND IT’S AWESOME AND I WILL WEAR IT FOREVER.

Hawthorn Sew-Along!

This might be a good time to reiterate that I’m really new to sewing. As in, I haven’t technically finished a project yet. (Well, I did do two hems by hand for a friend, and have one dress nearly completed, minus finishing the neckline and hemming the sleeves and skirt.) And yet, when I saw that Colette Patterns was having a Sew-Along for the pattern I just got from them, I felt like this was something I needed to do, right now. Here is the link for the Sew-Along (and contest, which I’ll probably participate in as well):

Hawthorn Dress Sewalong

After getting all worked up about this project and how it would be the most fun thing ever, I got a reality check. First, I looked at the schedule and realized that the muslin stage is now over, and the first few actual tasks are upon us. I do not even have the pattern out of the envelope, you guys. But I told myself, “No big deal, guy–you got this. You have 10 yards of muslin and an entire weekend to fritter away. You’ll be caught up in no time!”

Reality check #2: my fabric. I ordered this pattern with a specific fabric in mind: a beautiful peacock-y blue shot cotton that’s very light and perfect for a summery sleeveless version of the Hawthorn. I’ve had the material for weeks, and felt sure that I was all set in that respect. But no. No. You guys, the version of this pattern that I am making calls for 3 5/8 yards; I have 2 1/2 yards. Not nearly enough. And even though I was seriously deep in denial about this fact (“But wait! Maybe you got 54″ wide fabric and 2 1/2 is enough! SHUT UP DON’T TELL ME IT WAS ONLY 45″. YOU LIE!”), I confirmed it with my purchase receipt. So I ordered another piece of the same stuff, 1 1/2 yards, so that I will have enough. I’m hoping I can cut the top portion and the collar pieces off the smaller piece and save the 2 1/2 yard piece for the skirt sections.

On top of all of that, I cannot seem to find buttons that I like in the correct size. I seem to be drawn to 3/4″ buttons, but I need 1/2″ buttons. And I need 13 of them. I am hoping that by the time we’re at the “sew the buttons” stage, I have found the perfect soulmate buttons and they have arrived from Internet Land in time for me to stay on schedule.

Needless to say, these complications aren’t quite what I envisioned when I decided to participate in my first-ever Sew-Along, but I’m thinking this will turn out okay. Assuming that I don’t fuck up the actual sewing portion of the assignment. O_o

I’m tackling the bodice muslin this weekend (a skirt is mostly just a skirt, so I’m not worried about making a muslin of that), which is scary (Colette Patterns are drafted for C cup, and I’m flat an A, so lots of adjustments must be made). I’m hoping to start the first few fashion fabric steps this weekend as well, and will update accordingly. Wish me luck!