Ive had the Hawthorn pattern in my stash since July 2013, shortly after it’s release. I bought feather fabric to make it but after making my bodice muslin I didn’t think the feathers were the right print and decided to use them for a Mortmain.
Thus, began the search for the perfect fabric. I had just about decided to use a solid chambray when I found this at Greys fabric. It was part picnic blanket, part Dorothy Gale and going to be all mine! I’m sorry but sometimes a fabric and pattern are just made for each other and this to me is one of those times. It’s light weight but not like a voile and has an amazing softness to it that is perfect for a dress.
I made a muslin of the bodice shortly after I bought the pattern and the largest size, 18, was snug in the bust but since this fabric was so light weight and fabulous compared to actual muslin, I thought I’d be okay. On a side note, isn’t it odd how different ours sizes can be from company to company, pattern to pattern? I guess making our own clothes really is more like ready wear than we think, some companies, just like some stores are going to better suit us.
I followed the instructions for this dress to a T. Usually I play fast and loose and will skip interfacing or under stitching, or what have you but since this was my first intermediate marked pattern I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Something I added to my Hawthorn (after following all of the other directions) are snaps in between a few of the buttons. The dress fits really well, is actually a little loose but not in an ugly way, its more of a “in a really comfy way” but the waist and bust buttons were still popping a little bit so I put snaps in between the two buttons where the pop was the most prominent to avoid the world seeing my bra.
I’m a little displeased by the collar, I think it’s too stiff. I think next time I won’t
interface the pieces because once the front facing goes on it’s all connected and the facing from that will help give it stability from the wrong side while letting it move in natural situations (wind, turning my head fast). I was also thinking about making another version with no collar and lining the bodice so stay tuned for where I end up with this!
The pattern called for 12 buttons but I originally put in 13 just because of how I wanted them spaced, but in the end the dress was down to my ankles so I cut off some length and ended up with 11 buttons! I might actually use smaller buttons next time and use 15 or more so it looks more like a traditional button down shirt.
The highlight of this make for me was when I tried it on to show my mom and she asked me where I bought it! She said it doesn’t look homemade at all. I think the combination of very carefully following the directions and the classic design of the dress made this ultimate compliment possible.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m addicted to reading, and every time I think of this dress I think of Nathaniel Hawthorne, I actually listened to The House of Seven Gables audiobook while I worked on this. Visiting places from books is something I love to do so maybe the next time I’m in Salem I’ll wear my Hawthorn. The last time I was there I got a little present on my leg from a bird so cross your fingers it doesn’t happen to my fab Hawthorn dress!