Pattern: Hawthorn dress by Colette Patterns
Size: Size 4 (Should have done the 2 I think)  
Fabric: Red Chambray from Croft Mill
Alterations: Lengthened bodice and graded out at the hips

Remember months ago when I said I was going to do the Hawthorn Dress sewalong? Well I did do it! I just never posted the results. Life got busy, I got engaged and this blog got neglected a little bit. But I’m posting it now and will have lots of the other projects I’ve been working on up as well. Thankfully the weather has gotten much better so I can actually take photos outside.


So back to the Hawthorn dress. I really loved the pictures of this dress online and other projects but I have to say I’m not really happy with the result of mine. I lengthened the bodice because I’m tall and I don’t think it helped things sit better. I also felt I should have increased the waist darts because it’s turned out a little too big. Even though I was sure I measure right! I also did a muslin which turned out perfect. Perhaps this fabric stretched a bit while I was making it… I’ve lost a little bit of weight since I finished it (turns out I’m severely intolerant to dairy and eggs which is why I was feeling unwell all the time!) and now it has only gotten more baggy around the bodice.


I have to be honest and say that I thought I would wear this dress but I’ve since found that I haven’t worn it at all. Did any of ye follow the Colette Patterns’ Wardrobe Architect series? I did and found it really brilliant. I’d already been feeling a little unhappy with some of my makes. The result of them were fine but I found I wasn’t wearing them. I’ve since realised that I need to be careful not to be swayed by beautiful picture of other peoples makes. You’ll be seeing a real reflection of my personal style in the next while – especially since I’ve started my pattern drafting course and can design my own patterns which I am loving!


Obligatory twirling photo!

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  • http://flowercatdesigns.wordpress.com/ Kelly

    I have trouble being influenced by the beautiful makes of others as well. This is such a pretty pattern, though, I really love the collar! It’s good to see you back :)

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Ya it’s sometimes hard to remember your own style when things look so lovely on other people. I’ve learnt my lesson now though :)

  • http://gingermakes.wordpress.com/ Ginger

    This is such a pretty color on you! I’m glad to hear you’ve found the source of your health problems- hopefully you’ve lots of wellness and good health ahead of you now! I haven’t taken the time to do the Wardrobe Architect series, but it seems like such a great idea. I often make things because they’re fun to sew or kind of crazy, which I like, but then I can’t really wear them! Silly!

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      I really found it so useful so I’d definitely recommend it if you find the time! For me personally I’ve learned in the last while that comfort is a big priority for me and I really love jersey and soft fabrics. I also prefer more modern lines and in terms of fabric prints I just don’t wear busy prints or florals. If there are the bigger scale they might get a wear but besides that no chance :) It really clarified some things for me.

  • www.tresbienensemble.com

    It’s disappointing when a pattern doesn’t turn out. The fabric really is pretty. Maybe you can transform this into something else so that you still get a garment you love and want to wear.

    I’m happy hear that you are well and starting to resolve the dietary complications that have been the source of your illness! It’s nice to see you back.

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Thanks Michelle – ya I’m delighted that I’m feeling better and have energy again. Hopefully I will be able to salvage the dress – maybe taking the sleeves off and shortening it? I’ll have to think about it :)

  • Sam

    That colour really suits you, it’s a shame it’s just a little too big, as I can imagine it woold be really flattering if it was more fitted. That’s so frustrating for you. But it’s still a lovely dress. I totally know what you mean about not wearing handmade garments as much as you think you will – why is that? I made Heidi Kirrmeier’s Shellseeker sweater, which was such an inspired pattern, but I lost so much weight after having baby no.2 that it is huge on me and I’m considering ripping it out and repurposing the yarn. Your blog is really enjoyable btw :) Sam


    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Ya it’s disappointing – maybe I’ll try and salvage it somehow. I love Heidi’s Shellseeker sweater! Maybe you can make it again with the same repurposed yarn?

      I’ve followed the Wardrobe Architect series on Coletterie (Colette Patterns blog) and found it really helpful to define what I really like and will wear out of me mades. I’ve realised that I tend to be swayed by pictures people post where the pattern looks lovely even though it’s not really my style. I’m now trying to be much more picky about what I choose to make so that I will wear what I make. I really recommend that series if you haven’t tried it!

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