Sweet Minty Hawthorn

Sorry for the sudden disappearance, I've been super busy! I started my new job a couple of weeks ago (LOVING it, by the way!) and have been working on some custom jobs and alterations along with trying to finish up these two Hawthorns I started recently. Basically, I've been sewing like mad - at work and at home!

When the Colette Hawthorn Sewing Contest was announced I dreamt up this modification, but I couldn't decide on color! So I played around in Inkscape (a freebie Illustrator-like program) and solicited facebook for advice: coral, mint, or orange?

This color combo really makes me want an ice cream sorbet.

Mint won by a landslide! So I ordered up some lovely voile in mint and black from Hawthorne Threads (weird coincidence with the names there!) and took my dear sweet time trying to decide what I wanted to do about that sheer upper bodice. I couldn't decide on fabric!

At some point last week, I thought that I should probably check and see when the contest deadline is. Uhhh, wow, it's the 29th! Holy crap, why didn't I start sewing sooner?!? I'd wanted to make one up to test the fit before doing this modified version, but I finished it over a week ago so no excuses there. And so I finally just grabbed some grey chiffon from JoAnn and got to work! I sewed all weekend and stayed up into the wee hours of the morning on the 29th finishing it up.

I underlined the dress with some beige bemberg that I had leftover from making my bridesmaid dresses. The two layers are basted together and treated as one for the bodice. For the skirt, I sewed those as two units so that the lining could hang free at the hem.

I had some difficult decisions to make about how to handle the placket and facing. The original facing was quite big and would have shown underneath the sheer top. I though about cutting it down to a thinner piece, but then there's that piece at the top center that I wasn't sure would look right that way. So I decided to use some narrow bias binding for the piece that extends from the collar to the button placket, than I sewed on the collar and used a wider bias tape to encase the inside instead of a facing. The placket was redrafted as one piece that folds over like the skirt piece does in the original pattern.

Despite making the armholes significantly bigger (I think I lowered them an extra inch and a half after my first version), they still came out too small! That's what's causing the puckers at the sides there. So I'm planning to fix that soon. The armholes in my first version (pictures to come soon!) turned out just a tiny bit small, but ok, so I think the more rigid bias binding I used in this version may be the issue. Otherwise, I think the fit is perfect!

I ordered some shirt-weight fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply after the regular fusible I usually use kept bubbling up and wrinkling in the wash. All of their interfacings are pre-shrunk and come in huge, super wide packs so I think it's well worth ordering!

A few people have mentioned that the Hawthorn's collar doesn't quite match up to the points on the bodice. I was able to make it work on my first version by stretching the collar a bit and pinning well, but that didn't work with this one! I think it's because I was in a hurry and didn't staystitch the top of the bodice. It probably stretched out of shape by the time I put that collar in! I used a long basting stitch to gather it up just enough to ease in the collar. It doesn't look pretty underneath the collar, but it really isn't too noticible with the collar down. Lesson learned: staystitching is important!

Despite the minor issues I had, I LOVE THIS DRESS!!!!!!

Ok, I don't usually like to use all caps and twenty million exclamation points, but this deserves it. I seriously think this is the best thing I've ever made! I feel like a million bucks wearing it and it really turned out even better than I'd imagined!

I rushed to take pictures before work yesterday morning and uploaded to the Colette Patterns flickr group only to find out that the contest entries had already been posted. I knew I was cutting it super close and possibly wouldn't make it in time, so I was bummed but mostly just mad at myself for not starting sooner. But! Since there was so much confusion about the due date and many people didn't get their dresses submitted in time, Sarai has decided to extend the deadline to Wednesday and will post a whole new batch of entries for voting on Thursday. Yay! So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping I still have a chance.

Good luck to all the other contestants! I was browsing the group earlier today and oohing and aahing over all the pretty entries. This really is a great pattern!

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