February 27, 2015

Floral Hawthorne

There is still lots of snow on the ground, but we are eternal optimists, so we’re continuing with our spring wardrobe. Spring can be pretty unpredictable in terms of both weather and temperature, so as we plan what we want to wear the ability to layer well is right at the top of our list. Dresses with slim sleeves that come do at least the knee are perfect for this kind of transitional garment — they can be worn with tights or bare legs, are suited to cardigans in different weights, and with the right fabric choice can carry you from late winter right into summer. Enter Hawthorne, another Colette Patterns’ dress, which ticks off all these boxes.


We sewed this up in Liberty Tana Lawn in the Belmont Ivy print, which is one of the grey florals that Liberty does so well. Belmont Ivy is a subtle and sophisticated print, featuring pale grey and green leaves over a green-black background  (so, not technically a floral). It’s a great all-over print because the repeats blend nicely together, masking seams to create an unfussy, easy-to-wear garment (very forgiving for a beginner sewist). Liberty is a dream to sew and it feels fantastic to wear.


Hawthorne is one of those fantastic Colette patterns that offers several variations: sew this as a sleeveless dress, a dress with long sleeves, as a short-sleeved dress (as we did, by shortening the pattern sleeves), or as a peplum top (a great way to nail down the fitting before sewing up the full dress). The dress features inseam pockets, buttons all the way down the front, and that perfect vintage-inspired collar. The bodice is fitted with darts that help it nip in at the waist above the semi-circle skirt, which skims over your hips without adding too much volume. It’s a flattering silhouette for a variety of body shapes, and the pattern comes in a wide range of sizes.


Funnily enough, we’re finding that one of the most fun things about sewing is that it has opened up all kinds of new knitting possibilities! Once you’ve made a dress (or top, or whatever), the temptation to complete the outfit with a sweater or two is hard to resist. Here’s what we have in mind for Hawthorne: For cold-weather laying, the neckline of Braid Hills is perfect for showing off that little collar, and its nipped-in shaping suits the shape of this dress, and Coronis is a perfect little cropped pullover, with a retro sensibility. For spring and summer layers, we love the Fieldwork Cardigan, which has a flattering deep-vee neckline, perfectly defined waist, and all-over lace to keep you warm without overheating. How would you style Hawthorne?