A Navy Seersucker Hawthorn Dress
Hey guys, I’m back!
Where to start….
I feel as if I’ve been gone for a month, which is probably true as it’s almost August now. I’ve been a busy little sewing bee, have done some knitting, and also some house hunting while I was gone. I don’t have anything to show on the house front nor on the knitting front quite yet, but I do have a sweet little hawthorn dress finished, and just in time for Colette’s fun sewalong/contest.
Truthfully, I didn’t know about the contest until after I had plotted my two dresses. So the contest is just a fun bonus in my mind.
I’m only going to talk about my navy Hawthorn today, but both of my dresses helped me through the grief of Baxter’s passing. I went fabric shopping the Friday after the 4th of July, just to get out of the house and not wallow. It helped a bit. But coming home and getting back to my daily routine and sewing was tough. As I was sewing this navy dress I kept finding little bunny hairs on it. :|
I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t just miss Baxter and her sassy ways, but that connection, the bond. That’s what I miss now after all is said and done. But I do have to say, the Hawthorn dresses were a wonderful distraction as I’ve gotten nearly through this first month.
- Fabric: Lightweight navy cotton, semi seersucker like, but not quite. It has a bit of stretch.
- Notions: Lots of buttons
- Extras: Silk Organza to stabilize the shoulder seams & center bodice for the buttonhole thread loops, Rayon Seam Binding to stay the waistline seam allowance (via Sewaholic here.)
My favorite thing about this dress is my line of 42 white pearly buttons down the front.
This was a major pattern alteration, not hard to do but really it was just more fiddly than anything. I measured the center front of the bodice and added width to the left bodice (my left-your right) for a wider piece for the buttons and I removed width so that the edge of the bodice would be center front when the facing is sewn on (the side with the buttonhole loops, my right-your left).
I basted in some silk organza on the wrong side of the center front to help stabilize the buttonhole loops. I made narrow tubes and cut them all 2.25″ long. This accommodated for a 5/8″ seam allowance at the center front with enough loop to fit over the buttons themselves.
In the detail shot, you can really see that there is more of the length within the 5/8″ seam allowance than there is in the buttonhole loop itself. heh
I basted all of the loops on to the bodice and then the facing was sewn right on top of all of this, just like in the pattern. But instead of using the 1/4″ seam allowance that was in the pattern I made mine 5/8″. So that line of stitching going right through the buttonhole loops is my center front.
I took this image later in the night, after realizing you really couldn’t see the button loops when the dress is all buttoned up.
I put a white paper underneath so you could see the button loops are sewn to the edge, whereas the button side has a good inch + of fabric between the buttons and the edge of the bodice.
It took more than 1 movie for me to hand stitch on all of these buttons. But it was a relaxing way to spend an evening. :) I’m pretty sure I was watching My Man Godfrey, an episode of Pushing Daisies, and I can’t remember what else, but there was a third.
I was compelled to add a smidgen of white onto the sleeve cuffs as well to help compliment the buttons. The white is just a thin strip of fabric, folded over which I based to the edge of the cuff and then the cuff with white was top-stitched to the sleeve.
I barely had to make any alterations to the Hawthorn dress, despite making 3 muslins before hand. Yeah I know right?! I always have to fiddle with the armscye: raising the armpit seam section up, narrowing the shoulder, and redrawing the armscye curve inwards. Well… I was doing all of this work to get the sleeve to fit right and it turns out the issue was just the sleeve not the bodice! heh
I’m chalking the 3-muslin attempt to my poor brain function, post Baxter. Anyhow… I added some more sleeve cap ease and it fits wonderfully now!
My sleeves are puffier than the original, sleeker ones of the pattern. But they were too binding for my thicker arms-narrow shoulder combo. I don’t mind though… I think the gathered sleeve caps make this pattern a bit more sweet and summery.
I don’t know why my eyes are shut… perhaps I’m just looking down???
The only other alteration I’ll make for next time is taking in the waist a tiny bit more along with raising the waistline by 3/8″. It’s easy to wear around and its soo soo comfortable, but I think it could look a bit more polished if it were a bit more fitted at my waist.
Thank you all for the wonderful well wishes these past few weeks. It’s hard to let go of my little bunny-buddy of 9+ years but I know I’m slowly on the mend. I do hope to be able to welcome a new furry friend to Quincy in the months to come, whether it be another bunny-buddy or possibly a dog (if we move to a house with a yard.)
Next up is my chambray Hawthorn so stay tuned…