Monday, 12 August 2013

My Sewing Fail - Colette Hawthorn Dress

It's not often I post my failed makes on here.  Usually because I don't wear them and find them a new home but I can't seem to let go of this dress.

I bought this fabric whilst in Canada, and couldn't work out what to do with it.  Then I bought the Colette Hawthorn pattern and knew these two were meant to be together.  All I needed was a lining, so I picked up some grey poplin from work and got to work.

The dress was a dream to sew up.  Even although the eyelet fabric was a bit awkward.  I thought the grey underneath looked good and made the eyelet stand out well.  Once I was all sewn up and ready to put buttons on, I popped the dress on to find that it didn't fit.  Now I've never had a problem in fitting Colette patterns and I was stumped.  I took it off, measured myself and measured the dress and found that the dress measurements were bigger than me, as I expected.  I put it on again.  And quickly realised what went wrong.

The waist doesn't hit my natural waist, but rather a few inches lower.  This means that the sizing is out of proportion on me.  I was gutted.  I know that if I make it again, I'll need to raise the waist line which isn't a problem (and I can't wait to make another version!).  What I can't work out is why it's low?  I'm both long legged and long bodied and usually have the opposite problem where the waist hits higher, so this is new to me.

So, sewing friends.  I need you help me out on this one question.  Do I keep the dress and hope I loose some more weight (after all I haven't exercised in over 3 weeks thanks to my surgery recovery time) or do I finish it and find a new home?


  1. How strange - especially for a tall person like yourself. I wonder if others have found the body long on the pattern? Is there anyway you could unpick the waistband/line and make the alterations? It's such a lovely colour and fabric it seems a shame not to be able to wear it yourself someday.

  2. Can you unpick the waist seam and raise it up? I've had to do that once before. I hated undoing all that work, but the fit was much better afterward. hope it works out becuase that fabric is great!

  3. Oh no! That's not fun at ALL! Is it possible to take it apart at the waist seam and shorten the bodice?

  4. Thank you for your comments ladies! I could un-pick the waist but I'm not sure how that would work the way I've lined and top-stitched it. And at the time I was just really frustrated and wanted it out my sight! Ha, I'll sit on it for a couple of weeks and see how I feel. I'm just glad I didn't put the buttons in :)

  5. The dress and fabric are so adorable, I wish it fitted you! I second the unpicking and raising the waist. As for the top stitching & lining, could you raise the waist and add a fake waistband around the outside to hide any problems that may arise from the lining & so forth?

    1. Hi Zoe, thanks for your suggestion, I think I might try playing around with the waist area. I've put it away just now but will probably go back to it over the next couple of weeks :)


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