I am so happy that I love this dress, because it was a nightmare while I was making it. I am really glad that I didn't give up on it, as I was tempted to do a number of times, and it actually turned out to be exactly what I was looking for: a comfortable, light, casual summer sundress.
So the pattern is Colette's Hawthorn. It's a great pattern and even has a cute peplum top variation. I decided that I would make the top as a wearable muslin first, and this would help me practice making button holes and also give me an idea of any fitting changes I might need to make. The top turned out pretty well except that the fabric I used was pretty thin, and I'm not entirely sure that I will wear it, but it was good practice. I debated and debated looking at the top if I should shorten the bodice a little bit, but I really wasn't sure - I made a note in my sewing journal (yes, I am a nerd and take notes on every project I make). It was little bit tight at the waist too and I couldn't decide if that was because of my fat belly or if it was because the waist was not at the right level, but thought I could just let the side seam out a tiny bit at the waist if need be. I also made a note to do a narrow shoulder adjustment too as I wanted it sleeveless, and there was just a touch to much fabric across the shoulders. Fast forward two weeks when I decided to finally make the dress version.
I had this swiss dot chambray I bought at Denver Fabrics in my stash for months with the plans of making an Emery, but seeing as my last Emery was a bit of a flop, I decided it would be perfect for this Hawthorn (and I was right). I decided to ignore my notes on shortening the bodice, but I did narrow the shoulders by 1/2". The construction went along beautifully. Everything fit together perfectly, the insides looked beautiful - I was even thinking how this would be a dress that I took pictures of the inside for my blog so you could see how great seam work was. I sewed the button holes, but before I cut them, I decided to try it on. It looked horrible. It was too big, the waist was definitely too low and John was not in love with my fabric choice (not really a surprise as he doesn't really like anything denimish if it's not jeans). This was about 11 o'clock at night, and John and I both decided I should just scrap the whole mess, chalk it up to a learning experience and start over. I was upset, and of course obsessed about it all night.
When I got up in the morning, I decided it wasn't as bad as I thought and that I needed to save it. I just loved that chambray, and I had already put so much effort into it. I ended up unpicking the waist seam (and two button holes - such a pain) and shortening the bodice by an inch. Then because the waist was now in the right place, I took in the side seams by about a 1/4'' and it fit perfectly. I re-spaced the two button holes I unpicked and re-sewed them (so now the button spacing isn't perfect, but it's not really noticeable). And voila, perfect fitting Hawthorn. I am really glad that I persevered because I love this dress and I have worn a bunch of times already. It's cool and comfy, and as an added bonus, I think it flatters my shape really well too. It's a bit wrinkly in these photos as I had been wearing it all day, but it presses really nice.
I have now transferred all my changes to the flat pattern, so my next one should go much more smoothly, and I will definitely be making another one. Thank goodness for my inherited OCD and determined, won't let it go attitude, it really paid off this time.
Has something like this ever happened to you? Have you ever worked on a project to think it was an epic fail, but then found a way to save it? (It happens to me all the time, ask the boys - they've been served many a grilled cheese that was burned on the inside from me turning the bread around because I had used up the last slice. What can I say, I'm crafty ;) )