I lived off Belmont Street, aka the Colette Hawthorn

The Hubbinator and I met in Portland, Oregon and lived off Belmont street (about 5 blocks from Hawthorn) the year before we moved to Chicago. It was a two bedroom behind a really cool video rental place that had an excellent selection of international films, which we both enjoy. It was also close to the Miracle Theater where I worked and the bus stop that the Hubbinator would go to, to hop a bus and get himself to World Cup where he was Mr. Manager. (I know I’m making an Arrested Development reference when I should probably make some sort of Simpsons reference. So be it.)

It was an easy walk to Hawthorn though, to be honest, I was so busy with my theater and dance life that I rarely just hung out. The Colette Hawthorn is reminding me of all the fun times we had those 3 years in Portland. So much theater work, so many late night movies, so many artists. When I first saw the pattern, it was an instabuy. (I saw it and bought it right then and there. No thinking twice. No waiting.)

For my Hawthorn, I chose a swiss dot voile from Michael Levine fabrics in navy. I love voile. I haven’t actually worked with it a lot but one of my favorite fabrics will always be cotton. I have to say that this voile is airy and perfect for this end of summer heat we’re having in Indiana.

Oh the sweet simple collar. The whole dress is very simple lines. So pleasing to my eye. I bought these bow earrings and saw them as a perfect match for my new dress.

Hawthorn collar close up

I bought this gorgeous Japanese cotton at Crimson Tate from YUWA while I was at their open sew because I wanted to add something special to the inside of the dress. I originally thought I’d make a belt along with the sleeve binding but I bought a belt instead and used the fabric for a headband.

Here’s the sleeve binding. A friend only asked if I made my dress when she caught a peek of my binding and noticed that it matched my headband. I think that’s the best compliment.

sleeve binding

Hawthorn reja Hawthorn steps back Hawthorn steps front Hawthorn wind blowing swiss dot hawthorn top front


Details on alterations and construction:

I cut this dress on Friday night and had buttons on by Sunday afternoon. The only way I could manage this was by skipping the muslin process. However, I did add in fail safes so that I could still fit as I stitched it up. I didn’t have a ton of time to work on this dress and I was making it for an event at the Hubbinator’s work so I didn’t do as much fitting as I normally do- something that I’m not minding on this dress. I like the ease and I think it looks nice. I might take out some width and length on my next Hawthorn.

  • I started with the size 10 but cut the size 8 shoulders front and back.
  • I added 1″ to the bodice front side seams. I ended up stitching on the original cutting line (and I’m glad I had the extra seam allowance so I could do that), giving me 1.25″ more front room.
  • I added 1″ to the bodice back side seams but didn’t need it and ended up stitching the back seams about 1″ instead of the given 5/8″- not much of a difference but I could take more out if I wanted to.
  • I trimmed off the back armscye to the size 8 which I traced on the wrong side of the fabric just in case- and I was right.
  • The skirt I just as a straight size 10 as I don’t have a lot of lower half issues when making skirts.

I used my pinking shears to finish the side and waist seams, bound the armholes and turned up the skirt hem twice and stitched it by machine. All in all, a very quick make since I didn’t spend that much time fitting. I hope my notes help.

What do you think of my Hawthorn? I’m going to be adding it to the Flickr pool for Fall for Cotton since I did end up styling it with a 60s flair and I think it looks a bit like this vintage dress I found on Etsy, especially the collar. What do you think?

50 thoughts on “I lived off Belmont Street, aka the Colette Hawthorn

  1. Brooke says:

    I love it! It looks so cute, retro, and comfy!

    I especially like all your little details. The headband is a perfect accessory and so fun with the matching binding!

    I really like swiss dot fabric too! I recently bought myself some (it’s a bright floral print on white) – I’m really digging your solid navy dot though!

  2. Jo says:

    Leila this is really lovely! I think the fit is great – it looks so relaxed and streamlined at the same time – I wouldn’t tinker with it too much next time! This pattern hasn’t really grabbed me but the more I see it made up, the more I like it, and yours is definitely one of my favourites by far.

    Totally agree about sewing with cotton too. I haven’t done it that much recently and am so looking forward to constructing a dress (soon!) in something well-behaved non-stretchy, cool and straightforward.

    • Leila says:

      Thank you! I’m flattered you like it so much. I swear cotton is one of my faves. The lack of stretch is always welcome in my book. I’m only just coming ’round to liking knits.

  3. Clare Szabo says:

    BEAUTIFUL! You already know what I think of this dress but I will still make a big public announcement. You look wonderful! I am impressed that you finished this so quickly, as the fit looks perfect on you. Big thumbs up to the pattern for being so great! I love the styling, the earrings (jealous!) and the headband are so sweet and cool. Awesome first dress from your new home ❀

  4. ladykatza says:

    I love this dress and you look so happy! I can’t wait to start stitching up my blouse version and then move on to the dress versions! I’m envious you got it made up so quickly.

  5. Betsy says:

    Cute as can be. You look great in it. Nice job.

    I can see it with one of those fabulous fabric flowers we used to wear –a big open rose in red on your shoulder, and a red belt and red shoes. Probably because that is what I wore with a navy dress of mine years ago that I loved and this dress made me remember it.
    Keep up the good work.
    I like the neckline and collar on this dress. I was thinking if one cut the front solid and put in a back zipper, and added short sleeves, it would make a darling LBD in black velvet. Easy and sassy, but demure.

  6. karin says:

    Wow this looks great on you! I almost got that same fabric for mine! I am very tempted to get some to make the top and short sleeved version after seeing yours… πŸ™‚

  7. Chuleenan of C Sews says:

    Lovely! The swiss dot is very pretty. I bought some vintage swiss dot voile a couple weeks ago. The weather is hot here so I may still make something this month from a vintage pattern. LOVE that Japanese cotton – so pretty – makes for a great binding and headband. Looks great on you! Nice that it’s comfy too!

  8. Meris says:

    On a completely unrelated note, I grew up in Portland and know the neighborhood you refer to very well. I agree that this dress embodies the Belmont/Hawthorne vibe. Well done!

  9. Susan says:

    Oooooh, your dress is beautiful! This pattern was an instabuy for me to, but not so much an instamake… Hopefully soon. πŸ™‚ Navy looks beautiful on you, and the fit is great!

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