Thursday, 1 August 2019

Self-drafted Hawthorn inspired blouse and hacked Megan Nielsen Wattle Skirt

I appear to have made a matching outfit, which is very pleasing, so I'll start with the blouse.

This was inspired by the lovely neckline and collar on the Colette Patterns Hawthorn dress.  I used my block to draft the blouse, then got out the Hawthorn pattern pieces to copy for the collar and neckline.  Unfortunately all the details are lost in this busy print!

The blouse is shaped with bust and waist darts, and I thought I'd try splitting the waist darts into two darts for a different look.  It worked really well (even if it was double the darts to sew!).  Below is a photo the back of my toile, which is a bit easier to see.  You can see the double dart on the left, and the single dart on the right.

The fabric is some left-over cotton lawn that's been in my stash for years.  I had 89 cm in length and it was 54" wide, and I was very pleased with my Olympic Standard pattern tetrising to be able to get it cut out - being small sometimes has it's advantages!  I was even able to make some bias tape from the area between the two armholes, and used this to face the armholes.

I love how this turned out, and will be making it again.  

The skirt is my very hacked version of Megan Nielsen's Wattle Skirt.  This pattern passed me by when it was released, but then I saw this version by Katie from Katie Makes A Dress and was sold (and if you don't follow Katie's blog, you absolutely should - she's amazing).   

This pattern has four very different versions which I love, it's always great to get so many options on a pattern.  All four views have a rectangle waistband, so the seam where the waistband meets the skirt sits at the natural waist.  The skirt closes with a clever overlap on the top of the left pocket, so it doesn't have a zip.

Katie made View D, and as she pointed out, rectangle waistbands don't really work on small, curvy folk.  So I thought "I know, I'll change this to a contoured waistband.  How hard can it be??!!".  The Too Long, Didn't Read is - very, and don't do it...  

I'll try and explain what I did.  I didn't use the waistband pieces at all, and the top of my skirt is the top of the skirt pieces on the pattern.  I marked in the seam allowance at the waist, then marked down 1 3/4" for the waist band.  Then I traced out new skirt and pocket pieces, and sewed it up.  

It all went well until I realised that I hadn't allowed for the loss of the top of the pocket opening; luckily I have small hands, and the pockets are usable!  It this point the skirt sat for about three weeks considering it's behaviour.  Then I plucked up the courage to draft the waistband, and I really can't explain how I did this, but I cut it out and hoped for the best. And it totally worked!!!  

The fabric is Robert Kaufmann Essex linen which is 55% lined and 45% cotton, and the colour is called Kelly.  I ended up sort of using the closures from Views A and B, because I couldn't be bothered to make the ties for View D, and my lovely button came from my Granny's button box.

So success was clutched from the jaws of disaster with the skirt, and I'm loving my outfit!

Happy sewing,



  1. You're right, the two of them look lovely together - how nice to have a new outfit ready to go! Excellent pattern tetris for the blouse, and good save on the skirt (and I love your Granny's button!).

    1. Thanks Ruth!! Is there anything more satisfying that winning at pattern tetris??

  2. The blouse is so pretty, it reminds me of a Liberty print. And I love your Granny's button, what a treasure!

    1. Thanks Helen! I have a feeling it might have been a Liberty fabric, but I can't remember. Maybe it's "in the style of Liberty"! And there are some other treasures in the button box.

    2. I have the same fabric, bought at the rag market in Birmingham from a chap who claimed it was Liberty. I'm not so sure but it's lovely either way :)


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