Thanks for reading the Colette blog!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.


Introducing Hawthorn! (+ get 15% off through Friday)


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Go to Seamwork






When we were taking these photos a couple weeks ago, our beautiful model Sierra twirled in this dress and said exactly the words I would want to hear:

“This is a dream dress! It’s so flattering and comfortable at the same time!”

Well, thank you Sierra, for helping me introduce Hawthorn to everyone.

A shirtdress that works with curves

Now, I’ve always loved a good shirtdress. They have that casual chicness that reminds me of gamine starlets like Jean Seberg and (of course) Audrey.

But it’s hard to find one that actually works with my body, and I suspect others have faced the same challenge. They are often quite boxy or unfitted or just puffy (and not in a good way). All well and good if you are a swanlike pixie, but I wanted a truly universal shape that looks just as good on the curvaceous ladies.

Hawthorn still has that late 50s or early 60s casual chic thing going. But the bodice is fitted, while still leaving enough room for easy movement at the waist. The skirt is full, but the fullness comes from a sleek semi-circle cut that drapes (and twirls) wonderfully, rather than pleats or gathers which add extra fabric at the waist. You get a shape that’s streamlined, but still very feminine.

The blouse version has a peplum cut in a similar way, showing off curves and emphasizing the waist without adding too much flare at the hips.




Easy to style for any season

It’s hard for me to look at a dress like this without imagining all the styling possibilities.

Version 2 is perfect for the cooler transition seasons, especially layered with a pullover or a cardigan and tights. I’m visualizing it paired with a light sweater and a vintage brooch. Or, make it in a chambray (like we did) and roll up the sleeves for an effortless summer dress.




Version 3 is the perfect summer dress for me. We made ours shown here in white seersucker, and it is so breezy and comfortable. Just add sandals (our clogs shown above with the white dress were provided by Sven, who makes my favorites) and a straw bag. Done.

Classic construction

Shirtdresses often borrow a bit from menswear, which is why they’re such classics. Menswear is so traditional and stable that women’s clothing inspired by it never really goes out of style, yet never feels dull.

Version 2 has a particular menswear touch that I love, a traditional cuff and sleeve placket on the 3/4 length sleeve. This, by the way, also makes it easy to roll to sleeves.

Suitable for many skill levels

While this is an intermediate pattern, I’d say it’s on the easy end of intermediate. Because of the cuff, version 2 is the most challenging, though as always we provide extensive detail in the instructions along with links to tutorials. Versions 1 and 3 are much closer to the beginner level.

Sew-along, special launch discount, and contest!

Ok, now for the fun stuff to go along with it!

  • Sew-along: We’ll be starting a sew-along for this dress in a couple weeks. If you’d like to follow along with all of our step-by step tutorials on each step of the process, get your pattern now!
  • Contest: Because the Laurel contest was such a huge success, we’re going to do another one, although on a much smaller scale. There will be another reader’s choice this time and you can choose the top three favorites. I’ll announce details on that soon.
  • Discount: We love celebrating launches with a special discount, so order your Hawthorn by Friday, and get 15% off!

Watch a short video featuring Hawthorn below:

Watch on Vimeo

Purchase Hawthorn in the Colette Patterns shop now!

Model: Sierra McKenzie
Photographer: Sarai Mitnick
Photo assistance: Kristen Blackmore
Wardrobe assistance: Meredith Neal
Hair and Makeup: Robin Carlisle / Holiday Hair Studio
Shoes: Clogs c/o Sven’s Clogs, loafers are vintage Brooks Brothers

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 165


beautiful dress, beautiful model. Soooo excited.

Nothy Lane

I love it!!!!!!!! I was hoping this would be a shirtdress – I know a lot of your readers guessed it and I too was hoping. This looks so beautiful!!! I can’t wait to get home to order my pdf pattern….


Dammit! Of course I love it and have to wait to get it due to a long drawn out move (my sewing stuff is already packed and won’t be unpacked until late July!). Wah, woe is me!

I imagine you have a problem many of us bustier gals have–gaposis! Will the sew-a-long include tips for dealing with this cursed affliction?

PS I especially love the collar. I seem to be one of the few not enamored with the Peter Pan collar but this is the perfect delicate, feminine version of a regular shirt collar.

Off to have dreams of that polka dot blouse…


Definitely a good idea on the bust issue! I have a few methods for preventing that, maybe a short post is in order as part of the sew-along.


Yes, I was going to ask the same thing! This dress would be soooooo flattering on my short and very curvy body type, but I also need to be sure there is no gaping up top as I too have large bosoms, LOL. Please add some instruction on sizing the bust up a bit! This pattern is so cute!


Instead of making the buttonholes “north and south” you could make them “east to west”. It helps with gaping tremendously! Looking forward to making this lovely dress!


and position one right at the apex point – iusually sew a little clear snap there…


Shall definitely be applying all of these tips!


I love it! Thank you. The white dress is beautiful.


ps: the purchase link is broken

Reb – The Life Nostalgic

Awesome! I dig the blouse version and I love the model, too. She’s pretty but real. Thank you Colette! *gush gush gush*

Paige @ LPD

I agree she’s gorgeous, but don’t forget all women are real, no matter their body shapes. :D

Reb – The Life Nostalgic

Of course. But if we are repeatedly shown only one body type that requires a lot of dieting and exercising for most women to attain, it does misrepresent reality. Also the level of photoshopping in mainstream media is far from “real.”


I know what you’re saying, and I don’t think many of us would argue with the idea that the way women are depicted in the media is unrealistic!

However, it’s also good to keep in mind that thin or non-curvy women are also shamed about their bodies, including the message that they are not “real” women. So even if that’s not what you mean by it, it can *sound* hurtful to someone who is used to hearing it.

Betty Jordan Wester

I love that you are positive about all body types. That’s what makes Colette patterns different from other sewing communities.

Betty Jordan Wester

Thank you for mentioning that :)

Jennifer Lachman

I can’t wait for the sew along. I have an issue with bust adjustments as well, especially when it comes to buttons downs. I can’t wait to see your tips.


Yes, the link for buying it doesn’t work for me either :(


Funny – for the past two months or so I’ve been obsessing over shirtdresses. I love them but can never buy them – they just do not fit. I found some patterns but they weren’t quite what I was looking for. I am so excited to see this pattern. The first thing I noticed is that the lovely model is not bone thin and has boobs (not that I don’t appreciate thinner bodies but I can relate to her!) I’m so happy you chose her to model this dress – it definitely gives me an idea of how it will fit me, especially around the chest. I can’t wait to see this pattern in person.


oh and thanks for posting a link to the shoes ~ I definitely want a pair of those :)


I can’t quite tell from the photos – is there a waist seam or not?


Yep, there is. If you go to the shop page, you can click a thumbnail for the front cover of the pattern with the technical drawing too. :)


I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do the sew-along but I suspect you’ll start it in July and I will still have this baby bump! But I’m so excited for this pattern – I love the blouse version and the cut of the dress is perfect, especially the neckline! So many shirtdresses are very buttoned-up and I prefer a more open neckline like this.


I love it, and the three versions mean I can probably sew from this one pattern for the rest of the year! I always love the blouse, dress and sleeve variations – thank you, thank you!


Gorgeous dress and a very pretty model too!


I’m swooning! All versions are beautiful! The collar is inspired and the twirly skirt looks so flattering and fun. And I love the model! Thanks for showing the dress on someone that helps me picture how it will look on my curves. I can’t wait to get started on the blouse… or the dress… can’t decide!


I love this! It’s the perfect balance of masculine and feminine details, and I love all three views. I will definitely be joining the sew-along!


This is probably THE MOST elegant shirtdress I’ve ever seen! Although, I’m not surprised, coming from Colette. :) I have to admit I was a bit worried when I heard this pattern would be a shirtdress – thoughts of all the bad things you mentioned above were going through my mind (boxy and puffy). But you amaze me – to come up with something so elegant, flattering, and (based on what the model says) COMFORTABLE.. this dress is every woman’s dream.

I think what I love most about your patterns is that they’re always unexpected and include amazing design elements – all the while maintaining a degree of simplicity in the pattern itself, which really appeals to beginner sewists like me. I find that a lot of “beginner” or “easy intermediate” patterns tend to look like something I’ve seen before, and you all ALWAYS avoid that – which I *love*.

Thank you for such a beautiful design!! I cannot wait to participate in the sewalong in a couple of weeks (my first ever!!). :)

xo, Amanda

PS – Would it be possible for you to do a roundup of fabric choices for this pattern? I always love seeing those, and since I hardly ever am able to find beautiful fabrics locally, I really appreciate your suggestions. :) Thanks so much!!!


Thanks for the kind words!

Rachel is working on a post about buying fabric, so that will definitely be included in the sew-along! I just bought my fabric for the sew-along myself (a navy lawn).

Amy Peck

Which version will be made in the sew along?


All of them, pretty much. I am going to be sewing the sleeveless version and Rachel will be doing the dress, but attaching the short sleeves from the blouse, so you can see what that looks like. And I’ll also cover the 3/4 sleeve construction.

The Amazing Taracat

Oh my God, this is exactly what I have been looking for! Heading over to buy it now.


This is exactly what I was HOPING the pattern would be. I have yards of seersucker and was looking to make something just like version three. Can’t wait for the sew-along. My skills are definitely more on the beginner side! I don’t know if there are others out there, but buttonholes are a bit scary to me. I don’t have a fancy computerized. The best-looking buttonholes I can make are on my treadle, but consistent placement is a bit of a challenge.


I totally agree on the choice of the model… I can see this dress on me already – love it!

Xenia Kathryn

So pretty! I LOVE shirtdresses, but also struggle with how they work with my body. I’m very optimistic about this one, since you always seem to nail it!

lisa g

ooooh… i quite like this pattern! very pretty!


Yayyyy!!!!! I love shirtdresses, but the patterns that I find usually don’t quite work for me. This, however, looks SPLENDID. And I’m so glad that you’re doing a contest with it too. I was sad to be left out of the Laurel hoopla, but I just do not do shift dresses. This is right up my alley, though!


Gorgeous dress – I have a dress with a similar collar and agree it’s a nice alternative to the peter pan collar. Ps.. The links to Hawthorn aren’t working for me either:)


Lovely! Sooo excited to make this :)


Absolutely love it! This may just be the pattern that gets me back to sewing!

p.s. I may be wrong, but the version numbers and it’s text don’t seem to be in the same order as the photos.


I love the style of this – just perfect – when will the paper pattern be available in the UK?


They started shipping to retailers over a week ago, so any stockists in the UK who pre-ordered should have them in the next week or two. :)


So pretty! Will definitely work with my curves! I want one…no two…no three….no one in every colour!


Yes! I absolutely love shirtwaist dresses and I was so hoping that would be the reveal. This looks fresh and not at all frumpy (which is always, always stops me from making one).
I’m so happy, thank you!

Chloe W

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love the fabric choices this time around and can 100% see myself wearing both versions of the pattern. Just hope my sewing skills are on par with what it takes to pull it off :)


Awesome model! Thanks so much for using a curvier girl. She’s gorgeous and it’s awesome to see how a pattern will look on someone with a fuller shape. I’m so excited!


This is beautiful (my favourite pattern yet, that you have released, I think!) 3 cool options, thank you. Got to buy it. DO the UK retailers have it yet???


Some of them should have it starting next week.


Thank you, I’ve just reserved a pattern with! Very excited to sew this up!


Love your patterns! Maybe next time you do a little video you could have the model pick up a kid or bend over or get out of a car or something like that? Garden maybe? Totally not criticizing just giving an idea!!!! Your patterns have such an edge over others because of your eye for detail etc etc and maybe showing your garments in action could be another way to give you more (edge). I’m a mother of four little ones so while I’d love to wear all your gorgeous clothes (and have most of your patterns :->) I often bypass them for jeans and a t shirt from my husband’s side of the closet cause I’m just convinced that my daily tasks are too ho hum for a fussy dress. Maybe you could change my mind? :-D


It’s a really lovely and beautiful dress.
But it is so terrible, ’cause you make so many patterns I want to sew and I have not enough time for it. So I don’t know if I do the Ceylon or the new one first :-( ;-)



Love your new pattern…I’m not really a dress person, but I love the top…Great neckline!!


Stunning! A lyrical and flattering design. Well done!


This is such a flattering dress! I love all three versions and can’t wait to try it out. Do you think it would be possible to adapt this to accommodate a pregnancy bump? If you’ve got any tips or online sources you could recommend for doing this I’d be really grateful as I’d so love to be able to take part in the sew-along! I’ll be buying it anyways and if I have to wait till post-baby then it will be at the top of my sewing list!


Oh my word, this is absolutely gorgeous…as a dress and a blouse! I love all the different variations and how it can be made to suit all seasons!


I lurv this! Good job, guys.

Paige @ LPD

I hope you can help me conquer my fincky button holer!


YAAAY I’m so excited about this pattern! It’s so perfect ♥


How totally gorgeous! I love all three versions, love the beautiful slightly curvier model, can’t wait to make it and so looking forward to the sew along!

Paige @ LPD

Something that might be nice to include in the sew along would be belt loops of some kind. I have issues keeping belts up by my waist without them.


I am so excited about this pattern. I have always loved how shirtdresses look but have never been able to wear them as I am over sensitive about fabric around my neckline. This is PERFECT! Your patterns really do have such an edge over other patterns (as somebody said above) I have almost all of them now, and the Hawthorne has just been checked out. :D Oh I am so happy!


It’s a terrific pattern! LOVE seeing the curvy model, too! Terrific job, everyone – I shall be adding this to my “wish I could get off my tuckus and get that Laurel finished so I can sew this one” list *LOL*


Cute! I will definitely do the peplum top! Beautiful model, as well!

Sewing princess

You fooled me! I thought it would be a jacket. It’s great. Love the blouse version.


Lovely! Well done! So flattering for many body types, and so pretty. :)

Francesca I was really hoping it would be a shirtdress a la Colette, and it is. Can’t quite believe it. I love it, collar, shape and all. I have some gorgeous and treasured dark blue chambray linen/cotton that is already this dress in my mind…. and I love seeing someone pretty but regular looking modelling – it took me a while to order Laurel because I am a bit bottom heavy and always think that I need a waist to look my best, so after I saw her on other less sylph like sewists I went right ahead – and totally love my first Laurel. So flattering.
Anyway, link is definitely working as I just bought her. One question – I have trouble figuring out length from the back of my neck – I always measure from the waist – I know I can wait till it comes and measure the pattern… but I just want to make sure I have enough fabric. how tall is your model, do you know? I like my dresses on or just below the knee…..
Thanks for yet another gorgeous, thoughtful design!


Sierra is 5’7″. She is approximately a size 8 in our size chart and a 34D bust.


This dress is so beautiful! As is the peplumed shirt! The color, the lines, the wide skirt,… what’s not to love? Oh yeah, I am so ready to purchase this one :-)


This is such a perfect dress for my body that I actually had to purchase my first ever dress pattern. Thank you so much for creating a pattern that fits a multitude of body types. Oh, and that sewalong will be a great help, I can’t wait!


You guys did not disappoint! Can’t wait to find fabric for this one!


I really love it! I have already ordered it by the way!

Kate Nakano

IN LOVE!!! Wow the model for this one is more my body type so I can really see this working for me! Beautiful! Beautiful! Well done again Colette Patterns! Bravo!!!


Agree with everyone about how lovely the model is and how well fitted this garment is on her. Did I see some little neck darts in the tech drawing too..bravi! Those can solve problems and it’s great to see them in a non-vintage pattern.
I do have question and that is, what cup size is this dress/top drafted for?
Like many others I also hope in the sew-a-long there will be some tips on how to prevent the front from gaping when one sits down. My daughter is a curvy girl topside and not a plus-size, but things do shift when she’s seated.
For those who are plus-sized I’m wondering if the detail we saw in that blue & white vintage wedding dress could be applied here..the lapped zipper in the front that mimicks a button placket, but offers the security of no spreading during more exaggerated motion or sitting without a lot of extra ease.


Our base size has a C cup. However, the model shown here is a D cup (as am I) and it works fine for that size too without FBA.


This is my new favorite of all of your wonderful patterns. I wish I could make it right now! As soon as we’re settled in our new city and start our new jobs, I’ll make it a priority to make this dress! Thank you, Sarai!


oh,my god. this is dream shirt dress.


I just LOVE that your new patterns are both dresses and shirts. Long sleeve, short sleeve, and dress or blouse. Like four patterns in one really. You can keep making them over and over again. Thank you for being such a thoughtful designer. It’s so refreshing!


Sarah, I totally agree with you! When I saw the pattern, I was bowled over by the thoughtfulness of Sarai in including 4 completely different looks in one pattern.

Amy Peck


Annie Sharkey

Beautiful dress on a beautiful girl, what’s not to love!


Oh this is gorgeous! I’ve already downloaded and am going to assemble the pattern today. I can’t wait to whip this up! Runs the line between casual and elegant. Dress up or down. LOVE!


Oh!!! I[m in love with that dress.


As soon as the email hit my inbox, I purchased this and printed it out. It is lovely and I’m excited to try out a Colette pattern that I can honestly see myself wearing often. I already have a fabric in mind!


Love love love. I have a greyish chambray for a version with sleeves, and this fabulous white and orange striped seersucker for a sleeveless rendition! might even have something for the blouse…
Thanks again for a beautiful pattern!

Rachel In Red

Yes Yes. Definitely yes! This pattern just flys to the top of my wishlist. We have tropical temperatures in The Netherlands this week, and I found out today that I have a serious lack of sundresses. Love it!


Hawthorne + red lipstick = Joan from Mad Men. It might be the model’s red hair that is drawing me to make this association! My local fabric shop has some swiss dot that would be great for this. Thank you for another timeless design!

Morgane @ Bear, Dolly and Moi

Like everybody, I just love the dresses and top, just so lovely!
I just downloaded it and now I feel a little overwhelmed!
I just cannot wait until the sew-along..
thanks for a great pattern
PS your model is gorgeous!


Just when I was about to give up on finding something that I could have confidence would look nice on this over the hill, curvy body type, you offer this gift of the perfect dress for every figure and age.
And you did it just in time for my birthday!
Here comes my present to me for this year.
Thank You, So very much. This makes turning that one more year older a little happier!


I love the pattern, really looking forward to making the top…such a gorgeous neckline. The model looks amazing. It is refreshing to see a curvy model. ..still young and slim of course but not ultra thin. Not a criticism of those who are very slim, but at one sewing class I felt exasperated when someone said ‘all clothes look better on tall thin models’. Good to prove that wrong :-) …..nice clothes make everyone look great.


Beautiful new pattern! I love shirt dresses and peplum tops. I can’t seem to view the last image of the pattern on the shop page… I wanted to see what the flat design looks like for the three versions. When I click the image a close up of a different image shows up?


A cute shirt dress AND peplum top? I’m in love!


You’ve outdone yourselves this time – what a beautiful, versatile design!


Thank you, I am so happy to see a curvy, and Inverted Triangle, friendly dress. I love the twirliness and the cute collar and sleeves. I look forward to wearing this soon, in Spring!!


Hi 2paw, I’m an inverted triangle, too. I was wondering, do you add pockets to skirts and dresses to help give the allusion of curves? I’m thinking about trying it with this dress. Your thoughts?


Cannot. Wait. To. Sew. This!!!

Jeri Sullivan

This is soooo me! But of course so was Laurel and Crepe and Peony….Definitely on my next sewalong list!


This looks like it would be the IDEAL spring/summer post-partum dress. I’m having a baby in September (the beginning of Australia spring) and it looks perfect for easy feeding, too. The only problem is, I have no idea how big my boobs are going to get yet, so I’ll have to make it after they’ve inflated!

Miss Piggy

What a lovely dress – I love the shape. I’m wondering if it would work to sew up the front seam and make it a faux-button up. I always get gapping due to my…(ahem) ample bust.


Beautiful pattern. Are there pockets? Would they be difficult to add? I have the most beautiful chambray linen that I’ve been hoarding for years….it’d be perfect for this dress I think.


I love the peplum blouse version, and the cuffed sleeves are just divine. I’ll be making this as soon as I can. Love it!


Beautiful dress with stunning details. Love it.


I love it. I worked hard on a shirt dress last summer, but the pattern was so very poor I simply couldn’t make it work. With the waist shaping, darts and circle skirt, this will definitely be more flattering. I hate cutting out circle skirts, actually, but in the end, my waist is usually thankful I put in the work. :)

Your Name… *Brenda

Hi. I just ordered my Hawthorne pattern and can’t wait for it to arrive! This neckline is gorgeous and SO different from any other shirt dress I’ve seen. I wanted to be looking for fabric while I’m waiting for the pattern to arrive but I can’t seem to get the Supplies information to show on the website. Can you give a clue as to how much fabric to buy for the sleeveless version of the dress? Thanks for another great pattern!!

MMI Blogs

I need this dress – and I have a delicious black/grey chambray for it!


I just ordered it! I love how it’s a shirtdress but is still very feminine (plus that it’s designed for the curvier among us!). I really like the full skirt and the 60s-ish style of the collar. I’m also super excited to participate in this sewalong (I’ve never done one before). Now if I could only decide on a fabric for it…


Hi, I purchase the digital pattern and doing assemble using AutoCad as i’m an interior designer and CAD is awesome. I found that if I only use your V3 only PDF file, the last pattern page is missing. The one where top is 6J and left is 7I which is the E-Facing Front. Could you double check the pattern again?
Anyway, love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


There is only 39 pages for the V3 only PDF…… I think should be 40 pages instead though :D


Thank you for letting us know! I will get this fixed ASAP and send out the correction to all today.


This is so beautiful and ladylike. I had to grab it immediately! And I love the blouse, the perfect kind of a peplum top! I’m off now to hunt a stunning fabric for an awesome dress ;-)


Love the dress, especially the neckline. I like to show the kind of skin that it shows, without having the shoulders slipping off or the front coming down too low. This is just the right neckline (znd dress) for me.

Elena Knits

Beautiful dress, I had to buy the pattern :D


That’s a fantastic pattern! I cannot wait to start it.
Is the discount going to be added automatically or is there a code ?

Thanks a lot !


I ordered Hawthorn and two others as soon as i saw Hawthorn post. sooo looking forward to start make it. i love blouse version with clove pants as well as white shirt dress.


Sarai, you’ve done it again. I Love This!!! I bought my pattern straight away and can’t wait for the sew along. I would really like to make this in the fabric (or a similar one) that you used for the laurel v.4. – underlined of cause. Do you know where/if I’d be able to buy some?


I saw a vintage shirt dress in a magazine which I fell in love with and have been trying to find a pattern similar to it for ages and then suddenly this arrives in my email. Finally, I can stop looking!!


The dress is a classic beauty however I’m a little concerned it may make me look hippy as I’m already wider at the bottom due to my hourglass figure, so I have to think about this one. I am very fond of the peplum top as this style is one of my favorites!


Just downloaded the PDF version :) really excited to do the follow along, as this will be my first tailored dress to sew!!


What a nice dress! I’ve ordered the pattern because I want to do the sew-along (it will be my first time). Are the any other sew-aholics from Holland who want to do the sew-along?
Greetings from Holland


Gorgeous dress! As soon as it arrives in stores in Europe I will certainly buy it!
Great work Sarai!


I have admired your patterns from afar for over a year, but once I saw this one it was in my shopping cart before I finished the blog post! If this is as good a fit as I hope, I just solved my summer uniform problem!!


I was up late last night taping together V. 3, but had to stop mid third row (2 am is probably not the best time to piece together a pdf pattern!)

Is there anything we need to do in regards to getting page 40 for V.3, such as email our order number to you? I’m anxious to finish taping and start tracing! (I’m way to impatient to wait 2 weeks for the sew-along to actually start sewing this lovely dress.)


Anyone who purchased it should be getting an email with an update to the pattern within the next few minutes.


Love this dress!! The collar and the peplum on the shirt are adorable! Would I be able to add pockets to the seam of the dress? …that would help give me some curves since I have no hips to speak of. Then I could stick my hands in my pockets and get instant curves. :) Thank you for making such a wonderful summer (and winter) dress pattern!


you would! I did! :)


Love it!

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