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.
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:
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