Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sew Colette 2.0 - Macaron Completed!

Here is my finished Macaron.
I had to jump ahead of the sewalong because I really wanted to wear it to Fabricabrac yesterday.  This meant that every night this week I have been feverishly slaving over the dress.  It _always_ takes me longer than expected, even though I made no mistakes on this one!

I made quite a few alterations to the pattern.  The muslin did not fit me at all.  I had to let the midriff out significantly (about 2 inches), tapered down to nothing at the upper bodice section.  I lowered the midriff front (sweetheart part) half an inch all the way across, and raised the centre back half an inch, tapering to lowered half an inch at the side seams.  This pinched an inch out of the back horizontally and got rid of all the bagginess I was having issues with.  Part of the issue with the midriff band was due to me making it 1/2 inch wider, but keeping the taper.  I ended up making the front band almost a straight piece instead of a curved piece. 
I wasn't happy with the skirt portion, the hips were more than 16 inches larger than the waist, and far too baggy on my tall frame.  I also was afraid the style was too young for me, and wanted to get rid of the pleats in the back.  I converted them to 1.5" darts, instead of 2" pleats, rotating 1/2" out to each side seams, and making the back 1" more narrow.  I also had intended to take 1" out of the front, but I can't remember if I did or not (d'oh).  Here is a better picture of the darts

The wrinkles are there because my dress form is not as pear shaped as I am.  It fits me much better than the form.

One of the worries I had about the pattern was that the top would look like a different item than the dress, especially since I wasn't doing the midriff band in the contrast.  To counteract this I put piping around the neckline and sleeves, which I think makes it look much more cohesive.  I also piped around the waistband, and the bodice piece.  I had originally planned on picking up one colour from the main dress fabric (red) and doing the piping in that, but thought it was more classic to make piping in the dress fabric itself.  I got the idea for the self-fabric piping from Sherry's great post on piping.  Here's a better picture:
 On the inside I lined the bodice section, combining the two bodice pieces into one each for the front and back, and inserted the lining using fell stitches.  I will put that in a separate post later, as this one is getting a bit long.

Here's one last picture of the zipper, so you can see the piping around the sleeve, and that I matched up the midriff bands.

I'm not too thrilled with my insertion of the zipper, it was pretty bulky with the piping and all the fabric, but it's on my side, so I'll just keep my arm down at all times.  I think in the future I'd insert the zipper before sewing the side seam at all (before the sleeve is in) so that I can make sure it's all lined up perfectly. 

Overall I love this dress, it's fun, the fabric is actually red, black and gold, the gold shows up much better in person.  I would be proud to wear it out, and am happy that my sewing skills are finally improving :) .  The pattern took a lot of work to make it fit, but it was well worth the effort. 


  1. You did an amazing job with that pattern. I love the way the added piping ties the look together.

  2. Your Macaron looks lovely. I like your fabric combinations and the self piping is a really nice detail. I scrolled down to see it on you, and the fit looks good too, which is pretty difficult when you were not happy with the muslin.
    I would have liked to see you reaching across tables for fabric acquisition purposes at that fabulous sounding swap meet with your arm down to hide your (perfectly respectable) zip at all times :).

    1. Thank you! I'm not too lady-like when there are fabric deals around, so I imagine that my imperfect zip was likely on full display :)

  3. I think it looks fabulous! Love the colours.

    Also wanted to ask if you'd like to be a featured pledger on Seamless? Give me an email on and we'll sort something out :)