Monday, November 28, 2011

My New Favorite Dress

I finally managed it! After weeks and weeks of having it lying on a heap in the corner, I finished my Floral Macaron dress.

I actually meant to make it in time for the Rose of Spanish Harlem theme over at Sew Weekly weeks ago, but after attching the yoke and inserting the zipper, I really didn't think the look was flattering on me.

The photo doesn't actually tell it all, but the sweetheart curve sat too low on my bust and made me look flat-chested, while the folds of the skirt really emphasized my hips. Paired with the sleeves that made my shoulders look even broader than they actually are, I was not impressed.

Which made me sad, because I really, really love the floral fabric. I guess it's the first fabric I've used that could be called "vintage", although I have no idea how old it is. My boyfriend brought it from his last visit to his grandma, when he helped her clean up the attic and came across her old sewing stash. Isn't it great that he thought of me? :)

After consulting a friend, we decided that the skirt and bodice part were actually fine and would look good if they just sat about two inches higher. So this weekend I reached for my seam ripper, took off the yoke and made a sleeveless knit one instead. (My very clever method was to put on a tight jersey top, put the dress on over it, mark the lines of the sweetheart and back neckline on the top with chalk and then use that as a pattern. Worked like a charm. :) )

The bust dart now sits about two inches above my bust point and I had to put in an additional (v-shaped) dart so the bodice wouldn't gape (looks like a princess seam now, you can see the shadow of it on the photo if you look closely). But I love the dress. I love the fabric, I love how comfy it is, it doesn't even crease all that much! I can wear it layered with longsleeves, my new black slip and tights, and it's just right for the weather. The sweetheart neckline and the flowered fabric make me ridiculously happy. And as I opted for sleeveless, I'm pretty sure I can wear it year round!

It also matches my friendship scarf and mitts. :)

In my excitement, I started on another Macaron yesterday, this one a fall/winter version with a longsleeved knit yoke, made of the teal plaid fabric and navy interlock.
For fear of pattern-matching, I cut the bodice on the bias with the same modifications that I did on the floral version. Not sure that was the best idea, the darts make interesting shapes of the plaid and I'm not quite sure how the bias cut will affect the fit... If all else fails, I have enough fabric left over to cut a second, on-grain bodice, at least. :)

What's on your sewing table right now?
Have a wonderful week!


  1. Alessa, it's a wonderful dress! I am totally going to have to steal your idea with the sleeveless knit bodice and make my own. :) If you don't mind....

    I can't wait to see your second Macaron. I think the bias cut plaid will look really cool!

  2. I too love the idea of a knit bodice on this dress! I have this pattern but have not made it yet for fear of fitting madness.

  3. Alessa it's so cute! I'm glad you picked it up again and came up With the solution. Genius with the dark knit top - there's something of the summer about the winter in it ( if you know what I mean! )

  4. Ah! More Colette/Alessa-knit loveliness, this time together. :) Nicely done. Can't wait to see the next one. I'm finishing up a Beignet, and am surprisingly in love with it.

  5. It looks wonderful, I'm glad you could salvage it!

  6. It looks so sweet and what a good idea to replace the top, now you can wear it all year round! I like the layering with knitting. Looks fab. Looking forward to seeing the next one!

  7. Love it! And your next version looks like it´s gonna be equally pretty! Nicely done! :-)

  8. I love the fabric you used! I just bought this pattern and I hope mine turns out as nice as yours!

  9. This pattern amazed me the first time I saw the results... Your version looks great!

  10. It looks great now! I really love how you make a "summer" dress look great in winter weather.

  11. You should never, ever stop making le Macaron.

  12. :) Thanks guys!
    @Sarah: Steal away! I've been thinking about an all-knit Macaron since I saw your green and striped version, so it'll all be balanced in the end. ;)
    @Ali: Thanks girl! I've been eyeing the Beignet for ages, but I've decided to stick to the patterns I already have for at least a little while longer... Looking forward to seeing your version!
    @Meg: Good luck with yours! Macaron is such an interesting pattern, I love the fabric combinations everybody has come up with. Are you doing a flannel version? :D

  13. This is so pretty! It really suits you too. I really must get this pattern soon...