Mad Macaron – Colette 1001

Rhinestones and telephones has been hosting a Colette sewalong on her blog. I recieved this pattern as a gift of appreciation and I really appreciated the opportunity to make this up with other fellow Macaron sewers.

These are the pieces I had planned to use. The print is on the yoke and sleeves. The burgundy is on the bodice, midriff and skirt pieces.

I’ve used organza to line the sleeves so the print remains defined and the colours aren’t washed out.

The sleeves lined with organza sit nicely and they didn’t take too much work to set them into the bodice. Whether you use 1 or 2 rows of gathering stitches, they still sit nicely.

Macaron bloopers:
– The pockets didn’t turn out right. I’ll have to have another go at these on the next version. Note to self: read the notes and pay more attention.
– One of the sleeves was a bit puffy. That’s because I didn’t clip it where the hem is inverted.
– When I attached the skirt to the bodice, I managed to sew the front skirt to the back bodice. I thought the pleats were a bit funny… At least the skirt was sewn in at the waist and not at the hem. I’ve done that before.
– The front waistband is a bit twisted. I’ll be ironing on interfacing to the waistband to keep it looking firm.
– The skirt length needs to go above the knees.
Below is my pattern pose.
All in all, this dress worked. And the back pleats have been modified so I don’t have volume where it’s not needed. The outer back pleats are wider than the centre back pleats.
I can see why Colette patterns are so popular. There are lots of good instructions for new sewers. The order of sewing this dress are a bit out of sequence IMHO. I expected to work on the front bodice in total and then the back bodice but the midriff sequence is after sewing the yokes. This isn’t a biggy or a deal breaker. It’s just a sequencing thing that’s different to what I’m used to.

A fave – vogue 1271 & B3833 vintage jacket

This dress was the overwhelming favourite from your supportive comments; with PRers who regularly chat on the message boards; the ladies at Highlands to the sea retreat and with Rhodes ASGers. I’ll be wearing this dress to the 2nd family wedding and the bias dress will be worn to the church for the 1st family wedding with a ink navy linen jacket that I made a while ago with Roberta Thompson. The jacket is further down this post:)

I’ve used Pitt Trading remnant fabrics (plural) to test out this dress and it’s worked out really nicely. You’ll see by the inside shot that I’ve used lots of lining remnants to make sure it fit properly.

Below is my pattern pose. Thanks to Sharon for getting my hem to a great length.

That’s an earring that I’ve clipped on the front belt. The earrings and bracelets were made by me and they are matching.
Below I took out the back skirt darts because it was disco/clubbing tight and that’s not where I’ll be wearing this outfit 🙂

The next version will be a summer version because I love the short sleeves and there are a couple of pieces in my stash that would work well in this style. And they won’t be work based but I’ll try and make them more retro in appearance.
Jacket – B3833

This little vintage jacket is a throw-on for the evening. It is fully lined and while I had planned to use fishing line to on the hem and neckline, the fabric is so stiff that I didn’t need to use it. Oh well, maybe next time.
The bodice organza was the end of the roll (yes an addiction of mine) so I used plain organza for the sleeves and the lining. Below is my pattern pose.
The button loops are twists of the organza and some silver ribbon I added in to make the button loops a) show and b) work so that the buttons would fit through and stay in place.
You can see that I’ve made the neckline a V so that the dress neckline shows through.
I learnt that organza, while it is quiet stiff, is compliant so the shoulder seams were easy to manipulate into place. I showed the fabric who’s the boss. Then the fabric was brilliant under the steam station. It handled the steaming really well and didn’t melt when I didn’t used a ironing cloth when I first ironed it. That was a lucky break.

Galaxy dress – Vogue 8280

It’s taken me a while to get to this pattern but it’s always been in the back of my mind to do. . This is one of the set of formal dresses I’ve been working on. Thank you for your comments about this dress.
Again the fabrics are remnants from Pitt Trading. That $20 garbage bag of remnants was huge and the fabrics were more formal fabrics so they have been excellent for these dress patterns.
Below is my pattern pose. OMG.

I’ve used two dark teal wovens. The top of the dress is a crushed looking teal with a shininess to it. The skirt is another dark teal but kinda suiting like. The lining is not true lining, but it’s a dark colour and it’s very soft. The hem is now above the knees and I will wear the dress to the wedding but with a huge smile and less Victoria Beckham (ha).

I’ve made this in size 12 and it sits really well. The front flange pieces were hand stitched to the bodice so it sits well. Apart from that, this is a great style and I’d love to make this again.

Retro spring – B6582

This is a great pattern and I used interlined georgette to extend my georgette sewing skills and test this retro dress pattern. The result isn’t as formal as I had envisioned, but this version will be a Spring dress. Thank you for your comments about this dress.

I made the guts of this dress up on the Sunday at the 3 day sewing retreat and by the time I got home, I had shortened the back darts and undid the front darts on the right of the dress. As the lining is being used as interlining, the front darts were bubbling up, so a bit of unpicking and resewing these darts did the trick.

Did I say that I bought this print from Spotlight for $1.30/m, so I bought 5 metres for some Spring sewing. The lining is orange and this keeps the print colours strong. Below is my pattern pose. What were you thinking?

Then Sharon hemmed two of the dresses for me and so I took another 4″ or 10cm off the hem so that this hem suits my height. The kick pleat doesn’t exist anymore and I don’t need a kick pleat on this dress but I do know how to sew a kick pleat:)

BTW: There’s another one in the pipeline…as always.

What do you think?

Which dress should I wear for the family wedding? I do like each dress and I’ll have a go at testing the Macaron this week so that next weekend I’ll finish ‘the dress’ that I’ll wear on the day. We’re still in winter but I have a couple of long woollen coats that I can wear on the day depending on the weather. As for shoes – I have no idea where to start.

Vogue 8280 – To be hemmed.

Vogue 8271 – to be hemmed

Vogue 1208 complete

Butterick 6282 1960’s Retro complete
This taffeta is earmarked for the retro dress.
Taffeta for Butterick 6582
This organza is going to be a simple lined bolero jacket. Would you believe I’m thinking of using fishing line to reinforce the jacket edges?

Jacket fabric for Vogue 1271

Ok. Let me know what you think I should concentrate on.
PS: I’ll post the pattern reviews shortly.
Earlier I forgot to say we have another family wedding next year so that’s why I’ve gone overboard with these dresses – Sorry.

Pattern testing weekend

Last Friday to Sunday I was at a sewing retreat with 3 of my sewing buddies and 30 other sewers at Stanwell Tops. Below we were being blown away when we went to the beach for a break on the Saturday.

In the lead up I decided to use this time to test dress patterns for myself. I prepared 5 and aimed to get 1 dress tested. By Sunday, I managed to test 3 dresses with the help of my sewing buddies with a bit of finishing work to do ie seam finishing, hems and lots of hand sewing.

Vogue 1208 in a dark print and lined with Sunsilky lining


Vogue 1271 in a blue purple remnant with Sunsilky lining.

Butterick 6582 in a tulip print chiffon and orange bemsilky lining.

Vogue 8280 in dark teal stretch woven and remnant lining.

Colette Macaron 1001 in deep maroon and maroon/black print georgette.

The first three are complete and the last 2 are being tested this week. I’ll post up the finished dresses as soon as I can get proper pics done.
In the meantime I received some buttons from Sharon contacted me with a $10 voucher so I used the voucher and spent more $ on a range of their buttons. I love the packaging and there are a few projects I have these earmarked for. Thank you Sharon.