Macaron #2

A couple of months ago, after a very long hiatus, I decided to reenter the world of sewing.  The first thing I made was the Macaron dress by Colette Patterns.  Seems like I might have been biting off more than I could chew with this dress?  That’s what the salesgirl said, too. But did I listento her? NO I DID NOT!

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I plunged full speed ahead with this- that is, the full speed I was capable of at the time.  Which was glacial.  It was slow, it was painful, it involved a lot of seam ripping, hair tearing, and sending pictures of the sleeve pieces to my mother so she could explain the construction to me over the phone.  I am ashamed to admit that I DID NOT EVEN have fabric shears, and in fact cut out the whole thing with some old paper scissors (don’t ever do it, it was awful). Anyway, that’s a post for another day.  The subject of today’s post is my Macaron #2. Not being put off by my difficult first experience with the pattern, I decided to make it again. So without further ado, here it is:

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With quite a few other projects under my belt since the first Macaron, I found it significantly easier to sew this time around. The body is a gorgeous navy blue 100% virgin wool suiting that I bought in the garment district when I was in NYC last month.  I was meeting some friends there- but of course snuck off to fabric stores as many chances as I could get.  This particular place had some great reviews online but I was a bit disappointed when I got there.  The ancient, tiny saleslady kept following me around the shop pulling things down to suggest.  I really just wanted to be left alone….

My hangover was barely holding it’s own against the assault of flourescent lighting and bright prints, and this lady was showing me crap I didn’t want left and right.  As soon as I saw this beautiful suiting in the sale section I basically grabbed it and ran before she could suggest some “coordinating” hideousness.

Then I coveted it.  I pressed it, then left it out so I could admire it every day.  I showed it to people when they came by our apartment.  I made people listen to me talk about it.  I’m pretty sure I even  yammered to our receptionist about it.  I was also a little afraid to cut into it since it was so beautiful, but when I finally dared to after a couple of weeks it was well worth it.

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Ever since my first Macaron I had wanted to make another with a sheer yoke, so I found some matching silk chiffon downtown.  The chiffon was a real pain in the ass to sew.  I had previously made a Banksia blouse with silk chiffon so I wasn’t new to it, but that drapey blouse seemed to magically hide all of my errors.  This time there was no room to hide such sloppiness, so I had to buckle down.  I read some tutorials online which directed me to use tissue paper, and that was very very helpful.  I cut out the pieces inbetween two pieces of tissue to stabilize the chiffon, and I think it made a big difference.  The first time I cut them I did NOT do this, and though I tried to be very careful while cutting, the chiffon still got quite distorted.  I scrapped those pieces and got out the tissue after that.  I also used the tissue to stabilize the seams while I was sewing.  I’d had a lot of problems previously with the chiffon getting sucked down into the needle plate, and also with it gathering up behind the needle and puckering as a I sewed, requiring every seam to be smoothed and straightened out after sewing.  By placing tissue along the back of the fabric and sewing right through it, I eliminated both of those problems.  Afterwards I just ripped the tissue away gently.

I love the dress- it’s got to be my favorite thing that I’ve made so far. I wore it to the office the first day it was finished and received many compliments on it.  It’s probably too fancy to be an everyday work dress, but I had envisioned it as more of a party dress anyway.  Not sure what my next macaron will be…. maybe a lace yoke?

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5 thoughts on “Macaron #2”

  1. This is beautiful! What a great way to break the sewing hiatus and get things off with a bang! The sheer yoke looks great (even if it was a pain to sew) and the suiting goes fab with it! I’m looking forward to seeing what you make next

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