Thursday, 15 April 2010

Sweet as a Macaron

Sifting through my stash recently, I came across a piece of navy wool that I bought in a vintage store in London at Christmas. My initial and the more obvious choice for it would be to make a skirt. However, there was quite a lot of it but not enough to make two skirts; I hate waste so decided a dress would be my preferred course of action. Time to crack open my Macaron pattern which had been lying dormant in my possession for six months.

Believe me when I tell you that I have previously spent a LOT of time considering different fabric combinations for this pattern. But when it came to actually making my version, there was only one natural choice for the contrast. I bought the red Eiffel Tower and birds printed fabric from Goldhawk Road in London yonks ago, and initially made it into a circle skirt. Having done so, I quickly remembered that I don’t really like circle skirts, and it was definitely not something I would at that point actually wear. To add insult to injury, I had made it at a time when my weight was fluctuating a lot and it rapidly became too small anyhow. I’m very pleased I had the foresight to bring it to bcn from UK so I could deploy its soft sateen texture and mental print for this dress.
I know that there is a massive Pro-Pockets lobby within the online sewing community but I must admit, I’m not a fan of the in-seam variety. I rarely use them and feel they add unnecessary bulk over areas that generally I would prefer to be as bulk-free as possible, so I omitted the pockets on this dress. I also lengthened the hem about 5cms. I’m not sure the navy wool was the best choice for this dress, as it was difficult to press. It’s thickness and bulk creates a more exaggerated tulip shape to the skirt making it look quite party dress than I would have desired, but I’ve actually come to like that part of it. Also, because the wool has something of a scratchy school uniform quality, I had to line the dress from the top of the bustier down. With some creative cutting (read: ignoring the grainline when necessary) I was able to squeeze the lining pieces out of the remainder of the spotty lining I used for my blue Jenny skirt, so that’s that busted anyhow. I had to hand-stitch the lining it around the bustier line and zip opening, which took forever!

Overall the makeup of the dress went well. However I did end up with a strange excess of fabric in the back bodice where the main fabric meets the contrast, so I unpicked that seam, repositioned it and had to ease the pieces back together to deal with the issue. One other criticism I’d make is that the usually very detailed and informative instructions fell a bit flat about how to insert the concealed zip into the side seam, which I know is not a hassle if you have the internet to hand to find a how-to, but I don’t think patterns should assume the sewer does. Personally, I didn’t want to stop my flow to find a how-to, so winged it and was pretty pleased with the result.

I was still finishing the hand-stitching at the eleventh hour before I had to get ready to go out on our date. Me and my boy have been living together for over a year, but we like to keep things special by going on dates now and then. The date also gave me the excuse to attempt pin curls! Previously I’d been put off trying them as I don’t have any of the products or even a rat tail comb that the how-to’s advise you to use, but I decided to give it a whirl anyway and put five in around the front. My hair is pretty wavy anyway, so I didn’t bother at with the rest of it. Overall I think it gave a 50’s film starlet look!

31 comments:

Camelia Crinoline said...

It looks awesome and I love the way you styled it with the red lipstick and shoes and pincurls.

didyoumakethat said...

You look wonderful! I love those curls and for a dress that you consider only a partial success, I think it looks fabbity-fab-fab. Such a good idea to have a plain solid colour and then a print. Thanks for all the careful notes on this pattern. May be one I turn to in the future!

Clare said...

fantastic dress, and your pincurls turned out great! mine always explode into crazy frizz :D

Kelly said...

Awesome dress! Love your styling too!

Susannah said...

A stunning outfit overall! The dress is very elegant and flattering, and the pincurls are enviable -- I too just end up with a mass of frizz.

Lisette said...

I'm for anything with the Eiffel tower on it!

Clare said...

Gorgeous dress, I love the way the fabrics work together and you look great in these photos! I also have this pattern and can't decide on fabrics.

Veronica Darling... said...

Great pattern review! I've seen a few of this style, and your combination of fabrics looks really unique.

And totes love your pin curls! They're the BOMB!

KID, MD said...

This is the first time I find myself wanting that pattern! Love your version!

sownbrooklyn said...

It looks so great!! I love the entire look. The hair and shoes all go perfectly!

Stephanie said...

It's perfect plus your hair and makeup really make it all the better. Looks like something from ModCloth! <3

alethia said...

Black and red, great color choice, hair and makeup- awesome!

Debi said...

You look FABULOUS! Love those colors on you! And the fabrics really make the dress pattern shine! Great job!

smiffy said...

Cute shoes

Minnado said...

It is gorgeous and suits you to a T! Liking the red shoes too.

amy said...

I am dying from cuteness! I love the red eiffel tower print with the navy blue! I want to make on just like it.

piccola samurai said...

The dress is amazing and you look wonderful! I love the hair, the lipstick and the shoes.... oh the shoes... I'm dying for them!!!

The Cupcake Goddess said...

I'm dying with how fabulous this frock is for you! Looks so good. Have to admit, this pattern is not one of my favorites, but I'm definitely taken a second look because of the way you've done it up. It's fabulous and very glamorous! Love love love it! And that hair, sigh....I'm so envious.

Gertie said...

LOVE IT! You've reminded me that I want to make another version of this dress. Beautiful job, beautiful hair!

Tasia said...

Gorgeous!! Love the styling, too, what a pretty dress! Totally suits you, and you're right, so much more creative than a navy skirt. I'd consider it a success!

Drop Stitches Not Bombs said...

What utterly fabulous things you make! I love the way the two fabrics work together, and those pincurls are adorable. I am eyeing my sewing machine as I write this... you might just have inspired me to persevere in befriending it!

stephanie said...

WOW! I absolutely adore this dress! The two fabrics go together beautifully and the handstitching is so neat. The dress suits you to a tee, pincurls and all.

Pattern Junkie said...

Love love LOVE your version! Glad to hear the lining went well -- I think I've finally picked the fabric I want to use for mine and I'll need to line or underline it as it's a little sheer. And the pincurls are fab@

Angela said...

Too cute!

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

I really love this. You did a great job on the fabric combination. It's a really standout piece!

(PS - love your hair and make up in these pics!)

Kat said...

Gorgeous! You are going to have so many great things to wear for me made may! A quick question. The material you used for the top half of the dress is that stretch? I have this pattern and want to make it but I have never sewn stretch before and a lot of the ones I have seen around used a knit material for the top. Can you do it without?

Kat said...

Thanks for your comment on my skirt. I am thinking of using a contrasting bias binding probably. Thank you for answering my question on the stretch fabric. I was actually hoping not to use a stretch fabric because I have never used one before and I am a bit scared of it. So that was a great answer for me :) Thanks!

Barbara said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Cecili said...

Amazing! Your version of this dress is perfect, and that fit! About my Simplicity dress, yes I definitely intend to make another one, with the 3/4 sleeves this time^^. Once again bravo for your beautiful garment and your gorgeous styling!

Adrienne said...

Hey Zoe, I'm reading the archives of your blog and having a blast! I had to write a comment here because this dress is absolutely amazing. I would buy it in an instant.

Mo said...

Fabulous dress!
Sadly, the fabulous fabric shops of Goldhawk road are at threat of demolition.
You can read the full details on Melissa’s blog:

http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/444/save-goldhwak-road

Please spread the word,join the facebook group, write to the council and lend your support in any way you can. Otherwise fabric shopping trips to Goldhawk road may sadly become a thing of the past.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...