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March 16

CSPC: Macaron Redux Fabric

I’ve been working at least two weeks now on my macaron redux project.  Even though I’ve made the macaron dress before, I decided to make another muslin to perfect the fit as well as making it a bit more fitted in the bodice and waist since I’ve lost a few inches; plus I feel I have more fitting experience than I did when I first started sewing.

One muslin turned into five, which left me re-figuring out the peplum and seams and finishes that I will be using on all of the different joins of the bodice.

I find the longer I take to work on a project, the more thoughts I have about it and I end up making all sorts of changes.  For me, having the extra time enables me to work out the kinks, ponder, and research more about possible new techniques and solutions (seam finishes, bulk at seams, etc.).  In the case of my Macaron revamp project, the more I’m reading the more and I’m realizing that this project can either take me one week or one month.  I’m finding so many couture sewing techniques that I can apply to both the treatment of the silk and the lace that it’s beginning to get overwhelming.  I’m starting to think I need to decide which route I want to go (regular sewing or couture) and just start sewing.

During all of my reading I’ve been thinking about the peplum piece.  Originally, I was going to sew in the peplum at the waist seam.  But instead I think I’m going to make it removable and attached to a self-made belt.  This is going to reduce some of the bulk at the waist seam since I’ll already be using 3 layers (silk shell, silk lining, and lace overlay).  Having a sewn-in peplum would make the waist seam 8 layers thick (without including a waist-stay) or a belt.  So in order to reduce the bulk I’ve decided to include the peplum piece into the belt.  I think it will end up looking nicer and will also offer me two different ways to wear the dress.

The main reason why I ended up making so many muslins is that I made one after each major change, to confirm the fit.  Every time I did, I found something else I could change and refine.  I also, always do the sleeves last since changing the bodice, would change the sleeves also.  The last two muslins were actually made to perfect the sleeve fit.

I’m not sure why, but I seem to have issues whenever I make sleeves.  They always seem to pull from the back and front in different ways and I couldn’t tell if it was because I didn’t have enough allowance in the sleeve itself, or if it was not set in deep/shallow enough to the bodice.  Much frustration ensued and I was soo close to making my dress sleeveless.  heh

But waiting a day (as always) helped and I decided I was going to redraft the sleeves instead of making it sleeveless.  I spent all day Saturday working on my muslin and the sleeves; I got little else done.  Did it suck, yes.  Was it worth it, YES!  No matter how frustrated I seem to get, the result has always been worth it.  I learn so much by all of my fitting and refitting.  As a result, I’m totally happy with my new flounce-style sleeve and am a bit better at refining armholes and sleeves.

I do feel bad that I’m not sharing all of my muslins with you, but really, its for the best.  I only ever make the bodices, and even then, I do a rough job sewing them.  It wouldn’t be pretty.

So instead I’d like to share the fabric I decided on.  I bought a nude silk charmeuse for the yolk underlay and I’m also using it to line the main bodice sections.

Initially, I bought a black mesh to use as the underlay for the lace on the yolk, but decided against it.  I’d rather use a nude so I could wear a normal bra, instead of a strapless.  Plus it feels a bit more modest, since I’m not used to being flashy with black lace against bare skin.  (Maybe next time…)  :)

The underlay for the bodice is this cranberry pink which is next to the nude silk charmeuse above, but here’s a better shot.

It’s not as hot pink as I’d like (this picture is the color I wish it was; in person its much darker), to go with my spring palette, but I thought it was perfect all the same.  This is a 3 (or 4 ply) silk crepe, and it was actually more expensive than my lace.  I’ve never bought silk crepe before, but it seemed perfect for this dress.  The silk is really springy and lush; I can’t wait to see how it sews up.

And finally, here’s a shot of my lace with both the nude underlay and cranberry silk crepe.

As you may recall, I was looking for a pink lace, but I couldn’t find one I liked.  Also I remember saying I didn’t like chantilly lace, and guess what kind this is?!  heh

I compared all the black laces in the store and this one just worked the best.  So here we are…  Black Chantilly lace.

I’ve already cut out my silk pieces, but I’m really nervous to cut into this lace.  I’ll probably do it over the weekend when I have a clear head and don’t feel rushed.  I just have to keep reminding myself, that there’s more fabric where that came from and if I do something wrong, it won’t be the end of the world (for now).

  1. Tasia / Mar 16 2011

    Gorgeous fabric choice! Great idea of lining the bodice with nude silk. It will feel heavenly and let you wear a bra – win!

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