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February 7

Macaron Peplum: Part 2

I’m back once again with more peplum-icious images for you.

First things first… in my last post I made a reference to my hippy-hips not being suitable for a peplum.  I’m not sure who was the first to mention that to me, but I’ve always had the general idea that anything that ends at the widest part of your body is a no-no for looking slender.  So I think part of me has assumed that a peplum was a ‘don’t’ for pear-shaped gals like myself.

With that being said, that isn’t deterring me from making or wearing peplums since they are just plain great.  I’ve always been of the mind: Make/Sew/Wear what makes you happy.  But it would be a lie if I didn’t mention that I do try to keep in the back of my mind what looks good/bad on me & my figure.

On Tuesday, I showed you up to the point where I had finished basting the peplum.  So bright and early on Sunday I got to work at stitching it up on the machine.

(Color is a bit off here… this should be cranberry not hot pink.)

I was toying around with the idea of hand stitching down the scalloped silk underlay of the peplum, but ultimately decided that would just be too time consuming and tedious.  So I opted to stitch the scallops down by machine.

I used one of the smaller stitch lengths on my machine (15 sts per inch?) with a similarly small zig-zag stitch.  I wanted to try to finish the seam allowance of the silk, while I sewed the underlay to the lace which is why I went the zig-zag route.

From here, I cut the seam allowance of the silk crepe away from the lace using my sharpest, little buttonhole scissors.

Cutting detail:

This was incredibly time-consuming and stressful work; I even had scissor marks pressed into my skin by the time I was done.  I had to take care that I didn’t accidentally clip into the lace while I was cutting the silk crepe.

Felix graciously came into the sewing/dining room to take these pictures for me.  I clipped as close to the stitching as I could; the seam allowance is close to 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch.

Ta Da!

The peplum is now fully basted and stitched to the underlay.

One of the next tricky pieces on my peplum is the scalloped border I applied to the center front pieces.

Since I wasn’t able to draft a circular peplum piece (in order to retain the scalloped border on the lace) I made my peplum from a giant rectangle: 48″ long x 8″ high.

The main issue this created was the lack of scalloped border to the center front peplum pieces.  What I had to do was use the scraps of scalloped edging and stitch them onto my peplum piece.

I pinned the scallop edging to the front of the peplum and basted it in place.

I then went to the machine and stitched down the scallop piece like I had done with the rest of the hem.  After that I cut off the excess silk underlay & lace and also did some hand stitching to ensure the lace wouldn’t unravel and to also secure the lace pieces to each other.

The image above really just shows the various basting and machine stitching that was done on the center portion of the peplum.  Additionally you can see my pinned pleats that are soon to be sewn.

I don’t have any pictures between this point and the final peplum…

But what I did after this was to:

  • Machine baste all of the pleats down (and gave them a light pressing)
  • Interface & construct the waist piece
  • Stitch the peplum to the waist piece
  • Stitch in the ditch to finish the seam allowance on the wrong side of the peplum piece

*My peplum will be removable* hence all the talk about the waist piece.

Here’s the wrong side of the completed peplum:

Here’s the right side (in the worst-lighting ever!):

Most importantly here is the peplum against my dress (on the dress form):

I want to be modest about this but I do have to admit, I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.  *hip hip*

I really worked a full day and a half on this peplum, namely because this is the one piece of the dress that excited me the most.  It’s the biggest deviation from the original pattern and I think it’s a wonderful addition for a fancy version of the Macaron dress.

When I was planning out the exact peplum design/construction on Friday night (or was it Saturday night…) I was always planning on using just the black lace itself, without the cranberry silk underlay.  But the more I was playing around with the different options, the better the dress looked with the cranberry underlay instead of the black lace, all by itself.  It was just getting lost over the black skirt section.

You may have spied that I didn’t finish the closure on the peplum yet.  I’m going to leave that piece to the very end since I want to get the fit just right when I wear it next Saturday.

I nearly forgot, here’s the back view:

After seeing these pictures with the peplum it looks nearly complete…. yet it’s not!  But it does look like it’s coming together nicely if I can say so myself.  :)

What I have on my Macaron To-Do list:

  • Cut & Assemble Bodice Lining
  • Cut & Assemble Skirt Lining
    • Attach lining to the dress (by hand)
  • Join Bodice to the Skirt
  • Side Seam Closure (by hand)
  • Insert Lace Godet
  • Hem (by hand)
  • Finishing Touches: Strap holders, Dress shields, and Hanger loops

So you can see I have a decent amount of work ahead of me still.  But I’ve made a schedule for myself, and I should be able to have my dress completed by the early part of next week if all goes well.

I’ve actually allowed myself a whole day over the weekend for the closure and another whole day for the hem which is really silly I know…  But I wanted to give myself plenty of time for these two tasks since things can go very awry with the side seam closure as well as just joining the bodice to the skirt.  At some parts on the bodice I only have a scant 1/4 seam allowance to work with.

Thanks for bearing with me on all-things-peplum.  And I’ll be sure to keep documenting the rest of the process for you all as I wrap up construction on this dress.

  1. Gail / Feb 7 2013

    Wow! This is coming together so beautifully! I have to admit, I’m not a fan of peplums, but on this dress it just looks so perfect!

  2. Anastacia / Feb 7 2013

    Oh my goodness! Absolutely gorgeous! The peplum looks like it was meant to be part of the dress all along. Beautiful craftsman….I mean woman-ship :) Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • Liz / Feb 7 2013

      Thanks so much Anastacia.

  3. Emma / Feb 7 2013

    That’s gorgeous!!

    I’ll admit that I too have avoided all things that end around the hips, or even that stand out from the waist. I’ve always been told that I’m a pear shape and that I’ve got “birthing hips”, and that I shouldn’t add to that in any way. I had this view of myself as an enormous ass with stubby legs, a long torso and a tiny chest.

    I’m slowly starting to forget about all of that and try “the forbidden”, though. For one thing, when I stopped buying most of clothes I suddenly realised that I was actually the same size all over (and a size XS-S at that) by *current* standards. Then I started sewing, and sewing vintage at that, and my exact measurements correspond to actual sizes in 1940s patterns… so if I have an enormous behind it’s one that once was standard (and in the age of peplums no less). Lesson: you shouldn’t listen to what people say; try it and see if you think it looks good on you.

    • Liz / Feb 7 2013

      I love your comment. I too feel like I have birthing hips. heh

  4. Karin / Feb 7 2013

    Wow! This is going to be very special. I can’t wait to see it all made up!

  5. K-Line / Feb 7 2013

    Holy cow, or should I say bunnies? This is beautiful work!

  6. Tasha / Feb 7 2013

    It’s so amazing the work you’re putting into this!

    <> This would be why I keep knitting and wearing yellow even though I technically have a yellow undertone and this is supposedly a big no-no. I don’t care, I love yellows what can I say! So wear your peplum with pride! :D

    • Tasha / Feb 7 2013

      Sorry, it clipped out my quote so that doesn’t make sense. In between the I was trying to quote you: “Make/Sew/Wear what makes you happy”

  7. Lili / Feb 7 2013

    It’s brilliant!

  8. Claire / Feb 7 2013

    wow, I really like the lace work you did and how you personalize the Macaron dress. The peplum is just awesone and the dress looks amazing. Lucky Felix! I look forward to seeing it finished and worn!

  9. Meg the Grand / Feb 7 2013

    WOW!! The peplum is completely stunning – I love all of the detail you are putting into it and I especially love that it’s removable!!! That is sheer genius!

    • Liz / Feb 7 2013

      Thanks meg! I figured it would change up the dress a bit if I made it removable, kinda like 2 dresses in one.

  10. Lauren / Feb 7 2013

    OH MY GODDDD the peplum looks amazing!! I actually jumped a little when I saw the picture on the dressform – I don’t know what I was expecting (not anything bad, as I am pretty sure I love every single thing you’ve ever made!), but that caught me off guard with it’s awesome. Damn, this dress is gon’ be good.

    As a side note, this doesn’t help you now but in the future you may want to consider getting some of those duckbilled applique scissors (like these). They are pretty specialized for what you can and can’t use them for, but they are so helpful when you actually need them. They push the bottom layer of fabric down so you can cut just the top – really great for tailoring, grading, that kind of thing. And they look funny, which is always a plus in my book :3

    • Liz / Feb 7 2013

      YAAAY! Thanks Lauren, you’re soo sweet.

      YES! I have those applique scissors in my amazon wishlist. Hopefully a certain husband of mine will buy them for my birthday in a few months. :)

  11. Sew Little Time / Feb 7 2013

    i can’t wait to see this on you – it’s beautiful. all the work you have put in is amazing! i think your basting is neater than my hand sewing!

  12. christina / Feb 7 2013

    Liz,

    I have to admit, I had a hard time using my imagination on the previous post about *how* the peplum was going to be incorporated. The removable waist-piece, the lace, the scallops, YOU NAILED IT! This is such a great addition, I really think that the finished piece should be used as an “inspiration” post on the coletterie blog! This must be such a satisfying way to tackle a UFO, and I can’t wait to see your progress!

    • Liz / Feb 7 2013

      Aww thanks Christina. I made the original macaron dress as my first (or second) sewing project back in the day. But the skirt was not at all flattering on me, but I really love the bodice.

      I’m debating making a casual version but with a full, circle skirt. I’m just in love with the bodice & neckline.

  13. Shelley / Feb 7 2013

    Gorgeous!

  14. ERIN BRIGHT / Feb 7 2013

    Beautiful job Liz!

  15. Michelle / Feb 7 2013

    Lovely, absolutely lovely and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished dress.

  16. Sarah C. / Feb 7 2013

    WOW. This is stunning already! What a lovely way to celebrate a date with your sweetie!

  17. Laura / Feb 7 2013

    This is just stunning! Great job. I love the idea of a removable pepulum – its such a classic dress and it makes it so much more versatile- you’re a genius.

  18. Kiana / Feb 7 2013

    Absolutely beautiful!

  19. Sarah / Feb 7 2013

    Liz, this looks fantastic!!! OMGosh, what an amazing job you’ve done!!!

  20. meredith / Feb 7 2013

    This looks SO amazing !

  21. Liz / Feb 7 2013

    This is positively lovely. I too have always been drawn to peplums, but am not sure I could pull them off. Maybe I might have to give one a go just to see :) Thanks for the inspriation!

    • Liz / Feb 12 2013

      Hey Liz! I bet you could do a short but really full peplum. I bet nearly everyone can wear one, you’d just have to modify the length/fullness of it to suit each particular shape.

  22. Maria / Feb 7 2013

    Wow! The dress is gorgeous. The peplum looks fantastic! So glad your decided to include it, as I think it definitely adds to the – already amazing – dress. You are so skilled and I love seeing your work. Thanks for all the photos (and thank Felix too :o)).

  23. Lindie / Feb 8 2013

    That looks amazing! Wow, I am super impressed, and inspired. I am pear shaped and also thought that the peplum would look bad on me. But after this, I want to try! This dress is going to look so beautiful, can’t wait to see the finished product.

    • Liz / Feb 12 2013

      Hey Lindie! Peplums are great! While I think it does accentuate my hips a bit, having a nipped-in waist makes it look flattering no matter what.

      When in doubt-make a muslin or better yet make it removable. :)

  24. Jenny / Feb 8 2013

    You are so clever Liz, this looks amazing!! I really admire your patience and dedication- both things that I sometimes lack with more complicated projects.

    I can’t wait to see the finished dress in all its glory!

    • Liz / Feb 12 2013

      Oh dearie, thanks! I wish I could say that I am a patient person, but as you can see I started this dress back in 2011! heh But dedication… I seem to have that since I’ve picked it up once again. :)

  25. Shar / Feb 8 2013

    I don’t think I can add any more adjectives to what everyone else is posting – your dress is absolutely gorgeous! Due to my hips I went with the ruffle on my By Hand London Charlotte skirt instead of the peplum – I wish I had seen your peplum first. Thank you so much for sharing the construction details. It’s always so interesting to see the process rather than just the finished piece.

    • Liz / Feb 12 2013

      YES! I bought the Charlotte skirt and hope to make that in the near future too! I was so taken aback when I saw my actual body measurements fit for one size (just like Sewaholic patterns).

      I bet you could do a removable peplum for this skirt too! Just make a duplicate waistband and stitch the peplum onto that instead. :)

      • Shar / Feb 13 2013

        I agree – I fit in US size 6 for the Charlotte with no changes and I’ve had similar success with Sewaholic patterns. I bought fabric for a second Charlotte (floral spring version). I’m going to try your suggestion on the peplum. Thanks!

  26. Rachel / Feb 8 2013

    Wow Liz, it is looking really good :) I can’t wait to see it finished!

  27. Wanett / Feb 11 2013

    That is STUNNING!! I cannot wait to see it all done!

  28. Melanie / Feb 11 2013

    I’ve always been afraid to do lace scallops. You did a marvelous job trimming, and it looks like it was worth every minute. I may just have to actually try it soon!

    • Liz / Feb 12 2013

      It wasn’t too bad really.

      I always save my fabric scraps and I do lots of testing and playing around on my machine till I get the right stitch length/tension/zig-zag width so that when I do the real deal it’s much more manageable.

  29. Meli / Feb 12 2013

    This looks great!!! I can’t wait to see what comes next… ANTICIPATION

    • Liz / Feb 12 2013

      Heh I love this comment of yours Meli! I too can’t wait for this dress to be completed. I just finished the hem last night and I feel SOO CLOSE now. :)

  30. Bex / Feb 12 2013

    Oh wow Liz! That is a-may-zing!

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