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February 18

Completed: The Macaron Redux Dress

Fiiiiinally right?!  heh Well, I’m as happy as can be that this dress is finally completed.  It’s been 2 years in the making and is my first finished object in 2013.

Colette’s Macaron dress was the primary reason that I wanted to learn how to sew.  I had seen the dress on Gertie’s blog and it’s what prompted me to then check out Colette’s blog since I wanted to make one of my very own even though at the time I didn’t even know how to sew.  (I inadvertently picked the same colors as Gertie did too for my first macaron.  heh)  I took a few basic sewing classes and launched into making the Macaron dress in a purple cotton with black contrast sections.  It’s not comfortable to wear and the fit wasn’t quite right.  But this is the one dress that has started it all for me.

The Macaron Redux dress began as a sketch in my notebook back in March of 2011 for a pretty, feminine dress with a peplum using Colette’s Macaron bodice, as the base of course.

I had come up with a few different color/fabric options, none of which 100% matched my dress as it stands now.  But version C would have been the closest.

This dress has come a very long way to get it to completion.  But now that it’s finished, it seems fitting that I’ve put lots of my knowledge into this one dress; it has taught me what to do (and not do) in garment construction.

Before delving into all of the photos, I’d just like to say “Thanks!”  I really appreciate all of the cheers, support, and love you’ve given me as I’ve worked on this dress throughout all of the starts and stops during the last 2 years.

So, here we go….

I went and took photos at my mom’s house on Sunday morning.  It was quite chilly and drab outside so her house seemed like the best (warm) solution for this time of year.

My hair has fallen a bit from the night prior when Felix and I went out to eat.  He ended up taking me a very nice French restaurant; it was scrumptious.

Did you spy my shoes?!

I have matching shoes!  heh  I normally don’t like to be so matchy-matchy, but I have a reason…  These shoes originally had a satin black bow on them.  But the first and only time I wore these shoes out one of the bows was attacked by a sweet golden retriever who has a *thing* for shoes.

It rendered the shoes unwearable.  Not wanting to buy new shoes, I made-do & mended these ones.  While I was fixing them up anyhow, I figured the new bows might as well match my dress.  :)

Peplum Detail:

Peplum Back Detail:

Here I am without the peplum, but a black silk belt.

I’m half-sitting on the couch here… hence the hippy hips.  :)

Here’s a lovely detail shot of the bodice:

My rhinestone necklace was thifted for a fatty $7, it’s one of my faves for a dressy occasion.

Bodice Back detail:

Back bodice in mega detail, it shows the applique seams and darts quite clearly:

That art deco lamp needs to come home with me….

My mom has such a lovely, old Victorian home which is filled to the brim with pretty wood furniture and McCoy pottery.

I bought this lipstick (& nail polish) to match my bodice.  It’s the first time I’ve ever done this but I thought it fitting (& fun) that I make myself up extra nice to coordinate with my dress.

And this post wouldn’t be complete without my “photographer” husband, Felix.  (He’s really not a photographer but a front-end developer.)

He knows what happens when I wear lipstick… you can tell exactly what he was thinking as I did this!  heh

I didn’t feel the need to recap all of the small details that went into this dress on the insides, since I felt like I had done all of that already with the progress posts.

But I will mention how I did all of this…

I decided that I wanted to make this dress using couture sewing techniques and to try and make it as nice as I could possibly do.  I wanted to challenge myself and try my hand at new-to-me techniques.  Since I’m too impatient to test such techniques on scrap fabric I go full-force and try things out on actual projects instead.

Before cutting out any fabric, I went and read through all of my sewing books and made notes of all of the tips & techniques that I thought I could apply to this dress, or what seemed applicable to me at the time.

This is a page of my notebook where I noted all of the things that I thought could be included on the dress, including page numbers and all.  I didn’t do all of these things since I had realized that some didn’t apply (like a waist stay), but I did do a fair amount of them in the end.

I love learning new techniques and applying them to my projects makes things all the more fun and exciting.  I think it’s one of the main reasons why I never have found sewing boring… there is always more fun things to learn if you want to.

A few of you noted that my basting looked so nice and even… which I have to admit that I don’t agree (but thanks!)  I only bring this up because I can vividly remember when I tried to invisibly slip-stitch the open end of a waistband down to the inside of a skirt.

I showed my handiwork to my mom, being very proud of what I had done, and she was nice about mentioning that it wasn’t so invisible to her.  She made me realize that if I kept at it, using some basic hand sewing stitches, that I could get much nicer (and more professional-looking) garments as a result.  With each of my sewing projects I generally incorporate hand stitching whether it be on the waistband, hem, (or both).  And I continue to think my hand stitching is lacking, but it’s getting better.

All of my long-winded-ness here is really just me saying to you guys, go for it!  :)  Try out a new-to-you technique on your next project and see what happens.  Chances are you’ll love the results and will want to try out some more new ones.

Now that I’ve completed this dress I feel nice and refreshed, ready to tackle new challenges and do something new.  So…. if there’s something you’ve seen me do on this dress that you’re curious to know more about, please leave me your questions in the comments.  I’m all about sharing the knowledge with you guys.  :)

Cheers & hope you had a lovely weekend!

  1. CarmencitaB / Feb 18 2013

    It’s the prettiest Macaron I have ever seen!

  2. VickiKate / Feb 18 2013

    Oh wow! Liz that is the most beautiful macaron I have ever seen. Ever. I love it with the peplum and without. It was definitely worth the time and effort!

  3. Gail / Feb 18 2013

    Oh Liz! I can’t even begin to find the words to describe how utterly gorgeous this dress is, and how beautiful you look in it! Truly exquisite!

  4. Stephanie / Feb 18 2013

    It’s amazing Liz! :D I’m so proud of you and your dress! What an accomplishment!

    And I have to add that Felix looks just about as enthused about your lippy as my husband usually does! lol.

  5. Leah / Feb 18 2013

    Oh my goodness this is stunning! You look amazing in this, Liz, I adore it, and the fact that the peplum is detachable is awesome, that gives you so many options! Ah, I love this and your cute matching shoes!

  6. Lili / Feb 18 2013

    The dress is absolutely fabulous and you look wonderful in it. And I love what you did with the shoes, especially since you rescued a pair that would otherwise have sat useless in the closet. Genius!

  7. Tasha / Feb 18 2013

    It’s just gorgeous! I love how it came out in the end. It must feel so great to have this completed. I love how the peplum is removable too, that’s a clever design element that almost gets you two dresses in one. And the shoes! Matchy and subtle, too! I ADORE how the dress looks from behind with the peplum. Swoon!

    My entire project (okay not entirely, but many things) for Sew for Victory will be trying new techniques so your post is timely. lol I usually try new-to-me things for the first time on the actual project too, unless for some reason it’s strange enough to me that I feel the need to test it out first. ;)

  8. Meli / Feb 18 2013

    My jaw is on the floor. The dress is gorgeous, YOU are gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get back to my sewing machine to try to make something that looks as beautiful on the inside as it does on the outside, just like you!

  9. Suzie / Feb 18 2013

    Simply STUNNING!!! You look a million $$$$$$! Absolutely wonderful dress – I don’t blame you for buying matching lippy and nail varnish to match the dress, this dress deserves nothing less! And I love that you made the peplum detachable so you can vary the look. I honestly can’t pick which look I prefer though – if it was me I would be taking the peplum off and on every half hour on a night out! lol.
    Well done Liz!

  10. Wanett / Feb 18 2013

    It is so, soo, sooo , SOOOO AMAZING!!! This is a masterpiece of a dress! You look fantastic in it! And it looks equally fantastic with and without the peplum. Both compliment the hippy, hips quite nicely ;o) The matchy shoes and makeup just complete the look.

    Thanks for your encouragement to try new techniques! I’m still in awe of all of your handwork and hard work!

  11. Shelley / Feb 18 2013

    Gorgeous!!! Definitely worth all of your hard work. You and Felix are adorable.

  12. Clare S / Feb 18 2013

    Oh yay! This looks absolutely gorgeous on you – stunning! Fabulous detailing and a very stylish dress. I am so pleased for you – it was definitely worth the perseverance. Well done – this looks as if it’s a vintage designer piece!

  13. Emma / Feb 18 2013

    It’s gorgeous! You should be super proud; not only because you’ve now got a stunning dress, but because of all of the work, thought, and effort you put into it, without all of those shortcuts that are so easy to grant yourself on a time-consuming project like this. That’s really inspiring!

  14. soisewedthis / Feb 18 2013

    It looks so beautiful!!!

  15. Meg the Grand / Feb 18 2013

    This is magnificent! The back vent, the peplum, the little bows on your shoes – it’s all fantastic! Such wonderful touches on such a marvelous piece. So well done, my friend! Love that picture of you and Felix so much :)

  16. Shannon / Feb 18 2013

    This turned out so beautifully! I LOVE the peplum; all the hard work you put into it really shows. If you worked for commission (and I could afford you!) I would want an exact replica!

  17. Rox / Feb 18 2013

    That dress rocks! It is fan-freakin-tastic! The details make the dress: peplum, bow, kick pleat… Yowza! You look so va-va-voom!

    I tried making a lace macaron, but I didn’t choose a fabric sturdy enough for the body… But your take on the lace dress makes me want to have a go at it again! Wow. Seriously.

  18. Sandra / Feb 18 2013

    Awesome dress and photos. Thank you for sharing, great inspiration.

  19. Charlotte / Feb 18 2013

    Wow! That turned out stunning! I admit that in watching it that I wasn’t quite sure, just because the style isn’t necessarily one I would usually go for, but looking at it finished….wowza. I would wear that in a heartbeat.

    Really gorgeous…and it looks *great* on you. Perfect. Well done.

  20. Layla / Feb 18 2013

    Amazing dress! You look SOOO gorgeous in it, wow!

  21. Sew Little Time / Feb 18 2013

    absolutely stunning! i knew it was going to be gorgeous and i am so glad you finished it! i am totally in awe of all your couture techniques. i’m too much of a newbie sewist to see what techniques i could be using in a pattern like the maracon (which i have made – it was my inspiration to start sewing for myself too!). i think you’ve inspired me to make another version for the summer with a flared skirt! total inspiration (and i love the matchy matchy shoes!)

  22. Michelle / Feb 18 2013

    WOW! This was worth every stitch! It’s completely gorgeous and you look absolutely radiant!

  23. K-Line / Feb 18 2013

    How utterly 110 per cent gorgeous! It is a work of art. You have to wear it every day!

  24. Aleksandra / Feb 18 2013

    Oh, I just love it! Completely stunning.

    And matchy-matchy 100 percent works for this dress. The shoes, the nails, the lipstick — everything is perfect.

    Nice work!

  25. Cari Homemaker / Feb 18 2013

    You did an amazing job. I just love the dress and all the accessories, etc. you pulled together with it. Sexy and classy at the same time.

  26. ladykatza / Feb 18 2013

    Love it, so very much.

  27. Christina / Feb 18 2013

    Liz,
    This dress is absolutely stunning. I really enjoyed your in-progress posts and to see the final version… just awesome!!!! I definitely think your hard work paid off!

    Best,
    Christina

  28. PendleStitches / Feb 18 2013

    This dress is worth every single last stitch! It’s sublime! You look so beautiful in it…and I love the shoes too! That dog knew it’s stuff.
    Ps…your mothers house is gorgeous too.

  29. Jennifer / Feb 18 2013

    Wow, Liz! It’s absolutely stunning! Undoubtedly worth every minute and every stitch. Truly well done.

    Thanks for sharing your progress and tips along the way. I need to remember to make a technique list like you did when I prep for a certain special dress later this year.

  30. Rochelle New / Feb 18 2013

    I am absolutely floored by this dress!!! It’s just so amazing in every way. You didn’t miss a single detail and your execution (as always) is immensely professional. You inspire me so much!! Those colors are gorgeous on you, too!

    (p.s. my mister is also a front end web developer/blog photographer/vlog editor extraordinaire! lol I’m so lucky to have him backing all my projects.)

  31. Tilly / Feb 18 2013

    Oh it’s just stunning, Liz – you should feel so proud of yourself! x

  32. Jenny / Feb 18 2013

    This dress came out so gorgeous!! And the fit is superb ~ good job!!

  33. Annabelle / Feb 18 2013

    Oh yay, it turned out beautifully! I love how the peplum is removable, as both looks are just gorgeous.

  34. Mary in FL / Feb 18 2013

    Vamp it up, darlin’

  35. Maria / Feb 18 2013

    You look so beautiful! The dress is stunning and so flattering. Thanks for sharing your progress. As always you are such an inspiration to me. Maybe one day I might create something as special as this. A big applause for a gorgeous dress.

  36. Mandy / Feb 18 2013

    WOW!! The dress is gorgeous!! And you look stunning in it! And I love the fix on your shoes! Awesome job!!

  37. lauria / Feb 18 2013

    This dress was the reason that I originally added you to my blog feed. Now that it’s finished, I can finally unsubscribe! Just kidding! I was intrigued about the dress and couture construction, but I stayed for ALL the great posts (even if I rarely comment, sorry!)

    You did a beautiful job and I love to see what else you sew and knit! I have a sewing machine, but rarely use it. Your posts are inspiring and I DO avidly knit, so I’m super pleased to see the knitting posts, too!

  38. Shar / Feb 18 2013

    I’ve been feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve following your construction posts and waiting for the reveal and boy was it worth the wait!!! The dress is stunning and you look absolutely gorgeous in it! Amazing work!

  39. Kat / Feb 18 2013

    This is the most amazing dress I have ever seen! Nice work and gorgeous colour combo. Love the lace too!

  40. Jo / Feb 19 2013

    AGGHH OMG! lol :) You are stunning, your dress is stunning, as are your skills! Bravo!! :D

  41. Elizabeth / Feb 19 2013

    Liz, this is gorgeous. All the planning, thinking, and long hours of detailed work have resulted in a truly fantastic dress. The couture details are worth it. You look effortlessly elegant. Of course lots of effort went into it, but I think you demonstrate why couture techniques move a dress from lovely into elegant. All the details that you took time over and executed so beautifully create that magic that couture has – elegance, style, and ensure the wearer stands out from the crowd. Its been really inspiring to see the stages of the dress. Yay for you!

  42. Amy / Feb 19 2013

    This is AMAZING! Lovely, fantastic work!

  43. Carla / Feb 19 2013

    Congratulations!!! Beautiful dress and I think it has a special feeling knowing that it was done by you! And you should be very proud, because you did a magnificent job…
    Persistence is the secret to success!!!
    …and by the way love your shoes!!!

  44. Monique / Feb 19 2013

    Absolutely stunning! Phenomenal dress, amazing styling. Well done!!!!

  45. Lynn / Feb 19 2013

    This is the most beautiful version of Macaron I have ever seen. Unless someone figures out how to make it in solid gold, this takes the crown for the best. Very well done!

  46. Shawn / Feb 19 2013

    Wow what a beautiful job! Way to go!

  47. Amy / Feb 19 2013

    Wow! Simply gorgeous!!! Wonderful, wonderful job. You should be so, so proud of yourself! Girl, you earned that red lipstick! :)

  48. Laura / Feb 19 2013

    This is absolutely stunning! Well done and congratulations. What a huge amount of work and how completely worth it. You look a million dollars and should be very proud of yourself. And I love that the pendulum is removable. Genius!

  49. Kay / Feb 19 2013

    GORGEOUS!!! Both you and the dress!!

    Great job!!

  50. Samina / Feb 19 2013

    Coming from reading the Colette blog to add to the list of “wows” here! That dress is absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations!

  51. amanda / Feb 19 2013

    The dress is gorgeous! and you look gorgeous in it. Congratulations!

  52. nothy / Feb 19 2013

    Oh Liz, this looks amazing on you. I love the peplum you added! The lace over the red makes this dress look fabulous. I hope you went out for dinner or dancing or something. This is a dress to wear out for a good time!

  53. Jess / Feb 19 2013

    That is one smokin’ hot, sultry, amazing dress! So beautifully fitted and sewn. Two thumbs up!

  54. Liz / Feb 19 2013

    this is absolutely gorgeous, you look stunning!
    fantastic job!

  55. Lauren / Feb 19 2013

    GOD, it looks amazing! The perfect mixture of red, black, and lace – and I love how well you matched the lining to your skin (to be honest, I never even noticed that until Tasha pointed it out last week. I guess my mind just decided that part was sheer lace? Mind. Blown.). I love the view from the back, with the godet and the peplum. Not to mention the whole outfit just looks awesome, from the matching shoes to the matching lipstick. Fabulous, fabulous job. I bow at your feet.

    Also, that last picture of you+Felix is adorable. Like, should be framed somewhere in your house adorable.

  56. Pauline / Feb 19 2013

    It was totally worth the wait: you look stunning in your macaron! It has to be the most elegant version I have seen. Those colours look amazing on you and the shape is so elegant (I am going to keep this great idea of a removeable peplum, thanks!).

  57. Maggie / Feb 19 2013

    It is beautiful! I saw the last post and forgot to check to see if you had posted the big reveal! Great job!!!

  58. Ami / Feb 19 2013

    You and the dress look soo beautiful! Love it!! Xx

  59. Sue / Feb 19 2013

    Very very creative. very very beautiful work.

  60. Gwen Mann / Feb 19 2013

    This is absolutely amazing! I love Colette Patterns… And especially the Macaron dress, because I’m obsessed with sweet heart necklines. Combine that with lace and a peplum like you did, and I want one in my own closet :) Your work is incredibly precise and detailed, and you should be very proud of yourself for creating something like this when you didn’t know how to sew only two years ago. Congratulations on a stunning dress!

  61. Andrea / Feb 19 2013

    Wow, this is stunning. You are beautiful and sew beautifully, too!

  62. Salma / Feb 19 2013

    This is the prettiest macaron dress I have ever laid eyes on! What a stunning accomplishment!

  63. Amanda / Feb 19 2013

    Absolutely stunning, Liz! And how awesome that Sarai featured you on the Coletterie!! Did you wear this to the French restaurant Felix took you to? I imagine this would be the perfect outfit for it. :) It’s always inspiring to see the work that goes in to your creations – a great way to kick off 2013!

  64. Marie / Feb 19 2013

    Goodness Liz, this is delicious! You’ve done such a fantastic job and you look stunning! I love your mum’s home too ;o)

  65. Donna / Feb 19 2013

    Simply breathtaking!

  66. Mugsy / Feb 19 2013

    Wow, this is so amazing! Came here from “Collette Patterns”, and I just had to comment! You’ve done some incredible work and deserve to be very proud. Thanks so much for the post and inspiration… :)

  67. Hazel / Feb 19 2013

    Your dress is stunning! I love it both with and without the peplum and I love how you’ve styled it with your shoe bows! I’ve really enjoyed your posts on the construction of your dress, I’m all about couture techniques just now and the way you’ve taken what appears to be a straight forward dress and made it into an amazing couture dress is so nice to see! Love it!

  68. joelle / Feb 19 2013

    you look amazing! such a luxurious dress and all the handwork is sublime. well done!

  69. Trisha / Feb 19 2013

    Beautiful!!!! Curiously, the peplum is my favorite part, but I quite like the dress without it. I wonder if you could ever find a way to wear the peplum with something else. Great work on a lovely dress!

  70. Clare / Feb 19 2013

    wow, this is AMAZING! Well done! I went back through your construction posts to see how it was all assembled, and I think your work on the peplum is superb! I hope you have that dress forever!

  71. Nina / Feb 19 2013

    The dress is absolutely gorgeous! Wow! And you look stunning in it! I think the peplum is my favorite part too, like many other commenters :) The edge of the peplum is so perfect, all that attention to detail definitely shows! Congratulations!

  72. Melizza / Feb 19 2013

    There’s nothing for me to say that hasn’t been said: absolutely gorgeous and amazing work. The removable peplum skirt…perfect.

  73. Mari / Feb 19 2013

    Absolutely beautiful!!!

  74. Seamstress Erin / Feb 20 2013

    It’s gorgeous! I love the peplum and I think it’s stunning over your hips. Beautiful work. Truly an inspiration!

  75. Neroli / Feb 20 2013

    Wow! I am very impressed with the sewing on this gorgeous dress you have created, and cannot believe you have only been sewing for a short while. This is a fantastic result, and looks very professional. Great work (& you look fantastic in it too)!

  76. Charity Shop Chic / Feb 20 2013

    Liz, you look stunning and the dress is amazing! It really reflects the hours of hard work you have put into it. Congratulations. Personally I think the without-peplum version is my absolute favourite, but it looks great both ways. Well done.

  77. Annie Sharkey / Feb 20 2013

    This dress is a masterclass in so many sewing techniques, faultless. Beautiful fabrics and colour way. It suits you perfectly. You and your hubby are so cute, btw, made me smile. :)

  78. Beno / Feb 20 2013

    You look fabolous. It was a good thing that you waited that long to get results like that. Wish that someday I will be able to produce garmets that are as flawless as that.

    If you don’d mind my asking, what type of fabrics did you use?

    • Liz / Feb 20 2013

      Thanks so much Beno. Of course I don’t mind you asking what fabrics I’ve used. :)

      The black lace is a chantilly, there’s a nude silk charmeuse underlining on the yoke which I also used as the inner bodice lining, I used a cranberry 3-ply silk crepe as underlining on the bodice, peplum, and godet and I used a black 100% wool Italian suiting for the skirt portion of the dress.

  79. Karen / Feb 20 2013

    This (and you in it! and you just in general!) are effing fabulous. I am SO inspired. Thank you for sharing!

  80. Zarah / Feb 20 2013

    This is gorgeous! And the peplum is detachable? Even more awesome.

  81. Claire Jain / Feb 20 2013

    Wow! This is utterly amazing, and you look beautiful in your pics. What an amazing accomplishnt :-) I hope you get lots of opportunities to wear it!

  82. Katherine / Feb 21 2013

    I was not wrong – it definitely is a stunner of a dress, and you look amazing in it! Congrats on seeing all your hard work come to fruition so beautifully!

  83. Jill / Feb 21 2013

    Simply gorgeous. I love that you didn’t carry the peplum all the way around in the front. And the vent detail is such a lovely surprise.
    That lamp caught my eye as well! Check to see, but it looks like a Frankart lamp to me. They were produced in the 20s/30s I think. My great aunts had one that everyone in the family coveted. There are many styles of them, along with bookends, ashtrays and more-all gorgeous!

  84. Adey / Feb 22 2013

    Utterly stunning! I definitely went ‘Wow’ when I saw it. Great planning and the end result perfect!

  85. Ginger / Feb 22 2013

    This is STUNNING! IT turned out beautifully! Great job, girl!

  86. Jenny / Feb 22 2013

    Simply gorgeous and divine! BTW, the pics of you and your hubby are sweet:)

  87. Frances / Feb 26 2013

    If I EVER made a dress that gorgeous I would have to make a sign to wear with it saying, “I made this myself!”.

  88. erin / Feb 26 2013

    ah-maze-ING! This is simply gorgeous, and looks stunning on you!

  89. Manju / Mar 4 2013

    Absolutely. Gorgeous. Wow wow wow! Love it.

  90. Janice / Mar 9 2013

    It looks gorgeous! Well done.

  91. elizabeth rehmer / Mar 20 2013

    This is STUNNING!! I followed the link from collette patterns. I think this is so gorgeous–and who cares how long it took–it will be forever in style and lovely!! way to go! I am obsessed with lace and eyelets right now but terrified to work with them…

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  1. Sewing Goodness Extracts « Lin3arossa
  2. Macaron Redux | Coletterie
  3. Lace for A Valentine’s Day Dress | Mood Sewing Network
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