Macaron Dress by Colette Patterns




Always going for something far more challenging than I am capable of achieving, I have attempted my first Macaron dress. This is an intermediate level knee length dress with short scalloped sleeves. Darts and pleats shape the bodice and skirt, which also included pockets. The reason I have had a go at something that is described as intermediate rather than beginner is an upcoming wedding. I would love to wear my own handmade dress and the Macaron pattern looks up to the job. This is my first attempt, with success leading onto a second wedding guest creation hopefully.


Macaron Dress by Colette Patterns: Pattern review

Fabric

I used a fabric that I had stashed ready to make a smartish dress. It is a nude coloured gabardine from John Lewis priced at £11.00 per metre (I got mine in a sale a while ago for £9.00 per metre). I decided to make my dress in one colour instead of the two contrasting ones that the pattern details. This meant I ended up using most of the 2m of fabric I had. The matching thread for this fabric is a Gutermann all purpose 722.


Pattern and Instructions

The instructions are presented in a booklet which includes layplans, handy tips and a coat of terms. There is space for notes and the pattern pieces are stored in the back of the booklet. I was very apprehensive about following these instructions given the difficulty level; needlessly so it appears. The instructions were straightforward and didn't use complicated language.  Diagrams were provided at each stage and this helped me to identify what I needed to do. I decided to leave out the pockets so this meant I could happily skip this whole section, but having looked through they seem simple enough to insert for future makes. This was the first time I had used pleats, so I double checked the instructions using the Colette blog for more detail (and pictures which always help!). 

Macaron Dress by Colette PatternsClearly I haven't learned my lesson with piping as I added this to the top of the bodice.  I made my own piping using 1mm cord and ready made cream double fold cotton bias. I enclosed the cord in the bias tape using a regular zip foot and matching thread.  Then I pressed under the top of the bodice as per the pattern instructions and then attached the piping to this foldline.

Macaron Dress by Colette Patterns

This did make attaching the top yoke to the front bodice a bit trickier as it was difficult to line up the two pieces properly. I'm still not overly sure about the joining method for these two pieces as it feels odd, and does mean that you have a visible line of stitching in a very prominent area. I think if my stitching skills were better I would feel more confident with this! The pattern is also meant to have visible stitching at the bottom hem (which is a blind hem). This didn't really fit with the look I was going for with this dress so I pressed and slipstitched the hem by hand. You can still see the hem so if anyone has tips on how to create a truly invisible hem please share!

The scalloped sleeves are a feature element of the the pattern, and are constructed using two pieces stitched and turned inside out to give a neat finish. The instructions for these are very clear and easy to follow.

Macaron Dress by Colette Patterns sleeve

Alterations and final verdict

I didn't make any fitting alterations and was surprised to find that the finished dress fits well and is comfortable to wear. The gabardine has some stretch in it and I think this helps too. I particularly like the shape of the skirt and the sleeve detail. The waistband on my finished dress looks narrower than I expected it to from photos of other people's finished makes (no idea why). This pattern is graded as an intermediate difficulty level, but was simpler than I thought it would be, so I would definitely recommend giving it a go. I think there are a lot of ways that this pattern could be used, playing around with fabrics to create different looks...please share yours to give us all some inspiration!

Macaron Dress by Colette Patterns
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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and delicious food.
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