Dresses

An Ikat Macaron

I wasn’t sure I was going to finish this dress in time to enter it into the Sew Colette 2.0 Sewalong, but lo and behold, I did. Here it is — my ikat Macaron!

Ikat Macaron
An ikat Macaron — I love it!

This is the second Colette pattern I’ve sewn now (my stripey Hazel was the other), and I may officially be in love with Colette patterns. The styling is good, the instructions are straightforward and clear, and the best part — the patterns fit me straight out of the envelope with no alterations!

Seriously, none. When that happens, it’s obviously a match made in heaven and you just have to run with it. Colette, you are my man. Or woman. Whatever.

I really, really like the Macaron. This dress is a perfect work dress for me. It’s professional and stylish but very comfortable. I love the sweetheart neckline — I think it gives the dress a lot of interest and takes what could be a basic sheath and turns it into something really special. I love that the dress is really fitted through the waist. I think that makes it really flattering and feminine. But the pleats in the skirt make it uber-comfy — something that I’ll definitely be able to wear all day at work.

This pattern has fantastic details — the sweetheart neckline, the hidden pleat pockets, and the tulip sleeves, to name a few.

Macaron details

I love the fit of it. This Macaron isn’t as go-anywhere as my Darling Ranges dress (I’m not likely to wear this dress in the evening or on weekends when I’m chasing after kids), but it is absolutely perfect for the office. I also love that the cut and styling of this dress make it a perfect way to use a bolder print, like this ikat, and still make it office-appropriate.

The main ikat fabric is a quilting cotton by a designer whose name totally escapes me. Tina Givens maybe? I can’t remember. Anyway, it worked like a dream. This pattern definitely works well with quilting cotton. The yoke is a fairly drapey off-white linen that I had in my stash. I originally made the dress with facings, as directed in pattern. After I got the bodice constructed though, I noticed that the linen was just translucent enough that the facings showed through. I ended up chopping them off and finishing the neckline with bias tape.

The Macaron is designated an “intermediate” pattern, but the construction was pretty easy. I didn’t have problems with any step of this dress, which either means I’m getting better and more confident at sewing or it’s a testament to the great Colette instructions. Even hand-sewing the hem didn’t bother me — I really like the professional finish it gives.

Ikat Macaron
Obligatory pensive, look-at-the-ground photo. Pondering my lovely dress.

The rundown on Macaron:

Pattern: Colette Macaron
Size: 6
Difficulty: Designated Intermediate, and I would agree with that. The pattern includes hidden pleat pockets, a sweetheart neckline that needs some fairly precise topstitching, set-in sleeves, and a side invisible zipper. Definitely one where you’d be best having a fair number of projects under your belt.
Pattern booklet: I give the physical pattern itself a B-. That’s mostly because I hate tissue paper patterns. I mean seriously, who actually enjoys working with flimsy tissue paper when you’re trying to trace and cut a pattern? It never lays right, it’s hard to see the lines, and I’m always worried I’m going to accidentally tear the thing apart. I actually love the pattern book part of the pattern. It’s really pretty and vintage-looking, and I love how the booklet it integrated into the envelope. That darn tissue paper brings its marks down considerably though.
Alterations: None! Love it.
Fit: The fit is perfect, absolutely perfect, on me. I apparently have an hourglass figure with some good padding up top (who would have known — certainly not me!). The dress fits perfectly across the shoulders and bust — the bust darts hit me exactly right. I have no gaping in the neckline, and the sleeves are perfectly tailored without being tight. The Macaron fits snugly through the waist, making it very flattering, and the shape of the skirts and the pleats make it comfortable and slimming.
Process/Technique: The instructions are great. I was a little unclear on how the bodice pieces attached to the yoke when I made my muslin, but I re-read the instructions when I got down to sewing, and then it made sense. Colette does not include instructions to install an invisible zipper in their pattern booklets, but there is a great tutorial on their blog. (And a video tutorial here).

Overall, I giving Macaron a solid A.

I have quite a few projects in my sewing queue right now, but I definitely want to give Macaron another go. I have no doubt this could become a go-to work dress pattern for me.

I’m already envisioning one in a light gray poplin that currently resides in my stash with a pale pink polka dot yoke. Mmm, that sounds nice.

(And aren’t you glad to get pictures of me not looking like I just rolled out of bed? Amazing the difference a simple hair dryer can make!)

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