COLETTE MACARON – have a little faith


Colette Macaron - beach shot

This is the dress I wasn’t going to make. Colette Macaron…

To be honest when I first discovered Colette, it was the dress that least appealed to me. Then I saw a few versions which I really liked… like this one, this one and this one. It’s a problem the sewing blog world – you end up trying things you never thought you would!

When I saw Cuckoo Chanel’s ‘muslin’ version, I tipped over from the ‘maybe’ make into the ‘going to’ make. It was totally unintentional to use a purple yoke as well – I couldn’t find the right tone of hot pink – how many tones of pink are there in the world??!!

Me, being typical me, had little or no faith that Macaron would work on me but I decided to participate in the Colette Sewalong 2.0 anyway. Colette Patterns looks va-va-voom on curvy girls and retro groovy types – but I don’t think I fall into either of these catagories. Alas. I cut a size 0 and then took a bit out of the sides and cut the back pieces slightly narrower as that seems to be my biggest problem with Colette.

Colette Macaron - morning 3

This is a very very bright fabric choice for me, a bit ‘toucan’. I choose this fabric because it is a light-weight cotton voile but dark enough not to be transparent – ie great for an unlined summer dress. And at $5 a metre, if Colette Macaron was the disaster I was sure it was gonna be, I wasn’t going to be heart-broken. Given that I had already decided it was going to be a disaster, I took little or no care with the finishing so it’s a ‘dog’s breakfast’ on the inside. I’m rather cross with myself for not being a little bit more positive about 1) my abilities and 2) how things can look on me, Yes, I know I should listen to all of you more often (note to self: those that read your blog are smarter than you who types it).

Colette Macaron - beach walking (back view)

Colette Macaron – beach walking (back view)

I decided to finish the neckline with contrast bias binding instead of facing, I stupidly did not cut enough seam allowance (or any…) away from the neckline. So I then discovered I could not get the stupid bodice over my head (I like to think it was because I have a big brain… LOL not). Minor problem…

Rochelle of Luck & Lucille was bemoaning her snug neckline (in addition to the Sewalong deadline) – which I sympathised with and behold – we had a Macaron extension! Hooray.

Colette Macaron - the back view and the keyhole opening

Colette Macaron – the back view and keyhole opening. Note to self: press clothes better before photos!!

As I was not convinced about impeding future sewing success with this project, I decided to throw caution to the wind and create a keyhole back opening – without any instructions whatsoever of course. I simply cut a teardrop shape and then stitched bias binding over the edges. It’s not perfect but it works. I can get the dress over my head – which seemed the more important issue.

The fit isn’t quite perfect across the back but overall I think the fit is pretty darn good! So I’m not going to wail and give myself a hard time.

The invisible zipper went in perfectly and is pretty much invisible – funny that… and I machined the hem. I usually hand stitch my hems but decided that a machine hem was fine as this is destined to be a casual frock.

I also ditched the pockets – yes yes I know we cannot live without pockets. However this fabric is so light that I felt it would puff out the pleats excessively and then it comes to a choice of puff over the stomach with pockets or streamlined without pockets – I am shallow enough to live without pockets.

Colette Macaron - side view

Colette Macaron – side view. This is the ‘bush’ directly behind my home. Koalas lurk in there!

What I love most about this dress is the sleeves. I think they are gorgeous, such a lovely shape and don’t look like shoulder awnings, a term so aptly coined by Pretty Grieviences, in fact I think they are the best thing about the pattern. I’m hoping I can translate them onto another dress pattern or two. I love how they are constructed (each sleeve has two pieces which are stitched together along the edge and then turned right sides out – no hemming required), the curved edge and the way they hug my arms without being tight.

Colette Macaron - adorable sleeves

Colette Macaron – adorable sleeves

I much prefer this skirt with its deeper pleats than the skirt of the Hazel… might be worth trying a Hazaron in the future. Although I’ll be adding a little more length next time – this is a little bit too short and frisky for me… :-) and perhaps lengthen the bodice as well.

Is this my favourite dress ever? No. However I do like the shape (with a longer hem), it’s a lovely shift dress and I could imagine this in a sober black and grey for work. Given I’ve made the Crepe and Peony (unblogged) and the Hazel, I would rate this the best Colette pattern I have sewn so far.

Great instructions, easy to sew, nicely drafted and cutest sleeves ever.

Banjo - at speed!

Banjo (my whippet) – at speed! He’s quite kangaroo-like in this picture!!

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48 thoughts on “COLETTE MACARON – have a little faith

  1. First- Banjo is too adorable for words (crazy dog lady who gets distracted easily here)
    Second- I’m loving toucan sam macaron! This is super cute and I think the call on pockets with the voile is a really good idea. It could have been a wee bit pouffy. Nice hack on the noggin hole problem and I personally can’t wait to see the Hazacron!

    • Could not believe I’d been that stupid with the noggin hole but I think the ‘fix’ works… besides I have long hair…
      Banjo is a showstopper on the beach with his speed and looks, I call him ‘the hot dog’!

  2. What a great photo! The macaron looks great! It’s a really nice style, I’m loving all the plaid ones at the moment, but that would be far too warm for you?

    • It really is the sort of pattern that you can easily make up in a weekend. Its quite a fun dress to sew.
      Banjo adores the beach, he cries with excitement as we drive down the road to it!

  3. Gorgeous Macaron Lizzy! I have had some quilter’s cotton in that exact shade of purple sitting in my stash for forever and ever, and until now I’ve had absolutely no idea what to do with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I love this! I’m working on my macaron now but in solids, yours is freaking adorable! And I must say I’m only moderately jealous of the amazing beach you took these photos on, it looks gorgeous there!

    • I think this would be lovely in solids, looking forward to seeing yours!
      This is the local ‘dog beach’ where the dogs can run about unleashed. We are very lucky to have more than 6 beaches within a 1 to 5 minute drive. Some are patrolled and others are fairly deserted. It’s very pretty here – and we have lots of koalas as well!

  5. This a a lovely dress. I must admit though to having mixed feelings about Collette patterns as well. I like my meringue skirt but don’t quite love it. I could be tempted by the Macaron but the jury is out.

    Cool photo of Kangadog. What dog doesn’t love the beach!

    • I tried the meringue and threw it out in a rage LOL. My Peony was a disaster and I hated my Crepe fabric but I think the dress is quite nice.
      I like the Pastille because it’s such a nice simple shape. I’m scared of getting it to fit properly though as I’m not very confident of my fitting abilities.
      I didn’t originally like the Macaron but it’s a lovely shape on, feminine without being tight or exposing too much flesh! I think what put me off it was the Colette styling in pastel blue/white, it’s too young & girly for me.

  6. oh wow! love the colours and you live in the most beautiful place ever!
    The keyhole at the back actually makes it really special and i totally agree about the sleeves! Now that i have worked them out I love them so much! I am hoping to somehow blog about my black version (no sleeves though) tonight! Prepare for bad mobile photos! hahaha!
    Your dog is so cute! he/she must love running along that beach! Our beach just has pebbles so my boyfriend´s dog isnt that keen. lol.

    • See I’m rather in love with Brighton and might manage to make my way down there if I make it to London next year – I think it’s gorgeous!
      Mind you, you are dead right, my home town is spectacularly beautiful. Some days you just don’t see it because it’s there every day. I shoudl post some pictures of my workplace, it’s spectacular as well.
      I think Banjo would like to run anywhere, it’s what he is born to do I guess. He manages to climb and leap all over the rocks on this beach. It appears he has a bit of mountain goat in him too… and I thought he was a pure bred whippet!
      I’m liking my adventures into colour. I was a big black/white/blue girl and it’s quite funny looking at my home-sewn side of the wardrobe compared to my RTW!

      • Yeah I guess you do not appreciate what you see all day every day always! But looks so nice to me! Oh brighton is great just wish we had a little bit of sandy beach sometimes! :D
        do let me know if you make it to brighton! there is quite the sewing community here too! :D
        Oh yeah it is great to go out of the box in your creations! I generally wore black and sometimes red. But now I pick really random colours and prints and cannot wait to wear them and it does not feel weird!
        Whippets are great dogs! a friend has one and he loves to run and jump. and their faces are too cute!

  7. For a make you thought was doomed to failure its fabuulous, fit, fabric choices the lot. Lots of clever stuff you’ve incorporated to make such a cute summery look. However, I’m sorry to say that I was seriously diverted, my attention was captured by your photos, backdrops and feelings of wistfulness. You live near here?!?! How wonderful. And then to conclude wIth such a brilliant pic of Banjo…for me your pics stole the show, despite the brightness and fabulousness of your macaron! Thanks for the visual treats :-)

    • I am very lucky to live in such a gorgeous place – and to think it’s the third oldest town in mainland Australia. Convicts were sent here – yes that’s right, a former convict prison. Awful place. LOL.
      Now you live in Bath! It’s divine!

  8. It was fun to see how everyone interprets their projects in a unique way, thank’s for including those. I did love the checked number. I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t ever worry about including the pockets, you have a fantastic figure, I’m mean it doesn’t get any better than ’0′ right! That’s one happy doggy you have there, fantastic photo shoot when you can bring your pooch.

    • We always end up at that beach as we can take Banjo along. He gets so excited on the way to the beach he howls and cries with excitement!
      I love all the different versions of the dresses, I really love the black gingham one, although I’ve decided to save my gingham for a shirt dress that won’t leave my head…

  9. Beautiful version! Looks so perfect on you. I’m so glad that you were converted to this pattern as well. I felt exactly the same way you did when I first saw that this was the next Colette sewalong dress. I was indifferent to it at best. Now I’m planning version three. You look absolutely beautiful in those colors. And I adore Banjo. What a cutie!
    Thanks for the shoutout. I love the other versions you highlighted also.
    Shelley

    • Thanks Shelley.
      I think I’ve got at least one more in me – I’m loving Kim-ing LBD version. She put the Cambie a-line skirt on it – gorgeous.
      The Peony looks like the next Sewalong project, I have made that before and it really was a disaster. I’m curious to try again now I’m a better stitcher but have so many other things of rather sew…

      • The Kim-ing LBD is awesome! So creative. I’m sure your next Peony will be perfect. I’m actually really looking forward to trying Peony for some reason. This one fabric in my stash has jumped out at me for it, a light gabardine in a neutral muted pinkish beige. It’s a tame color for me, but accessorizing it will be a blast. The color matches most of my scarves, as well as several pairs of shoes and boots that I don’t get to wear enough, so it will be the ideal fall/winter versatile frock.

    • It’s so much easier and nicer on than I thought it was going to be – I would encourage you to try it. That sweetheart neckline looks tricky but it’s very simple. And I was really impressed with the fit, it’s the best Colette I’ve made to date!
      Thank you :-)

    • You will always get a shout-out when you make such gorgeous stuff. I’m onto Darling Ranges next – and I think you have made that one as well – watch out :-)
      I think I’ve got some ikat fabric for the Hazaron idea… now that’s a thought….

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