The Muslin Diaries: Volume 1: The Colette Meringue Skirt

First of all, I must apologize for the quality of these photos. It is surprisingly difficult to take your own photo in a mirror with a large camera. Don’t even get me started about the back view, I can’t even deal with it. But I made a muslin for the Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook Meringue skirt, and as part of Sew Colette I vowed I would post it, and post it I shall. And my feelings about it can be summed up in one word. Meh.

Yeah. Socks on my feet, dirty laundry in the background, bad lighting, shaky camera work. You like that? Yeah you do. God, HOW am I still single? Such a constant mystery.

I cut a size six, which is my usual in Colette patterns. Well, I say usual, but as I’ve only made one bottom from Colette, the tight-fitting clover, I have no real idea. (And can I just say that I really need a clothing line made for ladies with junk in the trunk. Can we please start assuming an ass, pattern companies? Assume there is an ass. Assume an ass goes in there. Thanks. )

And I used Sarai’s tutorial to make a waistband, which I believe I made too wide, so that’s something for next time. I love a wide waistband, but I don’t think it works in this skirt. It came out a bit wonky, which I’m going to chalk up to seamstress error.

While I would love to think those flecks are sparkles of magic that follow me always, I know that they are really light hitting the mirror. Sigh. A girl can dream.

So, on my rather voluptuous form, this skirt, which I feel like is supposed to be an A-line, is more of a Tulip. Which is okay, but I think I would prefer a bit more ease in the hips and rear.

Speaking of:

There are these odd wrinkles right at the top of the skirt. What….is that? I don’t know what that means! Is it too tight? Do I need a swayback adjustment? Is it just weird (yes, it is)? Any advice?

The scallops are a bit wrinkled in this photo, but they actually turned out quite well, because I ignored all advice from the book, sorry, Sarai, and used this tutorial from Patterns Scissors Cloth, which worked beautifully. No funny flat bits, just nice round scallops. Thank you, Sherry!

I think I might just go up a size. It would be nice to have a bit more ease in the hips, and I don’t mind a loose shape because I think that’s the intention of the skirt. But this is a perfectly wearable muslin and something I will probably get some use out of, so that’s good.

So here is the big question. I’m going to make this again, because I do like it and it’s cute and simple and because I signed up for this challenge, damn it, so I’m not going to quit on the first pattern! And I’m going to do it in this fabric:

But I simply must posit a controversial query. Do I actually want a scalloped hem?

I know. Jump back. That’s the whole cute design element of the skirt. It’s the POINT of the skirt, really. But…I just don’t know. Will I feel silly in scallops? Are scallops really all that wearable? Can I in fact, rock a scallop, or will it be a huge struggle? Discuss. How do you feel about scallops? Cute element or little-girl silly? And any ideas about that wrinkling in the back?


Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Fabric, Sewing

19 responses to “The Muslin Diaries: Volume 1: The Colette Meringue Skirt

  1. Ok, I am pleased to wade in. I feel like the scallops are such a detail on their own that a quiet fabric is called for. Yes, I know- me, queen of the jungle prints and foolish choices just called for subtle. But if I made the scalloped edge with a striped fabric- I’m afraid I’d look like a really nice circus from the back. You’d hear calliope as I passed. What does your heart tell you?

    • God, my heart, my heart is so conflicted! Part of me is thrilled that I found a method for neat pretty scallops, and part of me worries that I wont actually like the end result as much if I scallop again….LIFE IS SO HARD.

  2. I think that fabric is BEGGING to be scalloped, but I can see why you might be hesitant – it will look verrrry candy-like! If you are really waffling on this, I’d make it a straight-hem skirt and save the scallops for a fabric that is a little more neutral and/or masculine – they’ll balance each other out.

    • See, I admire your monochromatic version so deeply, but I don’t know if I can rock it. Candy is right, people are going to ask me if I work in an ice cream parlor if I scallop this thing.

  3. I’m skipping out on the Meringue skirt because I felt like the scallops would be too “cute” on me (I look young, and anything super feminine kinda makes me look like a little kid), but I’ve liked the versions in a more sedate fabric. I LOVE your fabric, but if it was mine, I would probably prefer a straight hem with the fun stripes.

  4. Miriana

    I think that scallops are too girly-cute even using plain fabric, so I’m probably not best placed to advise.

  5. I like scallops, but I didn’t personally want to make this skirt because I don’t like clothes that bring attention to my knees. I think you could try the candy stripe fabric with a more subtle scallop instead of the deeper rounder ones in the original pattern. As for the horizontal wrinkles in the back, does the pattern not have tush darts? Most non-gathered/non-pleated skirts at least have the vertical darts above the bum, so maybe it would help to add some to take away the excess fabric up there. That, or the side seams need to be let out so the fabric has room to fall flat instead of bunching up. I’m sure just a size up will work! Good luck, it’ll be cute.

    • Yeah, this one actually does have darts, but clearly I need more dart then is provided. I think I need to go up a size, which should’t make me cringe, but it totally does. The number doesn’t matter, I know, I know, blah blah blah sigh. It’s just a little cringe, though, and then I suck it up and smile.

  6. I made a skirt that had those wrinkles! it basically means the waist/ hips are too small so the skirt is wrinkling up to a wider part where it fits. I would cut a bigger size, double check the body measurements in the back of the book! I always have to cut a 10 in Colette bottoms even though I’m a 6 in the tops.

    I like the stripy fabric, but I think with the scallops it might end up looking slightly like a umm… sun awning?

    That fabric would look lovely as the chevron version of Ginger though…?

    I’m sticking with plain heavy fabrics for my Meringue, all the ones I’ve liked on the web have been plain.


    • Haha, sun awning! That’s so true, oh, yes. Like a cruise ship balcony. That is totally what I’m going to look like in the finished product, even though I gave it a straight hem. Oh, well, le sigh.

  7. Hi, I followed your blog link from Burda where you posted your JJ blouse.

    When I looked at the Collette pattern the first time, I thought, if I ever make that skirt it will be without the scallops! IMHO scallops are fine as neck lines and plackets but skirt hems? They look like cafe curtains!

    • Right? I think that’s fair. I really think scallops belong on the upper body, man, but I do see some lovely versions of scalloped hems out there, maybe they just aren’t for me?

  8. Speaking as someone who’s certainly not a professional, just another seamstress who thinks that pattern companies need to assume an ass, I think that letting out the tush area would make most of those wrinkles subside. It almost looks like the skirt is riding up in the back, so some additional ass ease should make a difference. Personally, I’d cut the larger size, mark just the points of the back darts, and pin the back darts to fit as I pin fit.

  9. So, I’m late to the party, and you’ve already finished this, but I’m glad you’ve left out the scallops. I had to make mine in black just to tone down the twee, ya know. And size… who cares! You want to look good 🙂 I was actually hoping for more of a tulip shape, and annoyed that it was so A-line, but too lazy to re-draft the scallops to get the tulip shape.

    • I know, I know, I know, size really doesn’t matter and I’m such a hypocrite because I know because I sew that it doesn’t matter, but then you get into something you made that doesn’t quite fit right and the self hatred begins anew. It’s so stupid, but it’s what it is. I love your black version, I think it’s excellent.

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