Wednesday, December 07, 2011

And she's done! The Colette Meringue Skirt pattern review

The Colette Meringue Skirt from The Colette Sewing Handbook is completed and has passed the wear-to-the-office-all-day test.  She's a keeper.  Although I will make one minor tweak on this one. More about that later.

Because I used a pinstripe, I choose to cut the skirt single layer.  But I decided that after tracing the pattern pieces. So I pinned the skirt to a single layer of fabric, placed pins along the fold line, cut out one half and flipped it over along the fold line using the pins as my guideline.  

Maybe not perfect. But it worked.  Aw c' guys cheat sometimes too, don't you?  {wink}

The book includes instructions for sewing an invisible zipper.  Since that's about all I ever put into my garments I didn't need to reference them. But if you're not sure about invisible zips that's a plus, right?

The one thing I'd suggest that I didn't see included is to fuse strips of interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric where the zipper is to be sewn.  I use a strip that extends slightly past the seam allowance and  below the marked dot.  I do this for all my zippers.  It helps support the weight of the zipper.

The book includes great instructions for finishing the facing and zipper edge all in one. If you've sewn for any length of time it's likely you're already using this method.  I don't recall exactly where I learned it but I never looked back once I discovered it.

See how nice it looks?

The book includes instructions to create a template for drawing the seamlines of the hem scallops.  Because I added piping I choose to trim away the excess seam allowance instead of tracing the seamline. 

That allowed me to match the edge of the piping with the raw edge of the scalloped hem. I used prepackaged piping and made tiny clips every 1/2" or so along the entire length so it would curve along the scallops.  Using a zipper foot I basted the piping to the right side of the skirt.

When I got to the corners the clips allowed the cording to form a small rounded point.

I added the hem facing, per the book instructions.  I sewed the facing to the skirt on the wrong side using the basting stitches as my guideline.

{TIP} Be sure to leave enough extra piping along the side seam.  It will make sewing that side seam corner much easier - and you'll be able to cut off the tiny bit of cording to achieve a nice finish on the outside. I forgot to do that one one side and there's a bit of bump.  And if anyone notices it all I got to say is they are waaaaay too close to me.

To begin with, the only change I made was to add 1-1/2" to the length of the skirt. With the scalloped hemline it's important to decide upon the finished length before cutting. This hits just above my knee which is just where I like it.

During the fitting phase I discovered that I should have done a sway back alteration.   Instead I cut a "smile" shaped piece out of the skirt back. {wink - another cheater tip}

Here's the tweak I mentioned at the beginning of this post. After wearing it for a day, I've decided I'm not liking the wide facing at the waistline. On this skirt one I'll just make the facing narrower. On future skirts I'll follow the tutorial for adding a waistband that Sarai has on her site.

This is the first Collete pattern I've sewn. I'm always a bit uncertain in regards to sizing with independent pattern companies. The book includes a sizing chart - very similar to ready-to-wear - with measurements as well as finished garment measurements. I choose my size based on the sizing but added extra wide seam allowances.  I'm happy to report that the extra width was not needed. I feel confident moving onto my next Collete design that the sizing is accurate. And yes, it was the size I typically purchase in ready-to-wear.

It makes me smile that the skirt hem sways side to side due to the stiffness of the piping. 

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Colette Meringue Skirt - almost done

I present to you my first project from The Colette Sewing Handbook.

The *almost* completed Meringue skirt.

Just a wee bit more hand-sewing left and then she's done.

Oh, what's that?

Will I be sewing this again?

Why, yes.  As a matter of fact I plan to sew another in plaid.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Piped Meringue

Piped meringue.

Sounds like something delicious, right?

It *is* something delicious - just not something to eat.

It's the hem of the skirt I began sewing the other day: The meringue skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook.

I decided to highlight that adorable scalloped hem with some piping.

Just need to do a little hand-sewing and she'll be ready to debut at work next week.

And if you came expecting to see mouth-watering treats, I don't want to leave you check out some great images here.

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Flashback Friday - Christmas Cookies

Ah.  Did you hear my big relaxed sigh? I just finished enjoying a cup of tea seeing as I've taken a day off of work to begin preparing our home for Christmas. I know Christmas is still a few weeks away but I also know how quickly it can sneak up on me.

The main event today will be cookie baking. Mmmmm...

But which recipe shall I choose first?  Sugar cutouts are a tradition - and a favorite - in our house hold.

Helping to frost Christmas cut out cookies circa 1979
 Perhaps it will be Spritz.  

Maybe the always delicious Snickerdoodles.

The gobble-em-up-by-the-handful favorite Peanut Butter Blossoms.

The not-so-lovely but oh-so-delicious Candy Cane cookies

 Maybe I'll begin with the melt-in-your-mouth butter caramels.

Or the you-can't-believe-how-easy-these-are-to-make chocolate truffles.

Perhaps the bigger question is how can I keep the candy and cookies from being eaten before next week's cookie exchange?

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