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. 



  1. Very cute skirt, the piping is a great detail.

  2. Your skirt looks great! Love the piping.

  3. Gorgeous skirt. I love the contrast of the white piping on the dark fabric too.

  4. Beautiful skirt! Great tips too...thanks for that!!!

  5. Lovely! The piping is a nice touch.

    I'm still not entirely sure about their sizing, either...I thought I had it figured out, but I ended up making the one dress I've done from the book so far a size smaller, and I'm quite glad I did.

  6. Great skirt! And great tips to make it sew easily.

  7. Very cute! I love all your little touches like the piping.

  8. Great skirt and love how the piping makes it flair.

  9. such a pretty skirt! you did a fabulous job with all the details, sharon. I love how you styled it too!

  10. I love it, it looks so cool with the piping. Great skirt!

  11. Very cute! The book is on my Christmas list.

  12. Congratulations. That's such a beautiful skirt.

  13. What a fun skirt! The piping looks great.

  14. Great skirt! The scalloped hem is so unique and looks really good trimmed with piping.

  15. It looks fab! The piping gives the skirt an extra pop.

  16. You inspired me to add piping to my Meringue skirt too:


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