Colette Sewing Handbook: Meringue Skirt

Tinkerbell Chic

The Meringue Skirt (in the Colette Sewing Handbook) is a zip-up A-line skirt with a twist:  it features a cute scalloped hem. I was excited to make this skirt because in my opinion it is closer to a real world, actually wearable design. I learned a lot sewing this skirt!

Meringue Skirt Colette Patterns
Meringue Skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook

One note:  I saved yardage by cutting out the facings next to the main parts of the skirt, not below them.  The fabric on the facings is cut the wrong way but I don’t see how it matters this time around.

The fabric I selected to sew with was a fake silk dupioni from the upholstery clearance section of my fabric store. This particular fabric is much too shiny to wear, at least during daylight hours.  I knew that ahead of time going into this sewing project, which took the pressure off.  I looked at this project as a learning experience, and planned to never wear this version of this skirt.

Of course, I had some challenges with the Meringue Skirt.  First and foremost was sewing the invisible zipper in.  Initially sewing in the zipper on either side of the side waist slit (using the invisible zipper foot) took a couple of tries, but was ultimately straightforward.  The difficult part came when trying to complete the installation. Since the lower part of the zipper can’t be sewn in initially, it is not fully attached to the skirt.  You have to switch to a regular zipper foot to complete the invisible zipper.  I found the Coletterie invisible zipper tutorial to be helpful.  The instructions in the Sew Everything Workshop were also good, as was this YouTube video.

Meringue Skirt from Colette Patterns Invisible Zipper
Nearly Invisible Zipper

Overall, I am horrified that the invisible zipper is considered the easiest zipper to install.  It was very hard!

Problems I had:

  1. The scallops do not hold their shape well.  I thought I had selected a crisp enough fabric, but I guess not!  A different fabric (or spray starch?) would be the way to go next time.
  2. The zipper placement was challenging. The top of the zipper was aligned with the top of the fabric, which meant that when I sewed the waist facing to the waist, the top of the zipper was very close to the top edge of the skirt.  There is no room for a hook and eye.  I think next time I need to place the zipper a little bit below the edge of the fabric.
  3. I shortened the skirt by quite a lot so it would hit at the knees.  Since I removed quite a bit of length, the skirt hem facing did not properly fit the skirt hem.  I solved this by recutting the skirt hem facing by cutting an identical outline of the skirt hem (and including seam allowances).
  4. The skirt as I made it is too short, and is inappropriately reminiscent of Tinkerbell, if she had  a corporate job.  I think with tights this length would be more appropriate. Obviously I need to develop my adjusting patterns/hem length skills. The actual pattern is longer, so this is my fault.
  5. My scallops are uneven.  Again, my fault.

Very Purple Person made this skirt and paired it with the Taffy top (also in The Colette Sewing Handbook).  This combination is suggested by Colette Patterns themselves.  Her outfit looks great: its both cute and comfortable… hmm, maybe one day…  I also loved the meringue skirt made by Motivation is Overrated.

With the right (crisp and structured) fabric, this skirt can be either casual or more work appropriate. I think I will make this skirt one day in a fun wool fabric, like LLadybird’s lovely version.  She also followed the tutorial on Coletterie for how to attach a wasitband to the Meringue Skirt. I think a waistband looks great and I hope when I am ready to make a real version of this skirt I will be able to do this.


2 thoughts on “Colette Sewing Handbook: Meringue Skirt”

  1. I just got the colette sewing handbook and I loved it. I didn’t make this skirt because I never actually wear skirts but I did use what I learned from the chapter to make a pear of pants with a side zipper and darts. To keep the shape of the scallops I would try fusible interfacing. Another thing I have learned on my own learning to sew adventure is that I will not sew with any type of shiny fabric until I am sure I can do it perfect because it draws attention to the mistakes.

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