My denim Meringue skirt

Hi there, friends! Here I am to cap off a fantastic weekend with a post about my favorite project yet, the Meringue skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook. Besides the clear and thoughtful instruction on so many sewing techniques, it was this pattern that made me want to buy the book in the first place, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

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Slightly sassy pose for a slightly sassy skirt! I made this up in a very lightweight dark denim I found at G Street Fabrics in Rockville. I have a more traditional denim skirt that is one of my go-to bottoms, so I thought a denim Meringue would be a great workhorse addition to my wardrobe. The casual fabric, classic lines, and show-stealing hem detail combine for a skirt I can easily see myself wearing for work or play (or for walking awkwardly towards the camera in an off-center roof deck photo shoot):

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In terms of construction details, the pattern was simple but interesting to make up, with great instructions. This is the first time I’ve made a muslin, which ended up fitting quite well (or well enough for me…), so no adjustments. If I were to make another, I might grade down a few sizes from the hip line to the hem for less of an A-line, as I’ve really noticed looking at these pictures that the skirt is fuller than what I imagined while making it. Overall, though, I like the shape and fit, displayed here in the bum view for your viewing pleasure.

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As for of changes to the pattern, I did add a lining, because the fabric is a bit thin, and I think it makes the final piece a lot more fun. It’s a deep purple rayon Bemberg I picked up at Joann’s, and while it was not as difficult to work with as I thought it might be, I did manage to cut the hem very crookedly and a bit shorter than I meant to. Oops.

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Hello, toes! Anyway, I cut the lining pieces from the skirt body pattern and then trimmed them down to account for the waist facing and the scalloped hem, but my changes at the lower end in particular were somewhat…lacking in precision. At least the lining covers where the hem facing is attached to the skirt body (where there is some excellent and well camouflaged catch stitching, if I do say so myself). I scoured the internet for how-to’s on lining the Meringue skirt and saw a number of linings that were attached to both the waist and hem facing, which I didn’t totally love; I ended up deciding to attach the lining to the bottom of the waist facing but leave it free at the bottom hem, which I think was the right choice.

I was a little nervous about the scalloped hem, but in the end, going slowly sewing the curves and grading my seams well made for relatively easy work. This mini scallop tutorial from Tilly was also really helpful. I didn’t get any photos that I think totally do the hem justice, but here’s my best effort:

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I was also more nervous than I needed to be about sewing the lining to the invisible zipper; I didn’t hand sew anything on the zipper, but it still looks neat enough to me. My only issue there is that the facing/lining seams don’t line up on either side of the zip, but I think that’s more a feature of uneven cutting on the facing than the installation of the zipper itself.

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Excuse the evidence of my ineffectual ironing on these lining photos. The inside photos were taking after wearing the skirt for a day, and that lining wrinkles like nobody’s business.

Phew, that’s a lot of writing about one little skirt! But it’s been an exciting project for me, and one that makes me feel like this whole “sewing clothes I like and will actually wear” thing might actually work out. Fingers crossed!

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