Sunday, January 15, 2012

FO: A Bit of a Meringue Skirt


Oh - hello!  Do you have any idea how cold it is out here?  It's minus something or other, and I just spotted a neighbour in full Russian-army-surplus garb lurking over the wall, wondering what I am  doing out here in a silly little skirt and no coat!
I can't actually feel my fingers any more.  I can't operate the self-timer.  OK that's it - he's still staring!  I am going indoors!
So what have we here then, Roo?

Stats:

Pattern:  The Meringue Skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook

Fabric:  Less than 1 metre of black stretch cotton sateen, leftover from my Audrey-inspired trousers, with a tiny bit of navy and white polka-dot cotton to face the scalloped hem

And how is the fit?
Well... the book suggests that a size zero has a 38 inch hip and a 26 1/2 inch waist.  That's way too big on the bum and too tight at the waist for me.  At that rate I was going to have to cut a size 4 or 6 at the waist and less than a zero at the hip... so I tried measuring the pattern pieces and doing some sums and came up with the cunning plan of sewing a size 2.

It is too big at the waist.  Probably by about 2 inches.  This is rather frustrating.  I was sewing a new skirt to wear to work because I am tired of safety-pinning my drooping waistbands to the top of my tights.  But at least I know now - I am a zero in Meringues!  (Go on say it - you need to EAT more damned meringues, Roo!)

And the Sewing?
It all went swimmingly at first.  The scallops are very well-drafted and as long as you match your pivot points properly, the hem facing lies flat.  I followed the advice of other bloggers to trim the scallop edges as far down as possible after stitching, rather than cutting notches into the curves before turning right-sides out.  Notches run the risk of fraying fabric, in my opinion.  They came out pretty well, if I say so myself!

However, I had a trauma with the waist-facing.  The instructions confused me.  It was the Ginger experience all over again!  As I did not have an invisible zip, I should have ignored the advice on "how to achieve a neat finish", as I ended up with a great fat wodge of mess at the top of the lapped zip, which only got messier when I tried trimming away the excess layers of interfacing / zip-top / facing fabric. Let's just say I will not be wearing this skirt with tucked-in tops!

Verdict?
It is a wearable muslin.

That's fine, because it didn't cost me anything:  all the materials were leftover from other projects except the zip which I think I "won" in a giveaway a long time ago.

And it is perfectly wearable.  It is really quite cute in terms of its scallop-iness and its length.  And it is black so should go with lots of things... though for the life of me I didn't know what shoes to wear!  The Girl says the ankle-boots are a mistake, especially with the cobalt-blue tights (by Mary Portas, in case you were wondering!)  Maybe my flat black pumps would be best... if I could find them!

Next time?
Make the smaller size, in a fabric without any stretch, and add a proper waistband rather than a facing.  And yes, there WILL be a next time : )

18 comments:

Kat said...

When I saw this pattern in the Colette Sewing Handbook, I wasn't sure about it. However, seeing your version here has changed my mind a bit...I like how it looks and it works really well in a solid as a basic with a little bit of fun from the scallops! I sometimes have trouble with Colette patterns as they are very generously sized...I have always learnt to try a size smaller even if the measurements tell me it shouldn't work!

Kestrel said...

The more I see of this pattern the more it grows on me. I like your version, you can't beat classic black and the scallops give a nice bit of interest.

Lucy said...

At the risk of disagreeing with The Girl, I'd say that you definitely can wear the ankle boots with a skirt of that length. Maybe because that's what I did regularly before my beloved ankle shoe-boots bit the dust, and I loved the look - so there!

Lynne said...

What a lovely skirt. And thank you for braving the cold for the photos!! The sizing on the pattern does seem a bit strange! I must have a better look at my copy of the book.

Clare said...

The skirt looks great - particularly in that top photo. Worth freezing for! Sizing does sound a bit odd though...
ps word verification is 'reezing' - they forgot the 'f'!

christinelaennec said...

That's a great looking muslin, in my opinion. A beautiful silhouette. Stay warm!

(My word verification is "turoozu" - too Roo zoo?)

Tamsin said...

Great skirt!

mooncalf said...

I tired making this skirt (in a size 8) at the weekend. I put it aside at the bit where you attach the waistband facing though. Even though I did use an invisible zipper I was getting confused.

Hopefully I'll get time to finish it next weekend. And hopefully the instructions will make more sense to me by then...

I really hope it ends up looking as good as yours!

Lucy said...

With regard to the sizing - it was my understanding that Colette patterns were drafted for a curvier shape than the Big 4.

This is confirmed by the fact that according to the finished garment measurements my waist and hips fall into the same sizing category and I wouldn't have to do any grading adjustments!!!

So yes, good news for me, maybe not so much for you. You need to do that croquis?

Joy said...

Hip measurement is 38 for a size 0? That's quite different from their single pattern measurements (waist 25 and hip 35).

Anyway, I think it looks great! The scallops are so pretty. I'm waiting to get the book from my library...

faeriecollege said...

It's nice! Bummer about the fit though. I haven't bought the book yet, and I might not, based on this. If you're a size 0, then I'm a size negative, which I'm sure isn't in the books. Darn vanity sizing.

Scruffybadger said...

I like it Roo, I'm in agreement with an early commenter in that it looks great in a dark solid colour. Very interesting, your findings on the sizing! I shall make it too (& yes, a work one is planned). I know what out of, & today my French Curves arrived, so there is in theory only my other sewing stopping me. Glad you like it & will make more. It's a good recommendation.

Annie said...

Pleased to hear about the 'next time' because I really like this skirt. I shall watch with interest :D

Roobeedoo said...

Lucy - yes you're right I need to make a croquis. Maybe next Sunday if there is enough daylight for photos!

Scruffy - French curves eh?! This skirt is pretty much straight up and down with darts, so you won't be needing those!

Mags and others - Each pattern seems to be sized differently. I think this is because you are meant to be adjusting the patterns to fit your own shape... but it would be helpful if they were sized consistently in the first place!

Melizza said...

It looks awesome! If you make it again, can you try that waist pivot method to make the waist smaller? It worked great for me. I was kinda surprised. I always think I am going to mess adjustments up.

Can I just say that you saved my sanity with your comment about my Meringue the other day? I had *completely* missed the bit of having to catchstitch the facing to the skirt. I thought all I had to do was anchor it at the seams. What a fuzzhead I can be. Thanks for helping me see the light!

Linda C said...

You all say that Colette patterns are designed for a Curvier person than the BIG 4. Is that just on the bottom or is it also true about the top? I usually wear an 8 (USA - that's a UK 12. A good quality knit shirt or sweater or dress fits very well in an 8 but, from the cheaper lines, I might as well give up. My regular size is cut quite skimpy and, if I get a larger, it is too big all over.

LindaC

Lucy said...

Linda C - Colette patterns are drafted for a (American) C cup as opposed to the Big 4 which draft for a B, if that helps?

All - Bear in mind that Roo and I are talking about finished garment measurements here. The body sizing guide remains consistent, but a fitted skirt/dress/whatever will obviously have a more hip-hugging design than an A-line or looser style, resulting in a smaller measurement at that point.

Sarahel said...

It looks great. Like others I really like the sober solid with the scallops.