The little muslin that could

My Colette Meringue muslin was almost not meant to be. Quite a few things went wrong while constructing the skirt, beginning with the fabric choice. You’re meant to use a very crisp fabric. I bought a very cute light polka-dot remnant fabric with quite a bit of drape. I was desperate to use it…NOW. So I figured I would experiment and use it as a muslin for the Meringue. If it didn’t turn out I would just be out five quid, nothing to cry over.

I began with grading the pattern a size up, adding two inches at the waist, using the pivot method Sarai mentions in the Colette Sewing Handbook. It worked great and got the right fit. Feeling confident that things were going my way I cut out some lining. I had quite the issue figuring out how to get that lining attached to the zipper, forgetting which way was right. Thank goodness for my little seam ripper. What a life saver! Once the lining was attached correctly I moved on to attached the waist facing and found that I had forgotten to grade it up. Luckily I had some spare fabric and was able to cut a new pair, attach and slip-stitch it to the skirt. Finally, I was getting somewhere.

Polka dot fabric

Next up, scallops. I took my time making them. I really did not want them to look jagged and uneven. I cut a template and used it to draw the seam allowance along the scallops. Too bad by the time I was ready to sew them the chalk had rubbed off, so I suggest using carbon to mark the seam allowance instead. With the lines gone I really took the sewing slow but I got my pretty scallops!

polka dot fabric

When it came to the facing on the scallops I really really understood why a crisp fabric was needed. Even though the scallop facing was stitched at the seams it still fell. After the waist and lining issue I really was not in the mood to sew on the facing. But there’s this thing that comes over me when I start a project, I call it Sew Glow. With blinders intact nothing (hunger, a ringing phone, a chatting husband…sorry Babe!) takes away my attention from my project. Sat watching TV I slowly and carefully attached the facing. The fabric was such a nightmare to work with. It moved so easily. But finally I finished it.

So with all that time spent on the hem (a bit over an hour!) I don’t think I will choose a flimsy fabric again for the Meringue. For my final version I am going crisp and cotton all the way.

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24 thoughts on “The little muslin that could

    • Thanks. I felt like a rebel using the wrong fabric but I did want to let others know that if you do use a light weight fabric prepare for work! Well…I probably made all the work for myself. Someone with more experience might have sailed by šŸ™‚

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  1. This looks so good! I’m so impressed that you managed to get your scallops looking so tidy while using something so flimsy!

    I’ve been puzzling over lining the Meringue, so I just want to check that I’ve gotten this right: you added a (full-length, right?) lining, then the waist facings, then did the scallops? And tacked the scallop facing to the lining by hand? I had vague ideas of doing things in some strange, jumble-y order, but this makes way more sense!

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    • The lining ends above the scallops, so it’s not full length. I was totally free-styling as I was going and didn’t really think the whole process through (naughty, I know). I attached the facing to the skirt and it took forever since the fabric was so slippery. The stitches are super small and you can’t see them but I would have preferred your method. Actually I am going to re-stitch it to the lining. I can’t believe I missed the obvious. I will get back to you and let you know how that works. Thanks!

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  2. That’s really lovely, you’ve done a beautifully smooth job of those scallops. I had the Colette book on my Christmas list but didn’t get it so I’m planning to try my own version using a nice little a-line skirt pattern I’ve used lots of times before, and just try to work out how to get a nice even effect on the hem.

    Thanks for coming to visit me at my blog, it’s all very new to me and I’m still at the stage of being utterly thrilled at every little comment!

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  3. Hee! I used navy and white polka dots as facing on my Meringue today! šŸ™‚
    Yours looks lovely. I followed the instructions in the book and did catch-stitching to hold my scallop facing up – it needed it even in crisp cotton fabric.

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  4. You have a darling choice of fabric for this skirt. I’m also going to try the sew along, but I am a little tardy in getting started, and you are already finished! I also like the Jasmine blouse you made from an earlier post. Thank you for stopping by my blog a few days ago!

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