thanks for all the responses on my last post, it was interesting to hear the wide and varied opinions! after making this skirt, my own opinion is rather torn, but i’ll get to that in a bit.
first of all, i’m very pleased with how this skirt came out. it is just as i imagined and will be great for fall-wearing. the fabric is rayon and perfectly opaque enough to not require a lining. it’s ever so slightly heavier than some other rayons i’ve worked with and has a twill weave on the right side. that twill weave caused a nightmare for hemming! oy. didn’t think i would ever get that hem evened out! i let it hang for two days and it stretched anywhere from 1/2″ up to almost 2″. usually the growth will happen at least symmetrically, but… no. this one was cray cray. add to that the fact that the stitched pleats made it so i couldn’t fan the skirt out and just measure. i ended up putting it on my dress form, measuring from the waist and just hacking away until it looked even. it’s not perfect, but i’m not in the mood to keep futzing with it!
i think the pleated version is nicely drafted. many people are concerned about full skirts and having excess fabric at the waist. to overcome this, the skirt pieces have an a-line shape, and pleats that fan out. this skirt has a 90″+ hem, so really it’s the best of both worlds: full skirt, sleek tummy.
i love the belt loops for being able to add a skinny belt, but they also blend in if i choose to go sans belt.
the waistband is a perfect width—not too skinny, not too fat. i chose not to interface the waistband, but instead underline it with muslin. i can’t seem to get good results fusing onto rayon, it always ends up puckering after a wash or two. underlining gives the waistband plenty of structure while not being stiff.
the sizing seems accurate. and since you only have one measurement, it really should be. that said, i finally got smart and went up a size from what i measured for. i have a fairly high waist, and prefer that my skirts sit an inch or two lower. so, i measured where i wanted the skirt to sit and cut my size accordingly. revolutionary, i know, but with as little ease as this is designed for, i didn’t want to fight with it every time i wore it. plus, being a fall skirt, i may have bulkier shirts to tuck in. plus, plus… i can cinch it in with a belt. i should have raised the pockets though, because now they sit pretty low. oops.
alright, now the less-than-good:
the directions and construction methods on colette patterns continue to confound me. they call for so much hand stitching, basting and frankly, techniques that don’t provide professional clean results. on the pleats, you are supposed to baste them, press them, edgestitch them, then remove the basting. why? because my rayon was kinda funky to work with, i basted them by hand on the front piece (i was afraid that bringing the skirt to and from the machine so much might cause the waist to stretch out). there are 16 pleats altogether, so this is not for the faint of heart! on the back pieces i basted by machine, and everything was fine. however, removing the basting was quite a chore. and i can’t see a good reason for removing the basting, so i’ll definitely skip that next time. or just not stitch down the pleats at all. i think in a nice drapey fabric, stitching the pleats wouldn’t be super necessary if you are disinclined.
and then the waistband directions were a bit strange. you are instructed to sew the edges of the waistband before sewing the waistband to the skirt. however, it is so much easier to sew the waistband to the skirt first, then finish the ends. i opted to skip basting the inner waistband before topstitching, and just pinned and went for it, as is my custom.
also, if you plan to make the belt loops, do yourself a favor and don’t use the pattern piece. it is way too small. i cut mine 1/4″ wider, and a couple inches longer. you sew the belt loop piece lengthwise, turn the tube right side out, then cut into six belt loops. i always find that the ends get a bit beat up in the tube turning process, and then you only have 1/8″ to turn under on each end of the belt loop when you sew it on. that, my friends, is just not enough. after struggling with the original piece for about 5 seconds, i recut a piece so i would have 1/4″ to turn under on each side and that was perfect. you’d think such a simple thing as belt loops they’d get right… weird.
lastly, i bought the .pdf version and there is something wrong in the printing. when scaled at 100% my test square was larger by more than 1/8″. i adjusted the scale until i got the test square right, but then the margins were off. the pattern indicates that the margin is 6″ x 10″ and when the test square was the right size, the margins were not. so… i guess i’m not sure which is faulty: the test square or the margins. i noticed that a few other people had issues with the skirt pieces being too small, so i wonder if the .pdf is faulty. my pieces matched up fine, so… this is kind of a question mark.
i realize this is a lot to say over a skirt, so yippie if you made it to the end of the post! overall, i like the skirt and the pattern a lot. not thrilled about the construction techniques, but i tend to go my own way so this doesn’t make much difference to me, though it may to you, which is why i’m putting it out there. this is billed as a beginner pattern, and the gathered skirt i imagine would be beginner friendly. the pleated version… maybe not so much. with sixteen pleats to manage, a lot could go wrong.
okay, i’m done!