Colette Selene Skirt Love

I have a new favorite skirt, and her name is Selene. She doesn’t look as good in photos as she does in person, but I love her anyway.

I have made 2 ¾  Colette Selene Skirts out of Essex Linen, and Bonnie, our shop seamstress, has made one out of Lana Bollito Wool. My almost-finished Selene is made of our Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Espresso. I will finish it in time for my fall or winter capsule wardrobe, but it’s too dark and brown for summer.

Preparing the Pattern to Make the Selene Skirt

Because I’m so tall, I lengthened the Selene Skirt along the lengthen/shorten lines. Ugh. There are literally seven pieces to lengthen if you’re lining your skirt. I’m glad I spent the time to lengthen, though, because I now have a skirt I love in a length I love.

The only confusing thing about the pattern pieces (especially if you’re making it without front pockets) is that many of them look the same, and they all have gentle curves along both long edges. For my second and third versions, I clearly marked the name, side edge, and center edge of each piece with pinned-on post-it notes, which made construction go much faster.

Design Changes I Made

For my second and third versions, I cut one long waistband piece instead of the three-piece waistband that comes with the pattern. I found on my first one that the multi-piece waistband didn’t match up with the side seams anyway, and the seams added bulk. For the pink version, I sewed a one-inch cross grain ribbon into the waistband, and I love that it is secure and flexible.

I also decided not to line any of my Selene Skirts. The Essex Linen doesn’t need a lining, and although the instructions are clear, the left back and right back lining pieces are different sizes, which made it all too confusing for me.

Improvements I’d Still Like to Make

I don’t feel completely confident in my ability to insert a lapped zipper. I think leaving the basting stitches in until the last minute is the best approach, but I’ll need to insert a few more before I’m sure….


The Selene Skirt is a great introduction to pencil skirts. The five vertical seams make fitting a breeze, and the instructions are super detailed and helpful. Just make sure to carefully mark each piece, especially if your fabric doesn’t have a discernible right-side and wrong-side. Have you made a Selene Skirt? Do you love it as much as I do?

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