Start your sewing adventure with us.    Join Seamwork

Articles on this site were all published prior to 2017 and this site is no longer updated. Please visit our current Articles, Patterns, and Classes for the most up-to-date content and products.

Vintage Selene Inspiration

It is no secret that here at Colette HQ, we are enamored with vintage clothing. As soon as a design becomes finalized, I obsess over finding vintage inspiration to fuel tutorials, hacks, and customization ideas.

Today, we are offering a sneak peak inside our private Pinterest board.

While in the development phase of creating a pattern, we use Pinterest as tool to save sample fabric ideas, models that would look amazing in the pattern, inspirational images, the list goes on.

After a pattern is released, I love scrolling through this collection of images to get back in touch with the initial concept and ideas around the garment.

Here are some of my favorite details that would perfectly enhance Selene.


1) You can’t get more custom than a monogrammed skirt, am I right?

2) I am loving the jumbo sized pockets on this skirt. What an interesting way to play with proportion and silhouette.

3) This panel of knife pleats at the back hemline is inspiring!

4) Is it just me, or would suspenders be an excellent addition to Selene? You could even make them removable by having them fasten to the inside of the waistband with a button.


5) Firstly, the two pocket details are divine, but I love the idea of adding an inseam box pleat to the two front skirt seams.

6) Adding a tab closure to the welt pockets of version 2 would be a sweet and easy detail to accomplish.

7) Creating a wrap style skirt with Selene as a base would be a fun challenge. I love the offset buttons of this version.

8) And last but not least, this image makes me feel very strongly about making a matching Selene and Camden set. How amazing would that be?

At the end of the day, I can’t make ALL the Selenes, but I can live vicariously through you and the killer skirts I know you will be making. Don’t forget, Selene is 15% off through April 19th!

So tell me, how do you plan on customizing your Selene skirt?

Haley Glenn

Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.



April 15, 2016 #

I would absolutely LOVE a tutorial on adding suspender straps to Selene! That skill could be used on many other patterns, adds a unique and functional detail, AND seems as if it would probably be fairly simple. The various pocket details are also fantastic! Thanks for sharing all this inspiration :)


April 15, 2016 #

The suspenders sound great…needs a wide waistband to carry it off well. I like your idea


April 16, 2016 #

Maybe hack using the shaped waistband from Ginger?


April 15, 2016 #

I had a Butterick pattern similar to View 3 (the one with back pleats) in the mid 1980s I made it out of Red Silk Gabardine, with a Short-sleeved Blazer as a top. I still have it (although it is a size 6 and I wear larger sizes now! Your ideas are inspiring! I will have to “dust off that pattern” and grade it up for NOW!
Thanks for the inspiration!


April 15, 2016 #

I love the wrap idea. Unfortunately I don’t have the skill to make that happen. Would LOVE someone to volunteer and share that idea.
Thank you Colette for such fun and inspiring sewing words of wisdom!!!!!!

Annette Siverson Romanoff

April 15, 2016 #

I agree with all of the posters here! TFS< Annette


April 15, 2016 #

I’ll be honest: Selene is a nice pattern, but I wasn’t really seeing the potential till you posted these gorgeous pictures!! Now I want to make all of them! I would LOVE to see the suspenders, kick pleats, and in-seam box pleats!!

Also, I’m realizing that it’s the little details that draw me to patterns. Funny, I’ve never noticed that before.

Laura from SC

April 15, 2016 #

I loveLOVE a wrap skirt. No Zipper. A little give on puffy days and pulled tighter on slimmer days. I like the ones that are adjustable and made a few back in the 60’s 70’s when I did a bunch of sewing. You girls are about to inspire me to sewing again.


April 15, 2016 #

One of the skirts I made last year is from one of those patterns! From 1968 to be exact – it closes with a slide buckle on one side, and a hook and eye on the inside. LOVE IT. Especially love that there’s a waist stay tape included between the outer and the lining. I’d not sewn one before, but it made such a difference to the finish.

Bonnie C Westrom

April 15, 2016 #

I like anything asymmetrical,so the wrap around skirt works for me. I’d love a sew a long tutorial so we could see what different fabrics everyone would pick. I agree making the shirt with it would be a nice touch.


April 16, 2016 #

Once I’ve made a “straight” version 1 of Selene, I’d like to try version 2 or 3, with the lovely pockets, but in that case I think I’d like to peg the skirt a little at the knee. How might I go about doing that?

Alice Elliot

April 16, 2016 #

I believe in the 60’s I made many of these very patterns. No more need for these skirts. Would love to see them on all the young women on this site!