Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mabel, what's not to like?


After a month of more sowing than sewing here at Foxgloves HQ I'm back to show you the first of many, many Mabels. I've made a lot of old school pencil skirts: woven fabric, pegged, lined, slit. The kind of skirt that is utterly useless when walking the dog, mowing the lawn or riding your bike to the grocery store. In my neck of the woods two out of three of these examples are daily business, so pencil skirts are SOO (Special Occasions Only). But, thanks to Colette Patterns there's a major breakthrough. Mabel is a pencil skirt that's so comfortable you could even go to sleep in it!

Colette Mabel skirt and Lekala 8004 top


The construction of this skirt is quick  could have been quick, if only I had put some trust in the pattern makers. In order to avoid the dreaded muffin top I chose a bigger size for the waistband. Which resulted in gaping at the back. After some seam ripping I even took out more than I originally added.
I was also worried about the length of the skirt. I'm 1.73 m (5'8) and could not find the heigth this pattern was drafted for. I added 4 cm to the pattern pieces. Guess what? Exactly the amount I had to cut off again at the final hemline. 


Colette Mabel skirt and Colette Jasmine blouse


One more note on the construction. Since I mentioned making the Mabel skirt I noticed some traffic to my blog via Google search on 'How to sew a kick pleat in the Mabel skirt'. Let me reassure you. It's not a slit construction, it's just a simple pleat. Sew a straight line, fold to one side and make a little topstitch. That's all!




Instead of using a twin needle for quick hemming I chose for hand sewing. My usual routine, never take the easy way if you can make things a little more complicated... 

This skirt is so versatile! I like all three outfits I made up with this simple skirt and can think of many more.
More on the Lekala top can be found here, for more on the Jasmine click here.

Since this was my first session with a tripod and a remote I'll make this post picture heavy, just because I can.




Well, you get the picture. When in doubt, make a Mabel skirt!

20 comments:

  1. Terrific skirt, great garden, lovely photos. I might have to get this pattern for my daughter. No skirt I make for her seems to be 'just right'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! This pattern is very well made and certainly worth the money!

      Delete
  2. You must spend a lot of time maintaining your beautiful garden, but I digress - I'm supposed to admire the skirt . It does look lovely - and a lovely fit on you as well, it seems without alterations (except the self imposed ones!). The idea of a pleat at the back is a wonderful solution to how to deal with a pesky kick pleat - I like this idea much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, I had a hard time finishing in time for the MAGAM challenge, that garden is keeping me busy. But I wouldn't have it any other way, which makes it self imposed labour I guess ;)

      Delete
  3. I also love your skirts, enough to tempt me to try making one, and think your hours of sowing rather than sewing result in a beautiful backdrop for your lovely garments.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue! From now on I can see gardening as sewing related! I'm not fighting those darn weeds, I'm working on my backdrop :)))

      Delete
  4. Your garden is ridiculous - ridiculously beautiful! Maintaining that must be a full time job, one you do very well. Your skirt is great. I have a knit pencil skirt pattern that I've used many times but it could benefit from the kick pleat. Perhaps it's time to try the Mabel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a ridiculous amount of work, yes! The Mabel pattern is really nice to work with, but if your skirt pattern works for you, why don't you just add a kick pleat? Might work!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful work! You look so sophisticated in this, it's hard to believe that it is a knit fabric and as comfy as you say! I love the length of your skirt and the fit. Yours is the first one that I've seen that has made me think that maybe this is a pattern for me too.
    Also, love your gorgeous garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nessa, you made my day! One yard of fabric from the sale, a few hours work, a skirt as comfy as loungewear. Go on, try it!

      Delete
  6. Oh, the skirt is great but I am in awe of the location for your photos. Is this your yard? WOW! Iove it all but was drawn to the hosta right away. Living in an apartment now, I truly miss having a garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy. That enormous hosta is one of my favourites too. Also very popular as a snack place for the snails...

      Delete
  7. I was one who found your blog by googling "how to sew mabel's kick pleat"! I've only made kick pleats that separate into two overlapping pieces of fabric and I can't picture how to hem it to make it lay flat and hang correctly by following the directions on the pattern... Your pleat looks perfect though. Was there any trick to hemming and sewing the pleat so it lays flat? Your skirt looks terrific and is very flattering on you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Teri Anne! My pleat stayed that flat for about an hour, as long as I was standing up! After sitting down I noticed it got all messy, this knit did not press very well. I tested and discovered I didn't need the kick pleat at all, so I redid the hem and just folded the seam allowance on the pleat under. It's purely decorative now, so if your fabric has enough stretch you could do the same!

      Delete
  8. Do you think the Mabel would work with a stretch woven? btw, I am so glad I found your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet, welcome here! I don't think a stretch woven would work for a Mabel skirt. There is no zipper and the waistband is nicely shaped to sit close to your waist so you need a reasonable amount of stretch. A ponte knit works very well!

      Delete
  9. Hi!
    When I saw the model, I thought that no way could I wear that skirt...just don't have the self-confidence to pull it off. The way it sucks up under belly & bum. But oh, my, yours is so attractive! Maybe I could pull it off after all. Maybe the model is wearing a too small skirt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nita! For me it was all a lucky coincidence. I won a Colette Patterns gift card in a Sew Mama Sew competition and bought the package deal: the Sewing with knits book and pdf's for Moneta and Mabel. I could not see myself wearing that skirt in a million years! But it was a nice trial project as I just started sewing with knits. I was expecting a lot of negative ease so I went up a size. And down again, since I found the fit not nearly as tight as on the model. I'm going to make a few more Mabel skirts soon!

      Delete