Monday, August 4, 2014

FINISHED: Colette Mabel

A few months ago, like every other seamstress/blogger known to man, I bought the Colette Guide to Sewing Knits as well as the two new knit patterns. My love of the Nettie bodysuit is well documented on Instagram, and I do wear knits pretty consistently, especially in the winter months, so I thought it smart to start sewing some up. 

The Mabel skirt is designed for medium to heavyweight knits and pontes and is suitable for beginners. It comes with three variations, two mini-skirts, one with a button placket, and the other a pencil skirt. Mabel can be constructed on a regular machine or a serger.

There's been some recent blog discussion on whether or not there's a need for this skirt pattern considering it's basically just some rectangles. I've included a photo of the pattern pieces for you to make up your own mind. The skirt is not terribly complicated, and yes, there are several rectangles along with waistband pieces. Could I have drafted this pattern for myself? Sure. Moneta really needs the fine-tuned drafting skills in order to fit the bodice perfectly. I'm particularly impressed with how to accommodate a full bust in a knit bodice, but enough about that.

I made my muslin in some leftover coral ponte from Girl Charlee. I made it single layered and it was really too thin. When I made this version, out of red ponte also from Girl Charlee (no longer available) I basically made two skirts and "lined" the entire thing with another skirt. 

I cut the size Large (34" waist) but the 3XL length and it seemed to work well. Even with two layers, I still have VPLs - visible panty lines. I'm not sure this skirt will ever see the light of day to be honest. I really need a heavier weight ponte to feel modest enough in this skirt.

And here it is - don't mind the grey t-shirt and gold Hasbeens (which I'm breaking in). While you're at it, don't mind the empty Amazon box or bags of grocery bags - we have cats you know. Given the slim fit you can really see the line between my hip bones and my bum/low hip line. Super. I think a loose fitting shirt that slightly covers this area would look much more flattering.

You can barely see the VPLs in this photo, which is why this may not go out in public unless I have tights on or something. It is super comfy - as you can see there's plenty of room to move and breath and eat large quantities of food. This came together super fast - like maybe 2 or 3 hours. The fit is very spot on and I do appreciate how flattering the style looks.

So, what do I think about this pattern? I like it. I need a heavier weight fabric for sure. It's cute - and I definitely need some loose tops to pair with it - I'm thinking a Laurel blouse but cut longer. 

How do I feel about buying indie patterns? Well, I do tend to get distracted every time there's a new pattern release. I really love Colette patterns - Zinnia and Peony are two of my favorites - and I love other indies as well (Emery, Nettie, Anna, Anemone, Chardon, Coco, Miette). But sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't need every new pattern that's released - Myrtle isn't quite my style, although I'm open to changing my mind. I'm not really the body type for Sewaholic patterns, although I like Hollyburn. I'm not convinced I'm the type for Grainline patterns either, although I really like the Alder shirtdress. 

I think editing is extremely important. It's important to know what works for you, what doesn't, and when to spend your money. I want to support indie companies and am happy to, but I've also spent a fair amount of money on patterns that didn't work for me that I then sold to other seamstresses.

I think I can really love this pattern with the right fabric. Darker and heavier fabrics will look much more flattering. But I also have to make tops to go with it, so I'm not sure it will be as loved as my dresses and my Nettie + Zinnia combinations. 

Pattern: Colette Mabel
Size: Large
Fabric: red ponte from Girl Charlee
Thread: red Gutermann from JoAnn
Needle: Schmetz 90/12 Stretch Ballpoint
Changes: none!

Are you overwhelmed by new pattern releases?
(I am!)


  1. I like it! What if you make a cute peplum top to go with it? Miss Make has a tutorial on her blog to make the Moneta into a peplum top. I think that would be really cute. I have this pattern too, but I haven't made it yet.
    I too get caught up in the whirlwind of pattern releases, and sometimes I forget until after I've spend too much, that not all patterns will work on my shape. I have the Alder Shirtdress waiting for me, and I really love the look of it, but I'm not sure it will work on my shape, so I'm hesitant to put in the effort. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I have been having some similar ones lately!

    1. A peplum would be really cute and I'm sure I have a pattern somewhere! I really like the Alder but I'm afraid I'm too curvy for it? I'm keeping my eyes out for more makes around the blogsphere before I commit!

  2. I totally get caught up in the releases of new patterns - not just the indie patterns. It is totally distracting! I think it might be easier to resist buying new when you have more TNT's. I am hoping that is the case! However, it is hard to resist. I just ordered the Mabel and Laurel last week! I try on clothes in stores and follow blogs with similar body types to help curate my purchases. It is still a work in progress! Thank you for all your observations on the Mabel. It looks really good on you.

    1. Thanks, Janet! Laurel is one of my personal favorites and I've made about 10 of them - I should really blog about them! I think I might like a longer sleeve though - still working on that. :-)