Making Mabel

Today’s blog post is brought to you by…sewing from this past June :P. Oops. I did some serious binge sewing before my first move in July, and I’m *still* catching up on all those makes! Thank goodness I have a backlog, though, because it’s looking like it’ll still be several more weeks before I am reunited with my sewing machines. 😥 Major sad face.

Anyhow, I bring you my first wearable version the Colette Mabel Skirt. I tried making it once before this one, and the result was…um…not what I expected. The first time around I think I cut a size small grading out to a medium at the hips, but it hugged my body much too tightly for my comfort around the hips, while managing to be too loose at the waist. Plus the little back vent (I tried version 3 the first time) insisted on flipping out, creating a lovely little ducktail in the back. Hrmph.

The second time around, I tried to learn from those mistakes. I graded from an extra small at the waist to a large at the hips. I stuck to version 1 to try to reduce any fitting complications. I also added some length – I ended up cutting the longest length on the pattern. Lastly, I straightened out the side seams. I’ve never been a big fan of the pencil skirt on my body – I’ve got a bit of a booty going on, and I don’t feel a strong desire to show it off, so a real pencil-cut skirt has always made me feel self-conscious. So I just widened the side seams at the bottom until they were perpendicular with the hem. Whew!

Before cutting into my fabric, I also checked the pattern against a RTW skirt I had that was a similar cut. The pattern and the skirt were pretty similar, so I felt comfortable cutting into my fabric (which, btw, is an awesome ponte knit from a local quilt store near my parents’ house in PA…who’d of thunk??). Here she is!

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Blurry fabric detail:

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With all those changes, the fit is much better than my original attempt. However, the back does still flair out a little:

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Meh. I tried taking a bit of fabric out at the center back seam by the hem, but it didn’t really fix the problem. I later realized (thanks to my mom, the fit expert) that I need to add a wedge to the bum section of the back pattern piece. This will allow a little more room for my voluminous booty…next time!

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the finished product. While I’ve never been a huge fan of fitted skirts (I loves me a good flare), I definitely need a few in my “professional wardrobe.” And since this one is made in a knit, it’s still super comfy, and has enough give that I can play the piano without feeling like I’ve been strapped into a mermaid tail.

In other news, living in this new city continues to be an adventure! (Meaning, we have no internet, no furniture, and have been sleeping on the floor since Monday :P) I’ve managed to get some pretty fabulous gigs lined up for the fall, however, so I’m feeling more excited about being here. They will keep me pretty busy, though, so maybe it’s a good thing my machines won’t get here for a while!

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3 thoughts on “Making Mabel

  1. I was just reading that you narrow the width of the skirt at the hem to help it hug more instead of flare at the back. Maybe on your next version you can try taking the back in more at the Side Seams? You’ll have to make sure to walk the seams for length accuracy. Alternately you could just taper in at the side seams from the hip to the hem on both front and back, but the front looks to fit just about right.

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