Monday, 8 December 2014

Mabel .... mabel ... etc. etc.

Firstly welcome new followers!  Clearly the Bruyere is a popular pattern (I'll be making a liberty lawn version in spring) and I was really excited that I got a lot of new followers on Bloglovin.  I hope you like some of my other makes as well.  

Last summer I managed to find a vintage top for £5 which I really love, and this needed a navy skirt to go with it for work.  Enter the Colette Mabel.  I wanted a pencil skirt which was comfortable and easy to wear and the Mabel definitely fits the bill.  The styling on the pattern didn't really look like what I had in mind, much to short.  I wanted something high waisted and below the knee and thought version 3 could probably fit the bill.  I cut a size small because the hip size looked right (I'm 28" waist and 37" hips and the sizing is 27-28 waist and 37-38" hips).   Big mistake, much too tight (so version one went to Gemma).  I then cut a medium and graded the waist in slightly .... perfect!

I'm really pleased with the fit here.  The length is great, just what I wanted, and I like the kick-pleat at the back.  This is a really easy make, easily done in a couple of hours, and even this length only takes one metre, so it's really cheap to make.  I used Ponte Roma and this usually costs between £7-£12, so this is an £11 outfit!  (Sorry about the strange things I seem to be doing with the remote here!)

Well I liked this so much I made another five!

(The second from the left is actually a black dot - more later).  They are all made from Ponte Roma, so you might expect they would all fit pretty much to same.  Not at all.  The dot one fits well, but is very tight to pull over my hips and the cream ......!  Well see for yourself.


Here with the Bellini blouse (not blogged because its too tight on the bust and has gone to Gemma) and with the Bronte top.  Look how tight it is around the rear!  Definitely not a look I feel comfortable with (yes, Gemma got the skirt too).

So I still have 4 Mabels myself, and my favourite is probably this one (sorry its on the model)

Now all these differences in how this same pattern fits in 5 different ways even though the material is ostensibly the same, has led me to wonder if it is really worth making a muslin.  I have made muslins in the past which seem to fit well  only to find the finished garment is too tight around the bust.  Some websites suggest you make the muslin from the same fabric but that just seems so expensive, and if the slight differences in these fabrics made so much difference to the final fit, then a muslin wouldn't be really helpful!  What do you think?  Do you always make a muslin?  Anyway I would recommend this pattern as a wardrobe staple which is easy to sew and easy to wear (and really cheap!).  What more can you want? 


  1. This is exactly why I never make actual muslins. I do however make the first version out of inexpensive fabric so that it is wearable even if not by me. I often then donate these to charity.

  2. That's a really good idea Gaye though my lazy side might kick in (i don't finish muslins off too well). I still have quite a bit if cheap fabric I bought when starting to sew and it would use this up.

  3. I have never made a muslin anything, and am forever in awe of your sewing skills. It's very odd that each skirt should be different. It's like when you buy lots of different colours of yarn in exactly the same brand, but some colours feel thinner than others. I always wonder if something in the dyeing process does that. Strange. But anyway, great skirts and what a gorgeous vintage top. x