When this pattern was first released I was like “eh, whatever, whats so great about a knit skirt?” I bought Moneta as soon as it was released and didn’t think anything of that other knit pattern released by Colette.
Luckily a few months later my mom really liked a sample of Mabel on display at Grey’s and she bought it so I’d make her one! I won’t make something for someone unless I’ve made it for myself first so I used some really cheap ponte I got on super sale at Joann’s to work out the fit. I ordered 4 yards, “luckily” got the end of the bolt and ended up with almost 5 yards for around $12. I put “luckily” in quotes because this is the WORST fabric I have ever felt. It’s going to be my knit muslin until it runs out and for Mabel I needed to make two muslins before I got the fit right but I only used about 1.5 yards, will it never run out?
My mom liked the pencil skirt version so I traced it off in a large (like my Moneta) and got to work. Construction wise this little skirt took me 2 hours max (for the first one). I did the bulk of the construction with my serger and finished the waistband and hem with my regular machine. Everything lined up perfectly and the paneled front is a very nice design feature. She’s not one for a kick pleat so I altered the back pattern piece to get rid of it but other than that I made a straight up size large. My mom and I are proportioned differently but generally speaking we’re the same size so I assumed if a large Moneta fit me, a large Mabel would work for her. Well, turns out it doesn’t work for either of us! Which brings me to…Purple size extra large.
When neither of us were able to squeeze into the large Mabel, I knew the large was going to get written off and I traced the extra large and constructed it exactly the same way and in the end it fit well! While hemming (with my double needle no-less), I started to go cross eyed from staring at this horrendous fabric and I had the thought that maybe it was just the terrible fabric causing the large to be too small and that lack of stretch was the issue not the size chart. So to test my theory I decided to make… Green size extra large.
If the extra large did in fact turn out to be too big, I could always take it in. This green is from Girl Charlee and it was also on super sale. I got it on Black Friday for $3.25 a yard and since I only needed one yard it was a great deal for a great product! They still have it in stock and I highly recommend it. It’s soft and a great weight, even not on sale the price isn’t bad. I was out of serger thread at this point so green Mabel was put together with my regular sewing machine and came out just as sturdy. While I like the softer fabric for wear-ability, my machine did not like it with the double needle. The stretchier the fabric the harder a time I have with the double needle on my Pfaff, so instead of finagling and trying to make it work I just went with a small zigzag stitch for the hem. This version fits well and looks great! So of course I had to make another.
Now that I knew the extra large was the size I needed, I wanted to make a simple black version, but wait… I’ve forgotten that this whole experiment was to make a skirt for my mom, I’m a terrible daughter!
My black Mabel came out really well but the fabric stretched out quite a bit while I was working on it and I had to make a tiny pleat at the side seam so the skirt pieces would fit to the waistband. This was the most expensive fabric I used and it stretched out of control which I found odd. I ordered it online from Mood and for the one yard it was only $11.99 and luckily there was an easy solution but I just felt like it was worth mentioning. Something I’ve learned from making multiples of the same pattern with different knits is that you really can’t tell how it will turn out unless you’ve used that exact fabric before. The XL fits me in all 3 fabrics but each had their little quirks.
I finished my black one just in time to wear it during week one of Me-Made-May and it was my final night of grad school outfit. For my last official class I was hungover and wore a Boston Marathon shirt and jeans, so for the final presentation I had to step it up and wore black Mabel with a lace shell top from Banana Republic. I looked very chic!
Next up, I will finally get around to making a Mabel or two for my mom or else I’m afraid she will divorce me!