With Colette patterns I seem to go from one extreme to the other. While my new floral Moneta dress is definitely a contender for the title of favorite dress ever, this Mabel skirt… yeah. I’m not feeling it. And it shows, given that I finished it back in November and I’m only posting pictures of it now. I didn’t event want to show it here, but I guess a blog is also made for less successful projects, right?


Actually, when the pattern was released, I kind of hated it. I thought that this skirt was very unflattering, and borderline tacky. Here in the States, very short skirts and bodycon (body conscious) dresses seem to be quite common. But I really don’t get them. The Nettie dress for instance. Nope. I feel more like wearing fit-and-flare dresses, that put the focus somewhere else than on my hips and bum.


Then projects made from the longer variation of the skirt started popping up all over the sewing blogosphere: Miss Make, Miss Crayola CreepyIdle Fancy, Cashmerette… And in this pencil skirt-inspired variation, Mabel started reminding me more of Joan Holloway from Mad Men than Snooki from Jersey Shore. I had been wanting to make a pencil skirt for a long time, so I thought that a knit version could be a good solution to avoid struggling with the fit too much…


So I made Mabel. Let’s start with the good news: it’s a really quick and easy project. It doesn’t take much fabric. It’s comfy. And yeah, as a whole I do like the silhouette. Okay that’s it. Now for the things I don’t like…


First of all, the horizontal wrinkles on the front: let’s be honest, that’s my fault. I chose to do a size S all over because it corresponded to my waist measurement and I wanted to keep the hem tapered and not end up with a straight skirt. I thought that with the elasticity of the fabric, the skirt would still fit at the hips. As it turns out, I can wear it, but of course it’s too tight and so it wrinkles and rides up a bit. If I had to do it again (which probably won’t happen), I would trace the waist in XS, hips in M or L, and the lower part of the skirt in S.


Then there is the waistband that is no good. It is lined in self-fabric, and so it is way too thick and the seam allowances create bumps all over at the waistline and seam line. Even if I wear a shirt on top to hide it, it still shows and it’s very ugly. You’ll also notice that any kind of tights or underwear lines completely shows through the fabric…


And the back is not left out. Instead of an inverted pleat like you would usually see on pencil skirts, the pattern has a rectangle of fabric folded on the side and stitched down with a diagonal line. But on this type of fabric it sticks out in a very weird way.


My point is not to bash the pattern here, as my issues with this skirt also come from the fabric… I bought this interlock / Ponte di Roma on fabric (this one), it’s the same type of fabric as my blue Moneta and my pink Coco. When it arrived, I was afraid it would be too thin (I wanted to make the skirt in scuba knit but I couldn’t find any I liked). It turns out it is both too thick at the waistband (I should have lined it in a thin jersey instead) and to thin everywhere else since underwear lines are showing. But my main concern is that after a few washes, it is already completely covered with bobbles (is that the right word, dear native-english-speaking readers?). And I didn’t even put it in the dryer! Plus it is a real dust magnet, so just five minutes after a wash it already looks gross…


So, I think that was clear, this skirt is mostly a fail. I still wear it from time to time but given how it aged already I think I’ll only wear it on the weekends, when I don’t have to get out of my apartment. The silver lining is that it did give me an occasion to try out a new silhouette, and I do like it. So I ordered the Sew Over It pencil skirt kit (I’m in love with their fabric, it’s the ultimate plaid!), let’s see how it goes with a woven fabric…


Mabel Skirt
Colette Patterns
Size S
Ponte de Roma from Harts Fabric

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