Colette Patterns has recently introduced two knit patterns, their first. Mabel is one of them. They also had a sew-along, which I participated in. This was also my first sew-along. So, lots of firsts with Miss Mabel.
Mabel is a knit skirt, which can be made in three variations. Two minis (which were not of much interest to me – my mini-wearing days are long past) and a pencil skirt. No zipper. No elastic. The whole fit is done through using knit fabrics and the draft of the pattern. Also a nice bit is that the knits should be fairly stable – think ponte or sofia knits. Nice and substantial. I made the pencil.
This is my second one, the first being done from stash fabric (which was even laying out on the cutting table!) to achieve fit and proportion. This knit was from the recent sale at Fabric Mart Fabrics. It’s nice and beefy.
First step: cut out the pattern. For this particular fabric, I folded it cross grain, to take advantage of the direction with the most stretch. I did pin the fabric down, though with the appearance of my ever trusty assistant, I probably didn’t need to. Doesn’t everyone have a cat who’s a pattern weight?
So, what did I change? Two things.
Instead of serging the side seams on the waistband, I just stitched them regularly. Since these don’t need to stretch on the vertical axis, this cut down bulk.
The second change was turning the back vent into a kick pleat. Actually, I learned the difference between the two during the sew along. Seems a vent has the opening sewn closed all the way down the seam, while a kick pleat leaves a bit open at the bottom for more walking ease. Since I am all about comfort and walking ease, this was a must-have modification.
That’s what the kick pleat looks like after stitching the edges. –>
Next was threading up the serger. I used what my machine calls a 3-thread super stretch stitch. This is my default stitch when sewing knits. I probably don’t need something with this much give, but it does the trick and I like using it, so why not?
Multiple thread colors, though purple is the only one that could possibly be seen from the right side of the garment. I am of the match-as-best-you-can school of thread selection.
Five vertical body seams, and two waistband seams later, everything was nearly completed. Last step was to mark the length hem.
Front to the left.
Back to the right.