Completed: Two Colette Mabels

8 Oct

I totally skipped all the hullabaloo that came out when the Colette Patterns Mabel skirt was released – but that’s ok! I’m here now, reporting for duty!

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

I actually made two – just to be safe!

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

Let’s start with a basic Mabel lowdown. I made the grey version first, out of some leftover ponte knit that I used to make a pair of Ooh La Leggings (not pictured – because neither photographed nor blogged, but they are basically the same thing as these black ponte leggings except, you know, grey). I actually have no idea why I bothered saving that little piece of fabric, because it was about half a yard and thus not enough to do anything with – and the ponte is pretty thick, which means it wouldn’t work for something like, say, colorblocking a tshirt (which can be a good use of leftover knit scraps, if you tend to get hoardy like I do). Anyway, it’s a good thing I did, because I had exactly enough to make a little Mabel mini! Yay! I love it when these things work out!

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

Mabel Mini 1 is view A, size XS. I sewed the pattern exactly as per the directions, except I opted to understitch the waistband lining (I used my machine’s lightning bolt stitch – kind of like a very short zig zag stitch), to keep it from sticking out. The seams of the skirt were sewn on my serger, and the hem is done with a twin needle. From cutting, to sewing, to hemming – this entire thing took… I dunno, maybe 30 minutes? It was VERY fast.

I didn’t really use the instructions – I mean, it’s a knit skirt, it doesn’t need much introduction – but they looked to be pretty good, based on my glance over. Like the Moneta pattern, they include lots of tips and info on how to sew knits with a regular machine, which is always nice. The only thing I did not like about this pattern was taping it together (I have the PDF). Holy shit, talk about too many pages! My disdain for PDFs is no secret (I get why other people like/need them… no defense necessary πŸ™‚ But for me? Nope, no way! Can’t do it!), so maybe I’m biased – but this one seemed to be unnecessarily large & unwieldy. My advice: get the paper pattern. Ha!

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

Anyway, speedy instaskirt is the reason why I obviously needed to jump right into Mabel Mini 2 immediately after πŸ˜›

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

I made a couple very minor changes for this one – I took in the center back and side seams by about 3/8″ (in retrospect, I should have taken in more, because it’s still a little loose around the waist and thus rides down farther than I want the rise to sit), as well as the waistband by the same amount. I used the last of my black striped ponte from Mood Fabrics NYC store. Again – 30 minute skirt. Talk about fast fashion, amirite.

Colette Mabel
Colette Mabel
Colette Mabel

For both skirts, I used a lightweight black rayon jersey (the same jersey that my black tshirt is made out of, incidentally. That tshirt is a Renfrew, by the way!) to line the waistband. I considered using a self-lining – but decided the fabric was a smidge too bulky, so I went with a lighter weight lining, which ended up being a Good Decision.

Oh yeah! I made that plaid flannel button down too! SUP!

Grainline Archer

This was made using the Archer pattern. I actually finished it waaaay back in… March. Yep. I got it in my head that I needed to make a new plaid Archer to wear when I went to NY, so I nearly killed myself trying to finish the shirt in something crazy like 2 days. I did end up finishing it – and bringing it to NY to wear – and I learned two things about the experience:
1. My life did not suddenly become more fabulous because I had a new shirt to wear while on vacation; and
2. Pushing myself to the point of exhaustion to finish something for a self-imposed deadline is not fun at all. Seriously – it’s shitty, it makes me anxious for no reason, and I didn’t enjoy any part of sewing that shirt. Which is sad, because button downs are one of my favorite things to sew! I love how precise the stitching is, and all the little details that make it special. I unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy any of that because I was too rushed trying to hurry up and finish (when, realistically, I should have either started earlier, or accepted that I just wouldn’t finish before I left), and yeah, that’s just lame.

So, with that being said – no more unnecessary last-minute vacation sews with shitty deadlines! If I need clothing that quickly, I will buy it (lol jk I’LL NEVER BUY CLOTHES AGAIN)(ok, seriously, kidding with that last part… mostly.). So far, I’ve done a decent enough job of putting this into practice, so that’s good!

Grainline Archer

And, for what it’s worth – I do like the shirt. I could have done a better job with it – the topstitching is not my best, and the grain is all wonky because the plaid fabric was hideously off grain (like, to the point where I actually cut the entire shirt twice. Yes. I did that. And it’s still pretty bad) – but it is what it is. It’s snuggly, it’s warm, and I also just realized that I made it to match the leggings that I made with the rest of that grey ponte fabric hahaha omg my life is fabulous.

Grainline Archer

Anyway, I hope you liked my Archer story. Have some pearl snaps.

Grainline Archer

And a sleeve placket while we’re at it!

Ok, so here’s my dilemma – and I’m hoping y’all can help me. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR WITH THESE SKIRTS. I feel like everything I put on just gives me weird proportions! The tops I’m wearing here are ok, I guess, but that’s about the extent of what my closet can offer. Most of my other tops just look… weird? I think the biggest problem is the waist line- it kind of hits at a strange place:

Colette Mabel & Grainline Archer

See what I mean? It’s about right at my belly button – which isn’t quite high waisted, and not quite low waisted. I can’t tuck anything in – partially because it’s very lumpy under the ponte, and partially because the waistline hits at a sort of wide point on my body. Untucked, most stuff just looks sloppy or gives me that weird long-abdomen proportion that we just loved soo much in the early 00s (y’all know what I’m talking about!). So yeah, can’t figure that one out. Any suggestions? Should I stick with more fitted, cropped sweaters (such as what the model is wearing on the website)? HELP ME I CAN’T ADULT.

Colette Mabel & Sewaholic Renfrew

Anyway, let’s talk! Answer one or more of the following:
– What shirts should I be wearing with these skirts?
– Have you ever made yourself sick by rushing to complete a garment before going somewhere?
– What happened when you finished it? Did a unicorn grant you 3 wishes or did you just realize that life was still doing life things and dammit is it Monday already?
– Seriously, though, what should I wear with these skirts?

** Necessary disclaimer: I received the Colette Mabel skirt from Sarai of Colette patterns, gratis. No review was requested – but as always, all opinions are my own. All fabrics in this post were purchased by me πŸ™‚ I do get a monthly Mood allowance, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t also spend plenty of my own money there! Just wanted to clear that up πŸ™‚


90 Responses to “Completed: Two Colette Mabels”

  1. Anna October 8, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    This is going to be a little silly to admit, but I wore a gray Colette Mabel mini skirt yesterday, and it took me a while to remember what I wore from the waist up…. It was a Grainline tiny pocket tank and a cardigan! I actually like the somewhat loose look of the tank with the fitted skirt on the bottom. But I think your cropped handknits would look really nice too.

    • puu October 8, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      ITA! that would be a great combo!

    • bergonia October 8, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      This is basically my jam when wearing my Mabel. Either that or my hope is to wear it with tights and an oversized sweater once the weather cools off in LA.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Ooh, I like the way that sounds! I think I actually have that pattern lurking in my stash somewhere; I’ll have to check πŸ™‚

  2. Carolyn October 8, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    My first thought is peplum top. You could go full-on Colette with a shirt length Hawthorn, or do any one of the ka-gillion other peplum top patterns out there both indie & big4. I personally wish I had more occasion for those tops I think they’re super cute, but I mostly wear full-skirted dresses – so maybe I’m just projecting onto you here, lol.

    • robinsnc October 8, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      I would suggest peplum too. I have a similar proportions to you on my lower half (though bigger), which I would describe as narrower hips and thicker thighs. A peplum would help create a smoother line from waist to upper thigh. Honestly I tend to avoid pencil skirts without a very high waist. So very curious to read people’s ideas!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      WHY did I not think of the almighty peplum? That’s a fabulous idea – and gives me an excuse to bust out more peplums. Man, I Iove asking the internet for advice. Y’all have the best ideas, at least when it comes to style πŸ˜‰

  3. chatlotte October 8, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Firstly: Thank you. I appreciate your angry sewing stories immensely. They brighten up my day and make me want to grab my next sewing project by the balls and say “fuck you sewing project, we are GOING to get along”
    Secondly: re: skirt… Idk. I wear mine with a vest and a cropped card (miette) to break up the space, but I probably look like some kind of weird walking Mondrian, segmented into 20 coloured bits. Ho hum.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Damn straight! I’m glad you like angry sewing as much as I do πŸ™‚ haha!

  4. Aubrey October 8, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    LOVE the plaid shirt! It stuck out to me before the skirts did, then I looked at the skirts, and I was checking out your butt. Miss you! I’ve been MIA, but I swear after October I am HERE!!!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Yay! I miss you too!! And girl, you can check out my butt whenever you waaaant to πŸ˜‰ just don’t tell Landon (or Dan, I guess!). haha!

  5. Heather M October 8, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    30 minutes is impressive! The rush reminds me of old 4H pre-fair days… I’m getting set to add/knit a 2″ ruffle on the bottom of knitted t-shirt – an abbreviated peplum, and hope it goes well with similar skirts. Enjoy your blogs as always!

  6. Lola (lovelola) October 8, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Im digging the black shirt though. From the pictures it looks great with the skirt. maybe some raglans? some SJ’s? How about a tshirt and an opened button-down (excuse me, I live in the 90s)

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      You are like a 90s dream, is the thing.

  7. Noelle October 8, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    I think scout & Mabel get along pretty well too. But my scouts are a little shorter than intended which might help the proportion…

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      I think shortening is the key here!

  8. Deborah October 8, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Have you considered a very close fitting body suit top or a Spanx apparel knit top? I have a cutaway shoulder turtleneck Spanx top that give a sleek look with skirts such as the Mabel with a similar waist.

    • marcyhmakes October 8, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      I was thinking body suit also – except she said the waist of the skirt hits her in an odd place. I think it would look great though – sometimes you have to ignore what you see in the mirror.

      • marcyhmakes October 8, 2014 at 10:43 am #

        Or, add a cardigan that puts your waist back where you like it. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      I thought about it, but like marcyhmakes said – the waistline hits me at a not so flattering place (which I can fix for future Mabels, but not these particular two πŸ™‚ ). Good thing to keep in mind for the round, though!

  9. Shirley October 8, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Cute skirts! I do the same thing, self-imposed timelines on finishing a project. Sometimes as mundane as, “I want to wear this to the grocery store tomorrow.” Yep. I do it and I am trying not to.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      Ha! That’s me too! “Dammit, I am going to finish this in time to wear for my haircut tomorrow SO HELP ME GOD!” lololol

  10. rootbranchbole October 8, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Deadlines are definitely the worst. I think most of the time that I try to set myself a deadline, I don’t even finish the project because the sewing gods send some kind of catastrophe to derail the whole thing and teach me a lesson.

    But your Archer looks great. Pearl snaps are the one thing that’s tempting me to learn to sew button-downs.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      Pearl snaps are the best part of button downs! You get to rip that shit off like The Hulk (or a stripper, if that’s your jam) and yay for not hand sewing on buttons! It’s hammer time – literally hahaha

  11. Lisa D. October 8, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    I would probably wear the skirts with a pair of leggings underneath and either a fitted knit tank top + handknit cropped cardi combo or a cute graphic tee. But that’s just me. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

      I have no idea why I totally forgot that graphic tees exist, but damn, that’s a good idea. I like that idea!

  12. devon October 8, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    When I went to that conference a few weeks ago, I tried to make the Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 1802, the DAY BEFORE. The bodice has like ten pieces, plus lining. Oh also I decided to do piping out of SILK. Why??? I stayed up until 3am but then didn’t even get it finished, so I had to leave it at home. And then I was just tired the whole trip. And even worse, no unicorns!!!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Boo, that’s so lame! Except now you have to finish this dress because I need to see is asap please.


  13. V Reed October 8, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    The gorgeous blue Aiken sweater you blogged about a few posts back would be perfect. The length is right to highlight both skirt and sweater. The Jenna cardis would also be a good length match. Do a simple tee under and stick with shirts that don’t fall further than the top line of your hips. The plaid shirt is pretty, but it’s too long for the skirt. A peplum blouse could be cute, but it should be out of something with good drape, otherwise you’re just screaming “look at my hips” and then the skirt comes off looking silly.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      Every single point you make is good – especially about the length and the drape of the peplum. Thank you so much for your input!

  14. Jen (NY) October 8, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    This style of skirt was popular in the late 80s/early 90s. I think layering is the key to the proportion, and a top or jacket that ends at about the hip bone. I wore them with layered t-shirts, a longer length (fitted) long sleeve t, and with tank tops & a long sleeve plaid type shirt or denim jacket over.

    I eliminated self-imposed deadlines too. Takes the fun out of sewing.

  15. Kelly October 8, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Well, a cropped sweater does look pretty great with it! I have done that sewing deadline thing too, and it makes me kind of hate sewing. For most of us sewing is a luxury, an enjoyable hobby that makes us happy (and allows us to have awesome clothes we couldn’t buy). But if we aren’t enjoying sewing something or we need it right away… just go buy it. Once I accepted that it is okay to buy sometimes my day to day dressing got a lot easier!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      That’s the way I see sewing too – same as with biking. It’s a luxury and I do it because it’s fun, not because I need to (which I’ll be the first to admit is suuuper privileged, and I’m ok with that). Same as with biking, I don’t try to do it if I’m in a hurry – what’s the point? If I’m in that big of a rush, I’ll buy the garment (or drive my car) πŸ™‚

  16. Liz October 8, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I wear my hawthorn top a lot with mine; any peplum top would look cute, I think! And the little cropped sweater is fun too. :).

  17. Karina October 8, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    Oooooh I`ve been loving on the Mabel skirt these past couple weeks! Definitely a TNT kind of pattern, I love that I can use up my scrap pieces of knit fabric and even add styles lines with a center front seam or do some colour blocking. I generally wear my mini Mabel skirts with my Renfrew sweaters and I plan to make some Belcarra blouses to go with it too.

  18. vinthillvintage October 8, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    Cute skirts. I’d pair them with a button down shirt with major waist shaping – untucked of course.

  19. emcclure2010 October 8, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Oh Mabel is so comfy. Love her. I’ve mostly worn her with tshirts but I also lengthened her by a few inches (and she’s still short!). I have discovered that apparently my tops situation is super desperate and sad soooo that is for sure on my list. I think I wore Sorbetto with it. And I like the Belcarra idea. I have one thiiiiis close to being finished.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      I’m really happy with the length/shortness, but, then again – I’m ok with flashing ass check. SO I totally get why you’d want to lengthen πŸ™‚

  20. Alicia @ Pandora Sews October 8, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    These are tough skirts to style. I am seeing them with totally 80s Flashdance style cut out sweatshirts. I feel like you almost need something boxy on top for balance.

  21. Aimee O October 8, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I just made a knit mini the other day and similar to yours the waistline doesn’t really fall at my natural waist. I paired mine with one of my Nettie bodysuits, since it’s so sleek it doesn’t really add bulk that most tucked in things do. I personally don’t mind wearing longer sweaters/shirts over a skirt, but to avoid that overly long abdomen look I put a belt on over the sweater at my natural waist. A cardigan over the top breaks it up too. I don’t think either of your looks up top look bad though!

    I hate when I rush sew, I don’t enjoy it at all. I usually finish and throw the piece in the back of my closet, and sometimes even if it’s not made horribly I still hate to wear it. I think all of the bad vibes during sewing linger around the piece and make me not want to wear it, lol. But I still end up doing it sometimes, it’s like I can’t step away from my machine.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

      Bad Vibes are the #1 reason why I hate rush sewing! Even if I do finish in time, the trauma lingers on long after and sometimes I just can’t bring myself to wear that shit, ever!

  22. Chris Griffin October 8, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    I get more “OMG, I SHALL SEW!!” rather than impose a deadline. Then, I’m looking at a shirt like, “wait, why was this so important? oh well, new shirt!”. Actually, that happened Monday night…
    I agree with the 90’s thoughts. LAYERS! Tank, open button down, done. Or, longer shirt and belt to help emphasize real waist!

  23. KaoruMarie October 8, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    The #1 reason why I haven’t made this skirt yet is because I have no idea what to wear with it. I can’t wait to find out what I should be wearing with it!

    I once decided to make the Deer and Doe Belladone dress the day before leaving for Vegas. I sewed and sewed all day, into the night, and even in the morning before we left. I ran out of serger thread so half of my raw edges are unfinished (and of course I never went back to finish them). The back neckline binding is all wonky, but idgaf. It felt awesome to wear it on vacation and it’s actually become one of my favorite dresses. It is so ridiculous to put so much stress on myself, but sometimes I’m amazed at how fast I can actually sew when I *need* to. I’m such a procrastinator that I know I’ll end up doing this again sometime.

  24. SeeKatSew October 8, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    I like peplum tops with tight skirts. I also like looser tops and sweaters with them, loose on top tight on the bottom. Your Plantain would look really nice.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      I thought the Plantain would, but it looks reeeally bad with this skirt! At least on me, anyway πŸ™‚ The length wasn’t right and the end result was surprisingly frumpy. Even Landon had Opinions on that one haha

      • SeeKatSew October 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

        Would a Briar top be any better?

  25. maddie October 8, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    You’re such a rockstar!

  26. Kelly October 8, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    What I was going to suggest until you said it won’t work with things tucked in (and I am going to suggest anyway) is a looser fitting top – bear with me here…! I have one loose fitting, blouse-y top, which I didn’t use to wear much because I really don’t go in for loose clothes AT ALL, I am all about the tight fitting stuff. But then I paired this top with a denim pencil skirt, and it looks fricking AWESOME! And because the waist is high-ish, and the top is quite blouse-y, the top hangs down above where it is tucked in, and so hides the lumpy bits where it is tucked in. Maybe that doesn’t make any sense at all, but it might work!

    And yes, I totally do the self-imposed deadline thing and rush to get things done thinking that it will make my life so much more amazing if I can just get it done in time, and then…nothing happens and it is a huge anti-climax!

  27. Annette October 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    No suggestion for tops. I haven’t worn a mini since the 60s and my shape is totally different from yours.
    I do the sewing under deadline, sometimes I have success but mostly not. I make more mistakes then and just don’t enjoy the sewing then. Why do I continue to imposing deadlines–procrastination.
    I do love your blog and I love to sew.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      Omg, I would LOVE to see you rocking a mini in the 60s!

  28. Kelly October 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I have two knit pencil skirts in exactly the same colors. Mine both sat in my closet for a long time because I couldn’t figure out what to wear with them. Finally I tried it with my lightweight long sleeve pullover hoodies and I love the look on me. I have three of them, in raspberry, black, and citron, which all go with either color skirt. I wear the outfits with Keds or Chucks and it’s very casual but super cute, I think.

  29. vanessa October 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    I think a belt might help with proportions when wearing an un-tucked button-up, something like this:

    Or maybe try the jcrew 1/2 tuck, to keep things less lumpy

    Great skirts, I always want to wear skirts like this but they don’t mesh well with bike commuting.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Oh, I like the belted look! Or maybe that’s just Rachel being a super babe in everything she wears πŸ™‚

  30. IndoorKitty October 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Tights. Tights and my one grey knit skirt that fit was my permanent post-partum outfit. (Well, out of the house. Around the house was a delightful hoodie/nursing bra/yoga pants/spit up ensemble.) Anyway, the tights sort of blend into the skirt so your bottom half reads as one. Then you can do whatever you want up top because the balance is easy.

    And while I’m here, I’d like to complain about pattern ease to someone who gets it. Why is there ease in patterns for BABIES! And I can’t find anywhere on this Simplicity Halloween romper pattern where it gives the actual size.

    Simplicity has burned me once before: the XS “newborn” blanket sleeper I made in March (and took over an inch out of) just now fits her torso. She is eleven months old. The fuck? Does Simplicity think that day old babies weigh 25 lbs?

    Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. No one else I know gets this ease problem.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      Oh yeah, I’ll definitely be wearing tights with these once the weather cools off more πŸ™‚ That’s a good point about the balance, though!

      Also, OMG YES FUCKING EASE! WTH! I can’t believe that newborn blanket sleeper was sized for a 25 lb baby hahahahaha. Holy shit, can you imagine pushing that out? No. Don’t imagine that. That’s too terrible hahaha.

  31. Jet Set Sewing October 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I love sewing on a deadline! All that anxiety that no one but your online sewing peeps will ever understand. I’m a hundred years older than you, but I’m thinking with a skirt like that it can’t be all form-fitting. Tights, a cami, and a guy’s fisherman’s sweater falling off of your shoulder? Like Brigitte Bardot coming home from a one-night stand having stolen the guy’s sweater? The Keds are perfect with it, though. No heels or tall boots, because you’ll look like “Pretty Woman.” You could also make a fancy version of the skirt to wear with a cami and loose transparent silk top.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Well, I can’t wear Keds with it once I switch to tights – I hate the way tennis shoes look with tights. Probably will wear my black boots with it, but I’m hoping it’ll look more ‘rocker’ than ‘streetwalker’ haha. Love the fancy version idea!

  32. Katie October 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Mabel is one of my favorite patterns — I think I’ve made about 8 of them so far, 3 minis and 5 pencil. I wear just about everything with them. The pencil skirts are my go-tos for work so I typically wear them with blousy-type shirts and cardigans or blazers. I wear the minis on the weekend and typically just throw on a half-tucked graphic print t-shirt and sneakers or loafers with them. Now that the weather’s cooling off, I fully plan to wear them with sweaters.

  33. smonakey October 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    I Love the Mabel pattern & I’d wear it every day. I have the pattern, too. So why haven’t I made any yet? Because I want to know when the crap I make will stop looking like crap I made. I guess I’ll suck it up & make one & see how it looks before I throw my machine out the window. I do have to admit that some of my efforts look decent, but I’m still at that stage where they often look homemade to me & I get discouraged, so I spend my time ogling your creations, instead.

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Aw! Don’t feel like your stuff has to look 100% professional to be wearable! I guarantee you that it probably looks nicer than much of what you can buy in the store πŸ™‚ And you know what? My makes started out looking SUPER shitty for YEARS. I didn’t care about the insides, finishing, gralinlines, appropriate fabrics – I just made what I want and i wore that shit regardless of how bad it looked. So you’re already on a better path than I am, because you don’t have to weed through years of not giving a fuck πŸ™‚ Hang in there! Don’t let yourself get discouraged because shit – you’re making clothes! That’s pretty freaking impressive!

  34. Zoe October 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    1. With a super simple skirt like that, I think you have a lot of options. A drapey cowl maybe? Something with a flowing jersey that creates texture. Anything that works with slim trousers would work well I think. I wouldn’t try and tuck it in.

    2. Yes. I designed and made my wedding dress in 4 weeks. I had never worked with silk on that scale before. There was no plan B. I had to take a couple of days off work to get it sorted on time.

    3. After I finished I found out it doesn’t matter what the garment is for, I will always critique it and find fault with it. I have since had to make other dresses from the same basic pattern to improve it. Not that anyone else saw anything wrong with it. I can look back on photos months later and like it, but that was tricky at first. All up though, I like the fact that I can say I did that.

    4. What about a waterfall cardigan?

  35. Suzie October 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    I was wearing one of my mables today (I have 3 now πŸ™‚ ). I have the same problem with mine, IΒ΄m mostly wearing a thight jersey top that ends at my lower waist, so it covers a ittle bit of the waistband and it doesnΒ΄t look sloppy or anything. I donΒ΄t know about cropped sweaters, I guess it could make you look tiny πŸ™‚ I like the Archer shirt in combination with the mini, basically I like the Archer with everything. I think an undercover hood could look great with the mabel, too. A sewing rush? There are so many. IΒ΄m known for my sewing fits, where I desperatly need to whip up something new because I have “just nothing to wear tomorrow!”. My last thing was a blue Anna dress for a wedding last weekend πŸ™‚

  36. hannah October 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I’m getting back into skirts, these look like a perfect sunday afternoon project

  37. jobirdie October 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi – I thought the bit about pushing ourselves to self-inflicted deadlines is so true! I often fall victim to this and each time I say “I will be more organised next time”. It doesn’t leave us feeling better and we are often unhappy that we have rushed and perhaps not doing as well as we could have.
    On a higher note – I think the archer looks superb and it will be only you who is aware of any fault. As for those cute little skirts- what a bout a shorter version of the plantain T. I am not young enough or confident enough about body shape to wear fitted garments around the midline – so you just have to make the most of it.
    I love your blog and dedication to your craft.

  38. StaceyMade October 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    What about the new BlueGinger Doll pattern – Bonnie? The short waisted sweater would look really cute and hopefully just skin the top of the skirt waistband so no need for tucking in without look long-bodied. Gah, I hate it when you buy fabric with a linear print that is off grain – it’s like they are trying to send you nuts! I find sewing deadlines good and bad. They are good for preventing those UFOs that lay around for ages just needing buttons or a hem finished before you wear it but it is stressful if you don’t have enough time and have to kill yourself to finish. Plus if that happens I feel like it taints my final opinion of the garment somehow…hmmm can’t decide on deadlines lol. Love a quickie sewing project though! πŸ™‚

  39. Faye Lewis October 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    Omgoodness! I love your skirts – both of them. I am the ultimate knit skirt pattern – already have it too. I’ve been procrastinating with it, scared to venture into the unknown. But since you said 30 minutes, guess I’ll give it a try.

  40. samalander October 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    holy crow I need this pattern! I’ve got a RTW (knit, longer pencil but I can lengthen this) that I love and have been looking to replace and this is it! thank-you!! πŸ™‚

    I’d wear it with something with some breathing space around the neck – boat neck, maybe a cowl, but something that shows the collar bones – and that nips in or tapers at the waist (or belt it).
    Either that or an oversized loose-knit sweater with a tank under – not chunky yarn, just something with weighty airyness and a nice drape to it – that comes to just where your hips start to narrow again. Either a fairly wide neck with dolman sleeves or a less-wide one and a slimmer fit (but still oversized)

  41. Erika Honey October 8, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    I hear you with the deadlines! (Shorts, Pants and two long skirt in 3 weeks before I went to Europe, hahahahaha, I got the Pants and the shorts done)
    In regards to the skirts, I know it’s going into winter where you are but Down Under we are heading into summer, so how’s about a crop? there’s a lot of buzz (rightly sew) (see what I did there!) about cropped cardigan but I think a crop shirt or top would work equally well for next year!

  42. shessewclassic-chic October 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    I’d wear this skirt with a cropped long sleeved shirt like Named Patterns Kaverva shirt. (Maybe lengthened a little to just cover the top of the skirt.) Its classic and simple but the buttons down the back add something to the outfit. I made one in a navy striped knit with gold buttons down the back (unblogged 😦 ) and I’ve worn it to death this past winter with my red charlotte skirt. Otherwise I think a hi-low Megan Neilsen Briar shirt would look amazing with these skirts too for a more casual look. I’m looking forward to reading some of the comments here to get more ideas as Im in the same Mabel predicament as you, the rise hits at an awkward spot on me and tucking shirts in leaves weird lumps.

  43. Sunni October 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Self imposed vacation sewing deadlines are awful. So awful. Unicorns do not appear to wisk me away to a castle. Instead I end up looking crazy because I didn’t have a chance to really sort through what would look good with said imposed crazy deadline garment. Oh my goodness, I am so with you on this one.

    Additionally, I would also like join the party on predicament for what to wear with Mabel. I haven’t made myself one, but I thought the skirt itself looked quite cute. However, that was the first thing that entered my head – what would I wear with that? I’m pretty much a tucker-inner and the lumpy thing would be weird and also leaving it out kind of looks weird too. I don’t know. I’m not a big fan of wearing a tight little t-shirt/sweater either as I feel really self conscious in something like that. I know, I’m weird. Needless to say, love both skirts and your archer. Ahhhhhh! Plaid! Even if the fabric was crap, its still a great plaid!

  44. Sara October 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Maybe it’s a little “country road streetwalker” but I just made a Mabel and tried it with a tied button down and I think it looked real cute! I think the plumber who came that day to declog my sink thought so too… Until he pulled a squirrel sized hair clump out of the drain. He wasn’t so flirty after that. But the tied button down, try it!

    • pypmannetjies October 11, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      +1 for tying a button down shirt. As long as the shirt was quite long to begin with.

  45. Lisa October 9, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    I’m so glad to hear you say this – I neurotially impose sewing deadlines on myself a lot and it never ends well.

    I also find the Mabel hard to match with other stuff! In the summer I followed Sarai and basically wore it with Collette sorbettos all summer. Now that it’s cold, I think I’ll mostly wear it with a fitted handknit sweater.

  46. sallie October 9, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    Woo Hoo! We’re Archer TWINS!!!! If we ever meet IRL I’m totally going to wear my Archer from that snuggly flannel, even if it’s hideously seasonally inappropriate, because the novelty of twin dressing NEVER GETS OLD!
    Yes! I have sewn things to a ridiculous self imposed deadline and YES! It sucked. Will never do again.
    And I love your Mabel’s, particularly with your new combat kicks! Has such a great 90’s vibe in the best way. I’m personally a fan of these skirts paired with a shorter, fitted top, like your black Renfrew here. It’s a little bodycon but you have such a hot little bod so I say WERK it!

  47. nycbookwriter October 9, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Ha ha. My first Mabel is from that same stripe. My second from that same grey. You and I are in each other’s closets again . . . The hounds-tooth double face knit wool we bought at Paron is another Mabel, longer (to the knee) with four inch slits on the sides (and I have that one on now with a white Archer (the first one I made) and heels . . . The camel and pink wool I had Heather source are Mabels too. I clearly don’t like that pattern . . . πŸ˜‰

    I have some cream flannel that now I want a new Archer to wear with a Mabel.

    I have a post on Mabels, Monettas, and Cocos I’m posting later this week. πŸ˜‰

  48. Jessica October 9, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    I think these would look super cute with a fitted turtleneck. But then again, I pretty much live in mini skirts and turtlenecks. . . . Graphic tees as others have mentioned are a good idea too for the warmer days!

  49. Trice October 9, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I think both looks look nice. You can also do a sloppy tuck.

    Oh so last night I got to listen to your voice on a podcast and now I miss you.

  50. Tash October 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    You could try the new So Zo pattern which is a batwing top, I think that might look pretty good with a mini skirt.
    Although it is a PDF pattern πŸ˜‰

  51. Chloe October 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    The plaid + grey combo works well for me. I wear tube mini skirts like this with loose tops a lot (with converse), though I guess my style is more slouchy than girly. Knot front t-shirts, big batwing tops or boxy ones in loose drapey material would all be a goer in my mind. I literally only learnt to thread a sewing machine this week though, have no theoretical knowledge and have never used a pattern, but I made a (snakeskin jersey) skirt like this earlier in the week pretty much winging it by tracing round a similar one I own, plus a quite rough-round-the-edges black georgette long boxy tshirt. Works for me!

  52. jumliana October 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    you see, every one of my thoughts is already expressed by so many other people, so I’ll just say this: I have been trying to learn to determine real and possible deadlines, and as much as I can, I try to draw a plan with a flexible deadline.
    I also made a mabel, I also have trouble wearing it, but I always prefer with a looser top. but my impression is we see it in ourselves and we feel weird, while others wear it so well.
    maybe it’s just a mis-understandment?
    honestly, I think you could wear anything anyhow, and still look fuckin cool. πŸ™‚

  53. Kelly October 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I made a couple of Mabels and realized I don’t have a lot that goes with them either! When the Grainline sweatshirt pattern comes out I will make some slouchy sweatshirts and probably pair those with my Mabels, tights and boots. And I would love to do a t-shirt, Archer and big cardigan all layered with Mabel too. I always end up with a list of things I have to sew before a trip- I did an Archer once that way too, and it was miserable. I’m trying to stop, it’s a little crazy and always gets a good eye roll from the hubs πŸ™‚

  54. Laura October 10, 2014 at 5:47 am #

    I just blogged about this! Rushing projects before holidays. Yours looks nice at least – mine ended up going to the charity shop.

    As for the skirts (I love the stripey one especially) I always wear them with baggy jumpers. Or sweaters or whatever you call them πŸ˜‰

  55. JP October 11, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Love the skirts and the shirt! I have a question about the shirt though. I’m about to try my first Archer and I love the way the pearl snaps look, but I’m a little scared to try them. Are they something that’s difficult to put in or are they pretty simple? Any helpful tips would be wonderful!

    • LLADYBIRD October 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Oh, they’re soooo easy! You just mark where you want them to go, and use a hammer to pound them in (there is also a tool that you can use, but I like using the hammer because I like being destructive hahah). A few things to keep in mind:
      – Buy enough so you have extras to practice – you dont’ want to hammer so hard that you shatter the pearl, so practice a couple before you make the real deal
      – Be mindful of very thick layers (such as at the collar stand), and try to trim as much as you can. The snaps won’t set if the layers are too thick.
      – Be aware of what side they go on – it’s opposite of buttons and button holes, since they snap. I made this mistake with my first pearl snap shirt – they’re on the “dude side.” Whoops! Not a big deal (it’s obviously still quite wearable), but just something to keep in mind πŸ™‚

      • JP October 13, 2014 at 8:28 am #

        Thank you! That doesn’t sound to scary, lol! Can’t wait to try them πŸ™‚

  56. Renee October 11, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Great skirs. I used to have a grey RTW ponte skirt very similar to this and tended to wear it with a button up shirt and a cropped cardigan. I think the awwardness is the bumps you get from tucking anything in. I’m thinking that a nettie bodysuit would solve the bumps problem if you wanted the look of something tucked in.
    As for rushed vacation sewing, yes I have been there. I tried to make a swimsuit the night before a trip and ended up angry, wet and deflated standing on my porch at midnight. Not a good scene. I don’t think I’ve learned my lesson yet though as I tend to put things off to the last minute. Something to keep in mind though.

  57. missjoiedevivre November 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    The skirts are really cute on you! But I have no idea what up style them with, in part because I never wear minis, even skirts above the knee I avoid. But I also know that imho you can pretty much wear anything and look a million bucks, and there’s heaps of good ideas in the comments, so I’m pretty confident that you’ll figure it out.

    Deadline sewing is the pits and I try to avoid it at all costs, but end up doing it at least once a year for my annual dance studio ball dress. Next year I’ll try to be more organised…


  1. Fall/Winter Sewing Plans for 2014 | LLADYBIRD - October 10, 2014

    […] be bringing with me (and making, for that matter! Don’t want to end up with another frantic last-minute sewing disaster, ugh). Especially since my luggage space will be very limited – I’m only allowed to […]

  2. Stitch Upon a Time Sleepy Sleeper Sewing Pattern Test | Wining Wife - October 16, 2014

    […] Completed: Two Colette Mabels […]

  3. Completed: Rose Hip Tights | LLADYBIRD - November 5, 2014

    […] and yes, that’s a Mabel skirt I’m wearing. I wanted to show y’all how it looks with a shorter tshirt –Β  […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: