Wednesday 30 April 2014

Mabel, what's not to like?

After a month of more sowing than sewing here at Foxgloves HQ I'm back to show you the first of many, many Mabels. I've made a lot of old school pencil skirts: woven fabric, pegged, lined, slit. The kind of skirt that is utterly useless when walking the dog, mowing the lawn or riding your bike to the grocery store. In my neck of the woods two out of three of these examples are daily business, so pencil skirts are SOO (Special Occasions Only). But, thanks to Colette Patterns there's a major breakthrough. Mabel is a pencil skirt that's so comfortable you could even go to sleep in it!

Colette Mabel skirt and Lekala 8004 top

The construction of this skirt is quick  could have been quick, if only I had put some trust in the pattern makers. In order to avoid the dreaded muffin top I chose a bigger size for the waistband. Which resulted in gaping at the back. After some seam ripping I even took out more than I originally added.
I was also worried about the length of the skirt. I'm 1.73 m (5'8) and could not find the heigth this pattern was drafted for. I added 4 cm to the pattern pieces. Guess what? Exactly the amount I had to cut off again at the final hemline. 

Colette Mabel skirt and Colette Jasmine blouse

One more note on the construction. Since I mentioned making the Mabel skirt I noticed some traffic to my blog via Google search on 'How to sew a kick pleat in the Mabel skirt'. Let me reassure you. It's not a slit construction, it's just a simple pleat. Sew a straight line, fold to one side and make a little topstitch. That's all!

Instead of using a twin needle for quick hemming I chose for hand sewing. My usual routine, never take the easy way if you can make things a little more complicated... 

This skirt is so versatile! I like all three outfits I made up with this simple skirt and can think of many more.
More on the Lekala top can be found here, for more on the Jasmine click here.

Since this was my first session with a tripod and a remote I'll make this post picture heavy, just because I can.

Well, you get the picture. When in doubt, make a Mabel skirt!

Saturday 19 April 2014

Next up: Mabel!

Tax forms, work, spring cleaning and gardening kept me out of my sewing room way too long. This week the release of the new Colette patterns made me realize how much I had missed my new best friend the serger. Back in September I won a gift certificate from Colette Patterns when this Negroni shirt was my entry to the Super Online Community Sewing Match. I happily used my store credit to order the exciting spring bundle, containing an e-book:

And two patterns for knits:

What better way to continue my journey through the Land of Knits?

First up is version 3 of Mabel, an above-the-knee length pencil skirt with seam details and a kick pleat. There's a brown ponte knit in my stash waiting to be cut. Perhaps it's not screaming spring all over, but it will have to do. For now. If this skirt is as good as it looks I will sew up a rainbow of Mabels!

Tuesday 1 April 2014

By Hand London Mittens skirt

At last we can share our little secret: we've been pattern testers for the new By Hand London Mittens skirt! It's a big day for fashionable pets all over the world. 

I made view B, the high waisted midi skirt. It's a highly versatile pattern. Excellent for sunbathing:

Or wear it as a maxi skirt for city trips.

Once again the BHL Circle Skirt App proved to be a very useful tool for drafting a 'maths-free' circle skirt.
The seam was pinked and as you can see the pattern includes a sewing label.

What changes would I make? As you can see below there is some risk of wardrobe malfunction on breezy days. Next time we'll go for view C, the pencil skirt.

Finally. On behalf of all canine customers of By Hand London the furry assistant wants to protest against marketing the Mittens skirt as a cat-skirt-only. Come on, girls, don't do that to our doggies!

But today she's wearing her skirt with pride.