Sunday, 29 March 2015

Stripy Mabel Skirt: Take Two!


Alrighty. So the saga of the stripy Mabel skirt continues... You may or may not recall that I made a knee length version in this black and white synthetic double knit back in January. I was concerned that it was too tight and too long, and would end up getting constantly over-looked when deciding what to wear. I was debating about what to do about it; do I simply shorten the version I'd made or to I remake the whole damn thing adding width to the thigh area? 

I forced myself to wear it a couple of times and came to the conclusion that it was definitely too tight and not enjoyable to wear. Taking the hem up a bit wasn't going to be enough to make it something I'd reach for regularly, so I found the remnants of the fabric and cut myself out another, shorter version (though not as short as the pattern's short version) with about 1.5 cm added to each side seam around the thigh. I was able to unpick and reuse my take one's waistband and facing which made my take two a little quicker to construct. 



So how does the second version fare? It's definitely better. I've worn it a couple of times and it doesn't feel restrictive anymore. I'm not in love with how it sits on the waist though. Perhaps it could be improved by tightening it up a bit or even exaggerating the curve of the back waistband, but I feel that those potential solutions would make getting it on and off difficult. I can't help but think that eliminating the curved waistband idea entirely and creating an elasticated waist would feel generally more secure. 

Although this second version is much better than the first and will see some wear for sure, at present it's still not the comfy-as-wearing-T-shirt-round-your-bum plan I had in mind for a knit skirt! Ideally I was going for something I could wear to play groups and mess around in without a second thought, but I do find myself somewhat conscious of this skirt (as I feel in all skirts to be fair) and have to readjust how it is sitting from time to time. I don't think I'll make another Mabel skirt, but at some point I may use it as a basis to draft an elasticated waist knit skirt pattern, which is probably what I should have done in the first place. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get a pic of the second version actually being worn. Trying to get one actually delayed me in publishing this post, but with #mmmay15 just round the corner, I figured you'll see it worn (hopefully!) soon enough to get an idea of the fit!


Well, I wasn't going to waste the first version of this skirt, was I?! Using my go-to baby/toddler Playful Kitty leggings pattern, I cut the biggest size (size 92) as I wanted to get maximum use of the remaining fabric after the waistband had been removed. Dolores probably won't fit these for at least a year, but that's totally fine as I've made heaps of leggings for her for the nearer future, and have plans for many more pairs of stretchy bottoms in the pipeline. 


I attempted to make this version of the leggings pattern more interesting to make for myself by adding these appliquéd heart knee patches. The hearts are made from tiny scraps of the T-shirting left over from the retro running shorts and are adhered to the leggings with double sided bondaweb. Usually when I do  appliqué, I fuse some interfacing to the back of the area before satin-stitching round the edge of the shape, but I skipped that step this time as I didn't want to make them restrictive with too much bulk so that she can't easily bend her knees! It meant that the hearts looked a bit wavy and not as flat as they would do if I'd applied interfacing, but a good old press with the iron elimated most of the wobbly effect.

13 comments:

Barbara said...

So sorry the skirt isn't comfortable because it certainly is cute. If you want to try a pencil knit skirt without a waistband, I highly recommend the Magic Skirt from Pamela's Patterns.

http://www.pamelaspatterns.com/Store_ProductDetail.aspx?pid=D8A392D1C4AD66C0

It's so easy and quick to sew up and extremely simple to customize to your own body.

Faye Lewis said...

You made good use of ever drop of your stripped knit yardage and that's wonderful. Love your version #2 and liked version #1 as well. I am definitely a skirt lover. I've made 3 of Mable #3 and love each one.

Mother of Reinvention said...

How cool that you managed to reuse the fabric for those cute leggings. I have made the Mabel too and my only grip with it is the waist. I keep thinking that mine will fall down and I would really like an elasticated waistband for it. I am definitely going to draft one as I made the long version (adding about 5 inches to the length) and although it is still quite a bit above my knee it is pretty comfy and I would like a few of them for work. Hope that your next one is comfier. xx

Pam said...

I've made two versions of the Mabel too - and came to the same conclusion! Although happy enough to wear them occasionally around the house, it doesn't feel secure enough for outside. Elasticated waist version coming this way soon xx

Shirley Ann said...

I'm right there with you on how the mabel sits at the waist. I haven't made it again. It just doesn't feel right for my shape I guess.

navybluethreads said...

Sorry this didn't work out for you! I love my Mabels, but maybe my slightly (ahem!) wider hips help to keep it in place ;-) Love the heart detail on your daughter's leggings. When I finally get round to making mine some, I'll keep this in mind...

tialys said...

Hmm. I've noted the above recommendation of the Magic Skirt and I've been eyeing up Gertie's Easy Knit Pencil Skirt although I haven't got her book. I like the idea of an elastic waistband that doesn't look like an elastic waistband and, of course, the fact that there are no zips, buttons, etc. involved.
Sorry you don't like yours but at Dolores is better off by another pair of chic leggings.

tialys said...

....'at least Dolores....' - sorry, not fully awake yet this morning.

cucicucicoo: ecological living said...

The original length of the skirt is nice-looking, but I can imagine that that length wasn't the most comfortable in the world. I can't stand wearing skirts any more that go beyond my knees because I feel like my movements are too restricted. And in the end, I think the stripes look even cooler in the shorter version. I'm looking forward to seeing how you wear it during MMM! :) Lisa

Fabric Tragic said...

My favourite knit skirt waistband finish is one drafted using this technique:
http://www.cjpatterns.com/documents/Cut2-Issue02.pdf

I don't like how elastic waistbands ride up, and the wide waistband of this technique doesn't use elastic and is comfy and flattering.

Love the stripes of course!

Christals Creations said...

It looks nice, shame about the comfort. Love the leggings. :)

Emma King said...

If you want a longer knit with a hidden elasticated waist then I can't recommend the pattern in the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual's enough. I've made several, they're super comfy and can be run up in less than an hour.

Minnado said...

I like the look of your Mabel,I love theidea of a striped knit skirt, but not sure if it'd suit me in reality! I have a piece of stripes knit I was given, and keep vacillating between top, skirt, leggings....x

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