Monday, 18 January 2016

A cable knit Mabel

Plans for jumper making had to be swiftly re-jigged this week on discovering that I only had a metre of Aran-style sweater knit to play with. What possessed me to only buy one measly metre?! It's nigh on impossible to cut out a jumper from one metre - those pesky long sleeved pattern pieces take up a lot of space. The thick, cabled fabric would have looked daft made into a short sleeved version, so there was only one thing for it….make a skirt instead. 


I used the Mabel pattern from Colette which I've used twice before (here and here), both times using a double knit. Although my fabric is chunky and cable-y, it's not actually as stable as a double knit, so the finished skirt is a bit roomier than my other versions. This is no bad thing though, given my current post-Christmas shape! I used scraps left over from my gingham Agnes dress for the waistband lining and they blended in perfectly. 


I sewed the whole skirt on my overlocker and it was on track to become the fastest item of clothing I'd ever sewn - until I got to the hem. I'm not sure if it was the cabling that my machine didn't like, but try as I might, I just couldn't get it to sew straight stitches on this fabric without looping. I tried every type of needle (stretch, jersey, ballpoint and double) and every combination of tension and stitch type but it wasn't having any of it. In the end I had to hand sew the hem. No great tragedy, but a bit tiresome given that it could have been hemmed in about 20 seconds with a double needle.


All's well that ends well though - my finished Mabel is all set to be a skirt version of a pair of PJ bottoms. It's so cosy and comfortable and perfect for days like yesterday when it was miserable outside and all I wanted to do was lounge on the sofa and watch TV. Happily, it's also presentable enough to wear outside the house and is a bit more interesting to look at than my previous Mabel skirts. It's not exactly what I had in mind for this fabric but it'll do fine. 

In other cold weather sewing news, my Karen dress is almost finished (now that really is a super fast sew!) and the fabrics for my White Russian sweatshirt are currently waiting to be cut out. I'll keep you updated! x



33 comments:

  1. Nice ! I wouldn't have thought of making a skirt out of it. Great idea that turned out fantastic. Simple and great. Looks great on you too and the styling is perfect !
    Congrats !

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  2. works brilliantly as a skirt, especially as the temperature plummets.

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    1. I know, I think it will come in very handy! x

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  3. That looks great as a skirt, and it must be so easy and comfortable to wear!

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    1. It really is, I'm wearing it this very minute! x

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  4. looks perfect for this weather!

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    1. Thanks Tamsin, it certainly is! x

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  5. Where did you find such a beautiful fabric?

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    1. It's from an Etsy shop called Miss Matatabi based in Japan. This fabric is no longer in stock unfortunately, but you could try emailing the owner to see if she's getting more in. Good luck! x

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    2. Thank you so much!

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  6. I have some similar cable patterned ponte that I bought (months ago) with a cozy Mabel in mind! Here's hoping I manage to sew it up before spring arrives.

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    1. It won't take you long once you cut it out, it's a super speedy pattern, good luck! x

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  7. That fabric makes the perfect Mabel, a great match.

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    1. Thanks, it was a very happy accident! x

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  8. Nice skirt. I went through fabric and found a few skirt contenders but son would like a shirt and other son some pj trousers first. . .

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    1. You're a more considerate mother than I am! x

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  9. It's terrific! Love the fit.

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    1. Thanks, it's definitely comfortable! x

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  10. Love this, so cute. Does the waistband still stretch? Also the time I hand stitched a knit hem it broke pretty quickly with the pressure of the stretch (first time on actually). Do you have any special way to hem.

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    1. Yes, the waistband still stretches because the outer and inner layers are both made with knit fabric. I only catch stitched the hem, but actually I don't think it's going to last very long given the pressure it's under. Might have to put my thinking cap on again! x

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  11. I love it! It looks so cuddly. I'd call it a happy accident that you only bought a meter :)

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  12. I would say this is your best Mabel. I wasn't overly tempted until I saw this version!

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    1. Thanks Charlotte, I think this one is my favourite too! x

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  13. Ooh lovely skirt! Knit pencil skirts are soooo comfy! Love the cable detail.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it's definitely comfy, like wearing knit PJs! x

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  14. Ooh, what a warm and cozy skirt! The cabled fabric really makes it look a bit fancy, when it's secretly super comfy. How can you beat that!

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    1. I know! The best of both worlds! x

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  15. Hi Jane,

    Just FYI I think the fabric is available again at Miss Matatabi ...
    I saw them a few days ago I hope they're still available ...

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    1. Hi Jess, I've scoured the Miss Matatabi shop but couldn't see it listed I'm afraid, it must have sold out again! Thanks anyway. X

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