April 24, 2014

Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour: the Colette Mabel Skirt!

Welcome back to Curvy Colette: A Plus Size Blog Tour!
I showed you my stripy Moneta last week – now it’s time for my Mabel. 
So I’m going to be really honest with you, folks. When I first heard from Sarai that the second new knit pattern was a skirt, I was a bit concerned. I love love love working with knits, but I usually make them fairly snug on my top half and flowy on the bottom, to avoid any unfortunate clinging. The idea of a knit skirt therefore gave me the heebie jeebies… And I clearly wasn’t the only one, judging by the posts of the rest of the Collective
However, I formed a plan of attack. First, use a heavy, stable knit. Second, figure out the best way to style it. Third… there’s always Spanx!
And here’s the final thing: 
Pretty good, no? It’s incredibly quick to make (less than 2 hours, easily), and a very comfortable wardrobe basic. I think I’m converted!
The Colette Mabel comes in three versions: two mini skirts – one with a button band down the front – and a pencil skirt. I’m a huge fan of pencil skirts, so I decided to go with version 3, which is down to the knee and has a kick pleat at the back. 
One of the lovely features on the pencil skirt is the panel on the front, which gives you the chance to use a feature fabric. I used a black stretch textured cotton that I bought in Berlin recently, paired with a black doubleknit generously given to me by the ever-cool Sarah at Grey’s Fabrics in Boston (where, trust me, there are a LOT of exciting fabrics beyond black knits…). It’s a subtle effect on the end skirt, but I love it (and I still have 1.5 yards left to make something else!)

One tip: I found that the serged seams of the skirt were sticking out (not laying flat with the fabric), so I went around with my walking foot on my sewing machine and topstitched all of them down. Not only does it make for a smoother silhouette, but it also looks kind of cool and RTW.

I decided to err on the side of caution and make a 2XL to make sure it wasn’t too clingy, but that turned out to to be an overcompensation and I ended up taking it in to what is probably an XL. Next time I’ll just cut a straight XL!

 I’ve heard others mention cling-phobia with this pattern, and hopefully I can reassure you that it really can look great if you use a heavy knit, and also think about how you want to style it. For me, I have a sort of “double bump” on my hips, so wearing it with a shirt (which covers the top bump) ended up looking really great, although in all honesty I wouldn’t wear it just with a top tucked in. If you take a look at the styling from the rest of the Curvy Sewing Collective I think we all ended up with some version of the same approach!

The best thing about this pattern is its versatility – you really only need this one knit skirt pattern! You could make it at various different lengths, out of different types of material, colour block… the options are endless.

Perfect for relaxing on these early summer days!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the Curvy Sewing Collective rocking their Colette makes so far, and you’ll stick around to see Mary N’s next week! Have you made your Mabels yet, readers? How are you wearing them? 
The Curvy Sewing Collective presents…. Curvy Colette: A Plus Size Blog Tour!

Wednesday 16 April:  Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday 17 April:      Mary at Idle Fancy
Saturday 19 April:       Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute
Monday 21 April:       Tanya at Mrs Hughes
Tuesday 22 April:       T at UandMii
Saturday 26 April:       Sophie-Lee at Two Random Words
Wednesday 30 April:  Mary at Young, Broke and Fabulous 

26 thoughts on “Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour: the Colette Mabel Skirt!

  1. Looks gorgeous, and I love the different fabrics.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Dottie!

  2. Laurwyn says:

    This fabric is awesome! I think I should try the front pannel version too…
    And also, I see what you mean with “angles” on photoshoots 🙂
    You look great in that outfit. Love the photo Chillin’

    1. Jenny says:

      Merci beaucoup Laurence! And yes it’s ALL ABOUT THE ANGLES 😀

  3. Marianne says:

    I love your front panel! I’m altering my Mabel as we speak. Overcompensating too 😉

    1. Jenny says:

      Yay, let me know how it goes!

  4. I think the princess seamed version is definitely the most stylish. You look effortlessly chic jenny 🙂

    1. Jenny says:

      Why thank you 😀

  5. This is just gorgeous! I love the two tone fabric choice and the top stitched seams. You did a great job on this and I can see how it would be a wardrobe builder

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Carolyn! Now that I overcame my fears with black I’m going to make a more colourful one 🙂

    2. Michelle says:

      I feel the same way–that I also overcame my fears with my “safe” black skirt. I’ve got one yard of a red Sofia knit in my stash (originally bought as contrast for another project that I decided not to proceed with) and am trying to talk myself into a red one now.

  6. hot thang. and i love that contrast panel!

  7. Gorgeous, Jenny! You look so chic in this skirt. The contrast panel and top-stitching really elevates the skirt from simple to sublime. I love it!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! Also, I think you win the prize for most literary comments left on a sewing blog 😉

  8. Sew Savory says:

    Excellent job! This is one beautiful skirt. You’ve taken some of the trepidation out of my feelings about this pattern. I have it. Now I just have to find the right fabric(s). I am going to look for something similar to your picks (shameless in my copycat tendencies). 🙂 You should wear that skirt often. It suits you!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! COPY AWAY, for that is the joy of sewing/sewing blogs 🙂

    2. Michelle says:

      Sew Savory, FabricMart nearly always has a good selection of ponte knits in (some solid, some print) and pretty much always has a black ponte. Their prices are very reasonable, too.

  9. Jenny, your look is fabulous! I don’t wear dresses often, but somehow the Moneta is on its way to my mailbox. I wonder how that happened? More good news-I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Soooo, if you are so inclined, you can stop by my blog and there you shall find some “thoughtful & probing” questions to answer!

    1. Jenny says:

      Glad to hear you’re going to make a Moneta 😀 And thank you for the nomination – I actually just got one recently and wrote up a post on it, so I’ll pass this time, but thanks for thinking of me!

  10. tanyamaile says:

    What a super gorgeous babelicious skirt!! I love how you paired the two fabrics together! Genius! The Mabel looks fabulous the way you have styled it as well. Another A++++

    1. Jenny says:

      thanks Tanya! I think it’ll get a lot of use…

  11. KimP says:

    You look fab-u-lous!!!!!!! I’ve never sewn with knits, but you are tempting me!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Kim! This would be a great first knit project, and you don’t even need a serger.

  12. You know, I thought a knit skirt? Not for me, thanks. Ever.
    But having seen the versions you girls of the collective have come up with, I am definitely coming round to the idea.
    Love your version, and I just found your terrific blog, so you have a new follower!

  13. Symon says:

    Ah I love this! Coincidentally, I’m making the exact same skirt pretty much (only mine is all black ponte – no intriguing texture LOL), and I’m loving how straightforward a make it is – it’s pretty awesome to be able to whip up a chic pencil skirt in a couple hours that’s comfy and has no closures – win!! 🙂

Let me know what you think!