Pattern Club Review

Colette mabel skirt

Blog / 7 April 2015

This weeks pattern club review is a bit of a long story. My make for lasts months club was the Colette Mabel Skirt, but I ended up making two versions!

I’ll start at the beginning with the pattern details.

  • Mabel Skirt - I made version 3 - which is an above knee pencil skirt.
  • From - Colette Patterns
  • Price £13
  • Size range offered - XS-3XL US 0-2 up to 24-26

Size made
I choose to make a size small as my waist measurement matched the small but my hips were the extra small. I thought I could always just take it in a bit at the hips but I didn’t want it to be too tight at the waist.

How would you describe the style of the garment?
Staple wiggle skirt, great as a base garment to build an outfit around, would go with a lot of styles of tops.

What type of figure or body shape is it suitable for?
Due to the way it is drafted I think its better for someone who has curvy hips.

What type of fabrics are suitable?
Ponte romas, double knits. I really does need a thicker/heavier stretch fabric due to the way it fits over the waist and hips.

What fabric did you choose and why?
For my first skirt I choose a mid grey ponte roma due to its sturdy weight. I thought the colour would easily go with lots of other clothes. Also this fabric is great if you don’t like ironing as it pretty much doesn’t crease!

For my second version I used this bright yellow/gold colour ponte roma.

How easy was it to trace the pattern?
There are 3 variations in this pattern and they all have different pattern pieces so it took me a bit longer than normal to look through all the tissue and work out where the pieces I needed were. There is a really clear diagram at the beginning of the pattern book that breaks it down so I would recommend looking at that before trying to tackle all the tissue.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Did the difficulty level on the pattern match what you think it should be?
I think the instructions were really easy and broke everything down into nice manageable chunks. They are also separated into sections for the different versions so once you find the relevant bit for you its easy to work through.

Where the illustrations/pictures easy to interpret?
The diagrams were really clear and there were lots of them too which always helps.

What challenges or difficulties did you find when putting it together?
The seam allowance is 3/8”, which is the standard seam allowance of an overlocker. The instructions do say this at the beginning but not throughout at each step. If you were using a regular sewing machine and were used to sewing 5/8” seam you might forget sometimes so just bear that in mind.
It also doesn’t mention about pressing the seam allowances at each step. I pressed my front panel seam allowances to the centre and side ones to the front too.

Does the difficulty level on the pattern represent how difficult it was to make up?
It’s rated as beginner and I would say that’s true if you are new to sewing with knits. If it’s the first garment you’ve ever made I would say it’s probably too tricky just because the seam allowances are a bit smaller than normal.

What tips would you recommend to make construction easier?
Make sure you use plenty of pins. When I’m in a rush I sometimes don’t pin as much but when working with stretch fabric its easy for a seam to become unaligned while sewing if its not pinned.
If you choose to snip your notches, don’t snip them too deep as the seam allowance is only 3/8”

How did you find the fit? Was it true to size?
I found it quite roomy. I would recommend looking closely over the finished garment measurements to help you choose a size. I was at the lower end of the size small scale and the finished garment measurement ended up being the same as my waist measurement. With this type of garment, in this fabric, it needs to have negative ease – so the finished garment is smaller than your measurements, that way it will shape and grip your body more. So based on that I should have made a smaller size.
On my grey skirt I found that the length came up quite long, but in hindsight I think that was because it didn’t fit at the waist, so it sat a bit lower – therefore making the skirt longer. When I lifted the skirt to actually sit at my waist and pinched out excess at the centre front, the length was fine.

What adjustments did you make?
Once I had made the grey one up, even though it was too big, I decided to just cut my looses and leave it. It will fit the he mannequins in the shop so I made one in a bright yellow colour instead.
When the grey one was on, it also looked like the front seams where sitting really wide. When I pinched the centre front panel in a bit it pulled the seams closer to the centre and took out the extra bulk at the waist, making it fit better.

When I made my yellow one (I use this gold ponte roma), I just used the same size small pieces I’d traced but took out 1.5” off the fold line (which reduced the size by 3' in total).

What advice would you give to customers when choosing a size?
If you are in-between sizes, go for the smaller one. And also, take a good look over the finished garment sizes.

How long did it take to make?
Tracing and cutting out, about 30-40 minutes (I think). Actual sewing just over an hour.

How much fabric did you use? Did this match up with what was recommended on the pattern?
I used exactly what the pattern recommended.

Are you happy with the finished garment?
The grey one is too big for me. I know that I would just end up pulling it up all day.
The yellow one – LOVE IT! It's so comfy to wear!

We also have a brand new Overlocker Workshop coming up too! It runs as a one day session and while you get to grips with using the overlocker, you can choose to make either the Mabel Skirt or the Moneta Dress. Click here for the full workshop details!