Mabel #2: All About that Bass

mabel front
Man, I am rocking the resting bitch face.
Say hello to Mabel #2!

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Mabel, version 3.

Fabric: Approximately 1 yd. of navy ponte de roma leftover from my first Lady Skater.

Alterations: Added 1″ length

Notions: Thread and Wundertape.

Make it again?: Definitely. I’d like to make 1-2 more of these for work and the mini version for fun at some point. Maybe out of mermaid spandex?

Favorite parts: Same as last time. Comfort and how quickly I was able to finish it.

mabel side

Other thoughts: I completed this project during a mini-stay/sewcation I took last week. It was a palate cleanser of sorts. I’ve been in a massive funk over the last few weeks, so I wanted something quick and easy to recalibrate myself. This project definitely fits the bill. Since I’d already cut the pattern for Mabel #1, it didn’t take much time at all to cut the pieces for this version. I think it took 3 episodes of Archer from cutting to hemming.

mabel back
Hello ridiculous booty pop. I swear, I thought I had another back view photo, but I could not find it.

There’s really not a lot to say about this. My first Mabel is a regular wardrobe staple, and hopefully this one will be as well. The ponte de roma is a little lighter than my first one, so I do have to be careful about undergarment lumps and bumps. With fall coming on, I think it’ll be perfect with thick tights and cardigans. It’s nice to have another Mabel in rotation!

I will take what is mine with fire and blood.

Since November is also Nerdvember, I decided to style this ensemble with one of my favorite nerdy pieces: my House Targeryan cardigan! Unfortunately, I can’t find it on the HBO site anymore. I swear, I wear this thing at least once a week. It pretty much goes with my entire wardrobe.

Do  you watch Game of Thrones? Which house is your favorite? 

Colette Sorbetto (or, my battle with FBAs)

Same pattern, different look! I felt really guilty about not making a functional garment in July, so I doubled up with this project.

Early in the summer, I finally caved and admitted that I needed to learn how to do a full-bust adjustment (FBA). For those of you who aren’t aware, most pattern companies (especially the Big 4) draft patterns with a B cup in mind. If you’re larger or smaller, chances are that you’ll need to adjust your pattern to accommodate.

Sorbetto the first, worn to work today with this skirt and a black cardigan.
Floral Sorbetto, worn to work today with this skirt and a black cardigan.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Sorbetto

Fabric: 1 yard of cotton gingham and 1 yard of mystery poly blend

Alterations: FBA

Notions: Bias tape and bias tape maker

Make it again?: Maybe. Not my normal style, but it’s a solid wardrobe staple.

Favorite parts: Aside from the FBA, how easy it is to put together. Seriously, two darts and 4 quick seams. Love.

gingham sorbetto 1
Gingham Sorbetto, worn fabric shopping last week. I feel very Dorothy-esque wearing this top. Where’s Toto?

Process: After struggling to create a successful FBA with my Ms. Marvel gown (did you guys know that Kwik-Sew pattern sizes accommodate different cups sizes? Mind blown), I decided to step back and try a FBA on a simpler garment: Colette’s (free!) Sorbetto pattern. The pattern only has two darts, so I figured it’d be a piece of cake. Well, my first three attempts were HORRIBLE. Like, “Go back to sewing pillows you crappy newb,” terrible. The first was basically a tent and the second was so tight I couldn’t wear a bra with it. Sigh. My third was passable (though never blogged), but it’s made of cotton voile and I hate ironing casual clothing. I think it’s been worn twice since I made it? Anyway, I trashed the first two abominations and blocked the travesties out of my memory until after I moved.

Apparently I only know how to pose like a superhero. Ready to take flight!
Apparently I only know how to pose like a superhero. Ready to take flight!

With this round, I attempted things the “correct” way. I printed off an extra copy of the pattern, actually took my measurements *with* my normal undergarments (I tend to wear sports bras the second I get home, which mush the ladies around differently), traced my adjustments, and made an actual muslin. I found this tutorial (as well as this one and this list of FBA tutorials) very helpful when figuring out how much to add. I erred a bit more on the side of caution and added a full inch to my adjustment. The end result is a teeny bit loose in the waist and hips, but not unwearable.

Oh me? I'm just day-dreaming about a time that fall didn't mean face-meltingly-hot weather.
Oh me? I’m just day-dreaming about a time that fall didn’t mean face-meltingly-hot weather.

After doing cartwheels upon realizing that my FBA was actually successful (only kind of kidding), I made two real versions. The first is a cotton gingham with the center pleat and self-made bias tape. The fabric was an impulse purchase during D’or’s last fabric sale. I feel very Dorothy-esque while wearing it, so I’ll probably just wear it on weekends. Very likely out to the state fair in a few weeks. At least the blousiness will conceal fried food bloat!

Making the bias tape was the most time-consuming part of this blouse. Since I’m still not proficient, I took things slow, which added another hour to my overall sewing time (a whopping 3 hours).

flower sorbetto 3

My second Sorbetto is a mystery blend from Jo-Ann’s remnant section with pre-made bias tape. I decided against the center pleat for this one, mostly out of laziness. This one is simple enough for lazy dress work days. I can definitely see myself wearing it with my comfy trousers or another Mabel. Using the pre-made tape made this a super speedy project. I think cutting to finishing the hem took only 1.5 hours.

gingham sorbetto 3

Other thoughts: Overall, this is a good basic blouse, especially for beginners (or beginner pattern modifications). You can keep it super simple by eliminating the center pleat and using pre-made bias tape, or you can be fancy and make your own bias tape, add the pleat, throw in some sleeves, embellish the pleat, etc. In future versions, I’ll definitely add another 2-3+ inches since this hits me a little higher than I typically like.

Have you made this pattern before? What are your thoughts on it?

Colette Moneta

Viva Las Vegas! I went to Vegas last weekend for a work conference and wore my Moneta for our first night out. Very comfy considering the insane heat. 110 degrees is ridiculous.

Not going to lie, I am really excited to have some non-cosplay projects on my table right now. I really enjoy making costumes, but it’s nice to have a break every now and then.

To keep things simple, I decided to make Colette’s Moneta with a reversible knit I picked up a few months ago. I originally purchased the fabric intending to make a Lady Skater (which I just purchased, thanks to Indie Pattern Month), but then Colette announced their new knit patterns. I pre-ordered  them, and that’s that.

Apologies for the mostly dress form pics. I’m in the process of moving and realized the pics my BF took in Vegas are mostly blurry. But anywho, front view!

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Moneta, View B

Fabric: 2 yds of a midweight reversible knit.

Alterations: None. I cut a straight L based on my high bust measurement.

Notions: Clear elastic.

Side view. That derpy fold of fabric is the pocket. Apologies for the wrinkles as well. This is just out of the dryer.
Side view. That derpy fold of fabric is the pocket. Apologies for the wrinkles as well. This is just out of the dryer.

Make it again?: Maybe. I’m not over the moon about this pattern, but I’d like to give it one more go with some alterations.

Favorite parts: Comfort, quick finish (around 4-5 hours).

Other thoughts: It took me a few wears to come around on this dress, though I mostly blame the print. It was a bad choice, but I fell victim to one of my “Oh, cute fabric!” whims. There are a lot of really cute versions of this pattern in the sewing blog-o-sphere, but I don’t think mine is one of them.

I decided pretty quickly that this project would be a wearable muslin. Normally, I’d go ahead and add length to the bodice right off the bat, but I only had 2 yds since that’s what I would have needed with the Lady Skater. Turns out, I really needed that length with this pattern, since it hits much higher on the waist than I like. I’m okay with things sitting at my natural waist, but this hits me closer on the ribcage. It kind of feels like maternity wear, which makes me super self-conscious.

Rear view. I do like the lower back. And look at that gathering! It almost makes the time worth the effort. Just kidding. I’m lazy. Totally doing this on the serger next time.

I’ve seen mixed reviews about the gathering process on the skirt. I gathered my skirt before attaching the elastic, but I think in future versions, I’ll just gather it on my serger with the elastic. Switching machines in the middle of a quickie project is super annoying (#firstworldproblems), so sticking to one machine for the bulk of a project seems a better solution.

Speaking of switching around machines, the hem gave me fits. I originally thought that I’d just do a rolled hem on this dress since it’s more of a weekend/play dress, but my serger and I had many disagreements. I ultimately gave up and used my twin-needle to finish it off like my neck and sleeves.

Back view on me. It’s still high enough to cover my back tattoos, but just enough for a little peak of skin.

Overall, this is a quick, instant gratification project. I’ll probably give it another go in a solid or a more subdued print and add length to the bodice and hem. I’d also add bands to the neck and sleeves for an easier finish IMHO. And ditch the pockets. I like the idea of them, but they drove me crazy while wearing this dress.

Since my fabric is reversible, I used the striped side to make the pockets.

Have you guys made this pattern yet? What are your thoughts?

May Challenge: Maybe it’s Mabel(ine)

Remember back in March/April when Colette announced they were releasing knit patterns? I squealed with joy. I was looking for an excuse to play with knits more. This is partly out of a desire to build a more functional wardrobe, but also so that I could practice using my serger for something other than finishing seams.

When the patterns came out, I was a little… underwhelmed, especially since I dropped $50 for the pre-packaged order of Mabel, Moneta, and the new book. Mabel just seemed so simple (that’s the main reason I went with version 3, since it looked more interesting). Silly me. I should have known that Mabel would quickly become a favorite.

mabel front

The Basics: 

Pattern: Colette Mabel, version 3.

Fabric: Approximately 1 yd. of leftover grey mid-weight mystery knit from the stash.

Alterations: Added 1″ length

Notions: Thread. I did have to spring for a twin needle since I didn’t have one on hand.

Make it again?: Definitely. I’d love to make another version for work in the near future.

Favorite parts: Comfort and how quickly I was able to finish it.

mabel rear
Not going to lie, I kind of love how this skirt makes my rear look. Definitely go for a thicker knit with this pattern! This is the lightest I think I’d go.

Other thoughts: A bit of back story for Mabel. I started working on this last Tuesday. I was at a weird mid-point with some of my other projects and costumes. I needed to make a store run for more supplies, but it was the end of the month and I didn’t want to spend money on more stuff until payday. Still, I had a creative itch and wanted make something. I dug around in my stash and found this fabric leftover from my first set of Lilith leggings. It took some clever folding and cutting, but I managed to cut this in a large (perfectly matched up with my measurements) and add an extra inch of length.

The overall construction of this skirt is ridiculously simple. So much so that I kept referring to the instructions thinking that I had missed a vital step. The only time I deviated from the instructions was in the construction of the waistband. I don’t have quite enough space to work with my serger and my sewing machine at the same time, so I nixed the stitch in the ditch and just serged all of it together at once. Yay laziness.

Mabel took 2 1-hour sessions to complete. I did the cutting and the bulk of the construction on Tuesday evening and then finished the kick pleat and the hem on Thursday after picking up a twin needle. My original plan was just to hem it with a zig-zag stitch, but I’m glad I picked up the twin needle. It’s a great technique to know for mimicking RTW clothes!

I really like Mable. She’s super comfy, versatile, and a perfect length to wear to work! I’ve worn her twice so far (once casually and once to work) and will probably keep her in my regular rotation over the summer. I just hope I love Moneta this much!

mabel skirt
Casual Mabel ensemble for a fabric shopping excursion last week.

Have you made Mabel or Moneta yet?