Sewing Projects


I‘ve been sewing pretty much non-stop for the last month, just not stuff I can talk about yet (wink, wink). I was kind of desperate to do some selfish sewing though, but it had to be achievable in a few hours so I wouldn’t feel guilty about making pretties for myself on a Tuesday afternoon instead of working. What better thing to make than a Colette Mabel? I picked up the PDF a few months ago and I’d been waiting for a window when I could crank one out.

This is a FAST make! Like, two podcasts and you’re done fast. And instant gratification is always more satisfying when it’s something you know you’ll wear ALL THE TIME. Because FYI, nothing is more comfortable or functional for someone who works from home than a comfy knit skirt. Having a wardrobe full of these babies basically makes my pajama dressing unconscionable.

Closet Case Files: Colette Mabel Closet Case Files: Colette Mabel Closet Case Files: Colette Mabel

It’s a simple design but the details are really well thought out. I made version 2 because I loved the little button placket detail and I wanted to practice my pattern matching skills. Didn’t even see the two center seams there, did you? * Brushes imaginary dust off shoulders in display of pride *

Closet Case Files: Colette Mabel

I used a thin, drapey ponte from Girl Charlee. I ordered it a few months ago so it’s no longer available, which is just as well. It’s already started pilling after a few wears: thankfully the business of the ikat print conceals it. I’ve yet to find a ponte that doesn’t pill at some point, which is enraging since it so close to being a perfect fabric. When I’m in NY next week I’ll be stalking Mood for high quality double knits so I can knock out about 8 more of these.

The most time consuming thing about this project was laying out my fabric for maximum ikat  pattern match perfection, and agonizing over what buttons to choose. I am blessed with a few cookie tins of buttons that I purchased at a seamstress’ estate sale a few years ago, but finding a set of matching ones took over an hour (I finally organized the stash in mason jars according to colour based on the instagram suggestion of Annessa.) I used these slightly iridescent cream buttons  that pick up the cream in the fabric, but I only had 4 instead of the recommend 5. I will survive.

Closet Case Files-Colette Mabel Skirt-detail

Closet Case Files: Colette Mabel

Couldn’t be simpler construction wise. All serged seams with a double needle finish on the center placket and hem. The waistband is a stretch knit from my stash. I paired it with my favourite self drafted tee, which I really need to make many more of since this one is getting pretty dingy. I’ve also been wearing it with my summer staple, oversized men’s oxford shirts. Doesn’t get easier in the morning.

So, a big thumbs up for this pattern! It’s actually my first Colette make which is pretty shocking, but I think their new knit designs are a little more my speed these days. If you do buy the PDF and want to get it copied at a professional printer, make sure they have a roll that is at least 38″ wide – I printed mine on a 36″ wide roll and it got cut off.

Incidentally, I’ve had a few requests asking about the shoes I’m wearing here (and in pretty much every post this summer). I finally caved and bought a pair of Hasbeens this year and they are all that they say they are. Super comfy, and these gold ones
kind of go with EVERYTHING. The braiding needs to be worn in, which is why I suggest wearing them with a pair of damp socks for a day or two to soften them up. I little spendy, but I only buy a few pairs of shoes a year these days, and I’m trying to buy the best I can afford.

Enjoy August my friends! I hope you’re sun kissed and swimming in as many bodies of water as possible.


  • This look great – love the print!

  • I love this pattern so much and have made a few skirts myself. It doesn’t get better than a quick, comfy make, does it? Your version is great and I am totally jealous of your print matching skills! xo

  • I read somewhere that having a % of nylon in Ponte helps it wear better. I haven’t tested the theory yet.

    • Innaresting – I think poly is the pilling culprit. I’ll look for nylon next time!

  • OMG! I made a Mabel in this exact same fabric from Girl Charlee! Bad news I also made a pair of leggings and it has pilled like crazy, the Mabel is holding up a little better though.

  • I love this! Fab print and so disappointed for you that it is pilling….kills me. I’ve had a few dresses start pilling on me way too soon this year. You know, I’ve had mostly had really good luck with ponte fabric not pilling. I bought an ivory ponte fino (quite lightweight) from that doesn’t pill at all (but does shrink in the first wash). Most of the ponte knits I’ve purchased in the past (in vast quantities a few years ago) were from Tessuti – no pilling whatsoever, even with rough and tumble washing- I always blame poly and modal for pilling, so maybe the ones I bought were poly free, but then I’m really just guessing. I’m on the hunt for some black ponte and was thinking to shop more locally, but hearing now that you find pilling normal in ponte, makes me think I should stick with who I know.

    • I bought a ponte from that was so horrendously, disgustingly synthetic (all nylon or poly or something equally gnarly) that I have never bought anything from them since. Probably not rational, I know.

      I’ve bought a few locally and they’ve all pilled, but it’s clearly possible to find those that don’t, or we wouldn’t be using ponte all the darned time!

  • mokosha

    that’s one fab skirt for sure! and i have similar looking fabric (knit, and not the ponte kind, but the print is very similar) that i plan to turn into a dress one of these days.. short skirted dress, looking pretty much like your skirt.. now, only if i can pull off that fab pattern matching (seriously, it’s just crazy how you matched it)

    • Thanks babe. It’s the best I’ve ever done!

  • Nancy

    this is a great fabric for this skirt! i made one too recently!

  • The ikat print is fabulous, what a shame it’s pilling.

    • Aw well. I’m still going to wear it every day, haha.

  • This looks great. I made one in a similar print last week and love it! Such an easy and gratifying pattern.

    • Thanks Helen! Nothing better than a speedy make.

  • Argh Girl Charlee drives me mad – not only have I had bad experiences with their fabric but their customer service approach is to insist that they never get any complaints about quality! Why not just work on the problem and say sorry? They literally commented today on my Instagram that they’re unaware of any problems and noone ever emails them. So maybe you should!
    A shame because the skirt is FAB and even if it’s only an evenings work it’s a shame for it to be let down by the fabric

    • meredith

      I find their designer overstocks can be good, but the house branded fabrics are more miss than hit.

    • That’s such a bummer! My experience with them has 99% been positive so I wasn’t that put out with one pilly fabric but your swimsuit fail on instagram this week was really sad. I mentioned it to my contact there so hopefully they make improvements.

      • Yeah and it’s actually happened on all 3 of the materials I bought from them. Oh well. At least I got a refund this time!

  • Lovely print! I was thinking about buying the Mabel pattern, I think after your version i have to give it a try!

  • So I scrolled up and down between the front-close-up photo and the paragraph about your pattern matching, several time. I honestly thought you were joking about there being a seam in there, until I saw the insides photos! Mighty hell, that was some killer pattern matching. Shame about the pilly knit!! Lovely skirt 🙂

  • Hélène

    Love, love, love this skirt! BTW, your style is getting better and better. You are reaching the stars!

  • sallieforrer

    Oh I’m so happy to see this skirt in all it’s ikat-y glory!! Great make! I was on the fence about this pattern, but you pushed me over the edge – as you have a way of doing. This fabric is so perfect for a little comfy mini skirt. And your whole style is just bang on. Love love lovely.

  • This is AWESOME. I’ve been waffling over buying this pattern, but this just convinced me. It’s so flattering! Love the ikat print, and seriously I’ve been staring at where the centre seams are for like 10 minutes and I can’t find them. Where are they?!

  • That is some seriously impressive pattern matching. I haven’t sewn with any ponte yet, but there’s a bit in my stash waiting for fall.

  • meredith

    Looks awesome with the buttons! I made a Mabel in the blue/black colorway of that same ponte — it’s suuuuper pilly but the pattern does disguise it a bit. I think because it’s thin and drapey maybe? I don’t think it’s ponte in general – the ponte clothes I buy hold up fine. (Definitely hard to source a good ponte fabric, though… and I’m pretty much done with GirlCharlee pontes.)

    • It’s my first ponte with them but I love everything else I’ve gotten there. Ponte is a tricky one.

  • This is just perfections and incredibly flattering! I love that ikat knit.

  • This looks fabulous! What a great little skirt! I really wish I could find a perfect, non-pilling ponte… it’s so nice to wear! I’ve had better luck with some of the pontes I’ve gotten at Mood, but I tend to baby them (gentle wash, line dry) to keep them in good shape.

  • Keep us posted on your search for the perfect ponte! I *WANT* to love ponte, but the pilling and the bulky seams just keep disappointing me! Also, the fact that so much good ponte seems to be solid-colour only makes it not a great match for me. I’ve got some ponte print things I’ve sewn and loved, but it’s hard to find the right print in the right quality! Your skirt looks fab though, and the print-matching is … damn. Nice work!

  • This is beautiful! I’ve copied you and made a bodycon skirt in ponte this week too…haha!

  • Those are some mad pattern matching skillz you’ve got there! I had to really peer at the photos before I could even see it wasn’t just continuous fabric. Bravo!