Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Butterfly Mabel Skirt...of many tears

Well, thank God that's over! This is the skirt that almost ended in the bin!!!

As soon as I saw the email from Tessuti announcing the newest arrival of Ponti's to come in to their store I did a mad lunchtime dash via bus + very speedy walking to the Surry Hills store to make sure I could get my hands on some ponti before it all sold out (this stuff goes like hotcakes. And this is what I walked out with (well, one of the pieces anyway)...

I bought 1.3m of this Italian ponti with the view of making a Mabel Skirt. I bought a little too much to account for shrinkage but it now turns out that I have enough left over for the front panel of a Linden Sweatshirt. Yay! Not yay was the price - at $59p/m I was almost in tears when things started to go pear-shaped with this make.

I've made quite a few Mabel Skirts by now - some winners and some failures - so I don't have much to say about the pattern other than it's a great way to use just a little bit of a great...and sometimes pricey fabric. I'd just made three Mabel's in a row with NO issues and I was feeling pretty confident. Pride, as they say, always comes before a (sewing) fall.

That said this one is a bit of a fail. All was going well but the waistband must've stretched out as I was sewing as this one turned out too "wardrobe malfunction" too big despite my "clear elastic sewn into the waistband trick" that has NEVER failed me before. I look glum in this photos as I hadn't figured out how to fix this.

I thought I could shrink my waistband back into submission so into a hot wash and dyer this very expensive fabric went. This did shrink the length, but not in width. FARK!  Why are the sewing Gods so against me? So, I unpicked the waistband from the skirt and let it sit in the "very naughty corner" for a week or two. I'm not a fan of short skirts so I drafted a thicker waistband which in theory would work, but I decided to use proper, wider elastic in the waistband, not my usual clear elastic, which left everything too bulky. Back to the naughty corner...

So in the end I ended up making the waistband from some thick black elastic that I have. I was paranoid about it being a) too loose or b) too tight - always my fear with elastic waistbands.  Sewing in stressful. It worked; no trouble attaching the elastic with my overlocker (blade up so the elastic didn't get cut) BUT I did manage to melt my elastic a bit with the iron as I doing my final press so it's lost a bit of its elasticity. couldn't make this sh!t up if you tried.

So in the end I have a skirt from some lovely fabric, but not without a lot of stress and worry. I will wear it (as the fabric goes so well with my lovely new red clogs) but I'll always feel anxious about it when I wear it as I know it's not perfect, and that the elastic is kinda disintegrating thanks to my ironing it.

In typical "Melanie fashion" though as soon as things went belly up with this I hopped online and found some of this fabric still available for sale at a store in I bought 1.1m and I will make another of these when this one carks it. I'm calling in my "safety stash".

Pattern: "Mabel Skirt" by Colette Patterns
Size: XL, sewn with 3/8" seam allowance and lengthened by 15cm (and then shrunk in the wash/dryer)
Modifications: elastic waistband
Fabric: Ponti (again) from Tessuti (again)
Changes for next time: I will probably use this elastic waistband method again, it's less fiddly than what I have been doing, quicker and the elastic is pretty comfortable. Will continue to lengthen by 15cm.

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