Colette

A simple white Mabel (and we’re starting the Mabel Sewalong! Join up!)

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This is me, going to the grocery store.

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La la la. I’m buying bananas and tempeh.

I now have four different Mabels. I’ve been making so many, it’s been hard to keep up with showing them off here on the blog.

The black mini Mabel is the one that gets the most wear, since it goes with anything. I throw it on with a cute top and it’s an insta-outfit, perfect for a lazy dresser like me.

Then there’s the camel mini, which goes great with sweaters when it’s a little cool. Camel is instant chic to me, which is why I wear it all the time.

There’s a striped reversible mini that I can’t wait to show you. Reversible!

And then there’s this white pencil skirt.

White is my frenemy

White is one of my favorite colors to wear, but I find it can be a little tricky to pull off. In Winter, it completely washes me out, so I try to keep it away from my face and go for creams and off-whites instead.

But in the spring and summer, once I start getting that slight color in my face and legs, white becomes my friend again. I guess you could call white a fair weather friend. Literally. Or a frenemy.

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Even though it’s neutral, a pure bright white draws a lot of attention. Most of the time, I’ll tone it down by adding other colors, but sometimes it’s fun to play it up (like the sexy white Sewaholic Lonsdale dress I’m hoping to show you once I get a chance to actually wear it).

And I know the white looks weirdly taupe-ish here. There’s another thing about white. It’s a pain to photograph.

Better than sweat pants

Kenn snapped these photos on a run to the grocery store. A Mabel is a nice alternative to wearing yoga or sweat pants, right? Yet, miraculously, just as comfortable. That’s why I have so many, I can throw it on and feel like I’m in my pajamas without looking like I’ve given up. The magic of knits!

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To keep it comfy, I’m also wearing an Everlane Ryan pocket tee. I really like Everlane’s silk blouses, but I admit that I’m a little on the fence about this t-shirt. It’s nice and drapey and soft, and I like the fit, though I think I probably should have bought a smaller size. But the fabric is pilling rather quickly.

Make your Mabel with me!

If you haven’t dipped your toe into making the Mabel yet, now’s the perfect opportunity!

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Tomorrow, we’re starting the Mabel Express Sewalong over at sewalongs.com. I will be teaching this sewalong myself. As usual, we’ll start with an introduction (today) and a discussion of fabric and supplies (tomorrow).

Then, I’ll give you some time to get your fabric, and on June 2, we’ll do the actual sewing. Because Mabel is such a quick and easy sew, we’re going to run through all three versions in just one week!

You can read through each post as they’re published throughout the week, then get sewing over the weekend.

I’ll also be announcing a fun sewing contest next week that involves making your own knit-themed vacation wardrobe with Mabel and Moneta, so stay tuned for details on that! I think you’ll fine that once you’ve made Mabel once, you can pop out a bunch of them in no time at all.

We’ll also be announcing the next sewalong for Moneta on June 2. So the Mabel sewing will start that week, and we’ll start preparing for sewing the Moneta too.

If you want to sew Mabel with me, pop over to sewalongs.com and join!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 23

Kat coutureacademic.com

Ya know, you look great! I must say I really do feel a bit better when I make an effort – even to go to the grocery store. But, I also like being comfortable and don’t like to put in too much of a fuss to look put together. But that skirt just does it all!

Katie R

I finished my first Mabel over the weekend. Pink-black-white houndstooth fabric–snazzy! I wore it to work on Monday and received several compliments. Very comfortable too. I can’t wait to get a picture of it. I’m looking forward to making more.

Ooooh, a reversible. I’ll be joining the sew-along for sure.

I love white as well, but I’m cursed–always spilling something on it.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Yeah, white is a harsh mistress. I always fear sitting on something dirty.

Katie H

I love your shoes! What are they??

Juliana

Hi, Sarai!
You look lovely, really.
I’ve already read the book cover to cover, got my fabrics for mabels and monetas and still am somewhat afraid of knits and such- it’s silly, I know! I am glad you are putting up this sewalong, THANKS! But maybe I will swallow my fears and give it a try before. oh dear, june is so far away :)
But I actually write to ask if you would consider making a pattern for a jacket (I am not sure you would call it a jacket, I am not a native english speaker. maybe it is a pullover?) similar to what you are wearing in these photos. looks sooo nice, and I always look for something like this in RTW.
Now we are all diving into knit-world, would be interesting to give this a try.

thank you, as always, for inspiring words and thoughts

Sarai colettepatterns.com

We’ve had a few requests for cardigans lately! I’d love to do one at some point.

kc theactofmaking.tumblr.com

Sewn cardigans would be so amazing! I knit a lot of cardigans for the colder months, but being able to make a cardi in a tissue or fine-gauge knit for summer would fill a huge hole in my wardrobe. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Crystine

Yay for sew alongs! I’m sad to hear that the Ryan tee pills quickly. It is literally in my shopping basket at Everlane:( have you tried the other cotton knit tees? I am thinking about the U-neck to pair with my freshly sewn mocha and gray stripe mabel.

Also, I’d love to see some sourcing suggestions for Mabel and Moneta fabrics!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It’s a bummer that it pills, but maybe I got a bad one or it’s my detergent or something? I’d be willing to give it another shot, because I do like the t-shirt and wear it a lot.

Catherine from Canada

I need to make another Mabel – I’ve made one, love the fit, but I made it in a very dense ponte knit that feels almost like neophrene and well, darn, it’s just too va-voom for work.
I hope a softer ponte has a slightly looser drape and fit. Would that be the case?
Thanks!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Yes, the fabric and it’s stretch and reovery will definitely influence the way it clings!

Libby

Oh, brilliant! Perfect timing in fact, as I’ve literally just planned out some summer sewing and it’s pretty knit-centric. I always feel far too messy to wear anything white or taupe or camel or even light grey without trashing it, but you look so great, I’m tempted to try it.

Tiffany tiffanysnotionsandknits.blogspot.ca

White is my frienemy, as well (for the same reasons) – something I learned thanks to the Wardrobe Architect series (thank you!).

Jennifer in KS

I’m with you on the Everlane t-shirt issue. I too should have ordered a size smaller due to the drape. Pilling is not an issue for me yet – but even at the reasonable price I’m not satisfied with the construction – the cut is WAY off-grain, even for lightweight knit. It is very soft, though.
Cute skirt!

meredith

White is totally my enemy — I am way too messy for it! If I put on anything white, I immediately get tomato sauce on it somehow. (I feel like it happens even when I’m not even eating tomato sauce!) But it looks super chic, and I like the classic white + black palette very much! I’ve also made 4 Mabels at this point (none of them white, or even cream, haha) and I wear them literally everywhere. I love getting compliments on an outfit that feels like loungewear, so thank you for this brilliant addition to my wardrobe!

cyngehin@gmail.com

If it’s white, not for long on me. Terrible about spillage on anything white.

Emily dressingtherole.wordpress.com

Can’t wait to see the reversible version!! I have a double knit with an awesome “wrong side” that I would love to turn into a reversible Mabel – will you be including a tutorial?

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I can’t remember if I took photos, but if I did I’ll create a tutorial! If not, I’ll still talk about how I did it. :)

Hryssoula

Better than sweat pants? A great understatement! Your stule is both lovely and comfortable, easy to make and very cool for the hot weather! And so feminine at the same time.

It also has a bit of black and white chanel vibe, or nautical air to it. Very inspiring.

Rena

I was totally afraid of knits but decided to forge ahead and make the skirt before leaving for a trip to Europe later this week. I don’t have any comfortable skirts so after hearing the raves about the pattern decided to dive in. Finished it in one evening/morning – the hardest part was figuring out how to do the twin needle hem on my sewing machine as there are no specific instructions for my sewing machine. I love the outcome – totally fits, drapes nicely and was definitely OK for a pretty novice sewer (like me). Already had requests from my mother, daughter and friend for one. I used Ponte di Roma heavy jersey knit from my local fabric land and it worked great.

Hilary

I LOVE your purse/satchel. Please tell me you recently found it and it’s not vintage from the 60’s. Thanks, Hilary

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It’s vintage Coach, probably from the 80s or 90s. You can find them on ebay!

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