Double Knit Driftless Cardigan with Mabel Hack

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I made this Grainline Studio Driftless Cardigan many many months ago – actually in April of 2016… whoops? The day after I finished this thing I left for a work trip to the Netherlands and I brought it with me. I wore it every single day for a two week period while traveling/ working in the Netherlands. Since then its been in my regular rotation.

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I got this double cloth knit wool fabric online from Mood. I saw this fabric and had to have it so I ordered it without knowing what I wanted to do with it. Two days later Grainline Studio released their Driftless cardigan and it was just meant to be.

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I made my usual adjustments of grading out since my hips are generally a larger size than the rest of me. However, I was feeling lazy and ended up grading completely above the seamline for the pockets, so the angle is a little harsher than I think it was intended. I’ve though about just serging along the side seams to make it a more natural curve but I actually really like it as is now so I’m not going to do that.

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I sort of thought about putting buttons on it for a while but I haven’t yet and I’ve been loving it so far and its been almost a year so who am I kidding??? Buttons aren’t going to happen ever. I might make another version of this with buttons in the future… I think I also might check the finished measurements to see if grading out is necessary or if there is enough ease built in to the pattern that I could use a straight size. Even though I love this cardigan the angle might not be as fun with a less structured fabric.

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I’m wearing the driftless cardigan with my first make of 2017 – a hacked mabel! One of my favorite skirts is a knit skirt that I got while I was in college but it has seen better days. It’s a little faded and the zipper in the back doesn’t lay flat so I wanted to see if I could make my own version. I used the Colette Mabel skirt as a starting point. I made a black and white striped mabel before and it is a great starting point since it is such a good basic skirt pattern. The fabric is a pointe from the imagine gnats shop.

I started by adding some curve to the back waistband since I have a sway back. I added pleats to the front piece. I actually just slashed from the top to the hemline and spread- so I didn’t add any width at the bottom of the skirt.

AND THEN I ALSO ADDED POCKETS!

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This is so comfy and I love how it came out! I think next time I do want to add a bit of width to the bottom so it doesn’t have so much of a weird pouch and lays flatter. Here is the pouch in its full glory:

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Striped Mabel

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One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how to use leftover fabric. I’ve been looking for patterns that are perfect for using up fabric but also make great wardrobe staples. The mabel skirt from Collette is the perfect pattern for a quick stash buster.

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I used the leftover fabric from my Closet Case Files Nettie Bodysuit. The fabric is a pointe knit. Its super squishy and thick enough for a skirt.

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The skirt ended up bing a pretty quick make – it came together in a couple of hours. Overall this is an easy pattern to incorporate in to any wardrobe and super comfortable so I’ll definitely be making more.

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Plum Wool Wren

I wear a dress at least once a week. It is super fun during the summer but I don’t have a lot of winter dresses. I thought the Wren dress from Colette with long sleeves would be the perfect winter dress.

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I also wanted to make it out of wool knit fabric for extra warmth.  I ordered the fabric from mood. When I got it the first thing that stood out was the weight. This fabric was SO HEAVY as one continuous piece of fabric. I love the color and the fabric is not too itchy.

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I wanted to do the gathered skirt version since I didn’t think the gored skirt version would be super flattering. Because my fabric is so heavy I took out a total of eight inches of fullness from the skirt. I also shortened the skirt by two inches. Since the fabric is bulky I wouldn’t have been able to gather it as much as with a thinner fabric. I also should have removed some of the bulk from the gathers on the front neckband but I didn’t.

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When I finished the dress and tried it on there were definite issues. The seam at the waistline was very wobbly and at the back it stuck way out. I ended up cutting the skirt from the bodice and trying again. I wrapped the bodice a little tighter so there was less fabric at the back of the dress. When I reapplied the elastic I was very careful to have consistent tension throughout and as a result the gathers are more consistent. Here are some photos where you can see some of the issues with the dress:

There was a noticeable improvement after I made those changes but there is was still some extra fabric at the back bodice. I ended up taking the dress in at the side seams 1 inch at each side for 4 inches of less fabric all around. This helped to straighten out the waist seam significantly. I probably could take it in an additional inch or two to really pull the waist in closer to my body.

 

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There have been a couple other people mention issues with the gathered skirt version feeling “maternity” which I can definitely see. I think this is partially to do with the height/placement of the gathers. I’ve seen some really great Wrens with the gored skirt and in a thinner fabric so I may try this pattern again at some point in the future.

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