Gable Dress and Gable Top: All Cables and Dazzles

Today I have both a Gable Top and a Gable Dress, from the wonderful Jennifer Lauren, to share with you. I sewed the Gable Top first, as a bit of an experiment. And as for the pièce de résistance Gable Dress, this has turned out to be rather special to me, as it uses a much loved fabric that I’d spent months and months chickening out from actually cutting!

Let’s kick things off with the Gable Top.

The Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren in a cabled ponte knit
The stitching at the neckline is only so visible because I couldn’t be bothered buying new thread and used the not-at-all close closest match I had at home…

Beck of Grey Gables

If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare, you can sew yourself a Gable Top. Really. I kid you not.

Yet again, Jennifer Lauren Handmade has impressed the hell out of me with the Gable Top. Her knack for a great fit gets me every time (you can see my other Jennifer Lauren makes here and here)!

This Gable Top is just so snug and warm and comfy. I love how the little details are just right. The length is spot-on for creating a nice elongated look when wearing it tucked out. But it still has a close enough fit that it can be easily tucked in.

Hello Gable Top, I think I have a new favourite basic!

Cable time

This Gable Top is made out of a textured cable ponte knit. I love cable knit sweaters with a passion. They have pretty much been my cool-weather staple since I was a teenager. So when I saw that it was possible to buy ponte di Roma embossed to look like cables, I thought it could be a great opportunity to widen the scope of my cable love.

I picked this up at an itinerant fabric market which travels around the Netherlands (Stoffenbeurs). If you like the fabric, but don’t happen to be in the Netherlands, I have seen something which looks like it’s the same on the Sewalicious website.

3 magic pieces = 1 quick sew

This top is literally just three pattern pieces: front, back and sleeves. It doesn’t get any simpler. Mine is a size 10, but with grading to size 12 at the waist.

No exaggeration, this Gable Top is actually the fastest thing I have ever sewn. It’s the slash neck that makes all the difference. Usually even with a simple knit top, there will be a neckband or some kind of neckline that will be slightly more fiddly. A slash neckline, however, is basically just sewing a straight line. This top really is just a few straight lines and you’re done.

Yet, it just feels so simultaneously cosy and classy that I can’t get enough.

The Gable top by Jennifer Lauren in a cable ponte knit

The little Gable Top details

Even with such a simple make, I still adored the attention to detail in Jennifer Lauren’s pattern and instructions. As usual.

For example, even though it’s a knit pattern she called for the finishing of seam allowances. I do highly appreciate her commitment to a high quality finish even if, personally, I am generally too lazy to finish seams in a knit!

Another exceptional little detail was the tip to sew a small ribbon into the back neckline of your Gable Top to make it easy to tell the front from the back. It is actually a bit of a challenge to tell them apart otherwise!

I also really appreciated the fact that the hem and the sleeves of the Gable Top are finished with just a  short 1cm length hem. One of my little pet peeves is when patterns for knit garments include a long hem. A short hem is less paper wastage. Less fabric wastage. Less room for error. All good things!

This pattern did get me to wondering why so many knit tops instruct you to finish the sleeve hem after you have sewn the sleeve and side seam (i.e. “in the round”). I pretty much always ignore this instruction and hem sleeves while the sleeves are still flat. I understand that it may look slightly neater hemmed in the round and that it can be useful if you aren’t sure about the length and want to try on first. But apart from this situation, I just find it about a million times easier to “cheat” by hemming sleeves flat whenever possible. That’s my cheat and I’m going to stick to it.

The Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren in a cabled ponte knit

Oh and did I mention that there is also a Gable dress?

The only reason I actually have the Gable Top pattern is that it was part of the Gable bundle which I actually bought with my eyes on the Gable Dress.

And, speaking of the Gable Dress, here she is:

A Gable Dress, made using the Gable expansion pack from Jennifer Lauren, made out of Atelier Brunette French Terry

This one was a last minute sew at the end of 2017. This Gable Dress made it to instant classic status after I decided to wear it for both Christmas Day and New Years as I found it so cosy, yet classy that I couldn’t take it off!

The Gable Dress Expansion Pack

The Gable Dress expansion provides new bodice pieces, in addition to the skirt piece. The skirt includes two options: gathered skirt or pleats (as in my version). You then combine these pieces with the original sleeve options from the Gable Top.

After taking my measurements for the Gable Dress, I sized up from my Gable Top, making this one in 12 but with grading out to 14 at the waist. So, either I’ve been bulking up for the winter since I sewed my Gable top or it’s worth checking your measurements as the new bodice pieces for the Gable dress may fit slightly different. (Who am I kidding, it is definitely most likely that I’ve been bulking up for winter…)

I am a bit of a knit dress aficionado and I have to say that I really like this one. In addition to the slash neck looking very dignified (IMHO), my favourite thing is the pleated skirt. I feel that the overall shape is flattering and almost a little architectural. It looks much more ‘put together’ than similar patterns, such as Colette Moneta.

A Gable Dress, made using the Gable expansion pack from Jennifer Lauren, made out of Atelier Brunette French Terry

And some Atelier Brunette goodness

The fabric for my Gable Dress is the divine Dazzle Night French Terry from Atelier Brunette. I do love this super, super soft fabric. But I had been hording it for a while because it’s sooooo expensive for sweatshirting. I really didn’t want to rush into using it.

The colour is described as “midnight blue” and it is actually quite an awkward colour with which to coordinate. Paired with navy tights, it looks black. Paired with black, it starts to appear a little more dark grey/navy. It’s for this reason that I decided to use the coordinating ribbing, also sold by  Atelier Brunette, for the oversized cuffs (another of my favourite features/options of the Gable pattern). I tried to find a link for the ribbing, but it doesn’t seem to be available on Atelier Brunette’s website at the moment.

A Gable Dress, made using the Gable expansion pack from Jennifer Lauren, made out of Atelier Brunette French Terry

The fabric is oh so soft and lovely (which it should be for the price), but it does have a tendency to curl quite a bit. While the fact that I made the cuffed sleeve means this isn’t a problem at  the sleeve, it does bug me  at the hem. I am trying to decide whether to go back in and make a longer hem to try to give it a bit more weight. So maybe my above comment about smaller hems on knits isn’t entirely apt. There may be some curl-prone fabrics for which a longer, more weighty, hem could be preferable.

Some minor modifications and a major idiot moment!

The only very minor adjustments I made to the pattern is that I found the cuffed sleeves on my Gable Dress (as opposed to the regular long sleeve on my Gable Top) to be very long. I ended up shortening the cuffed sleeve by an inch and could have even done so a little more.

Finally, to end with a “what-an-idiot” story, I had a bit of blonde moment sewing the dress. After my experience with the Laneway dress pockets, I knew that I preferred to place the pockets in the side seams, rather than at the waist.

After my bodice was made up, I tried it on and thought “ohh, that’s quite short”. So I decided that I needed to position my pockets about 6 inches from where the bodice top was hitting my waist. Forgetting, of course, to take into account that once the skirt was attached it would pull the bodice down. Ultimately, once attached, my bodice hit my waist about 2 inches lower than it had when I had tried it on as a “cropped sweater”. So, as a result of my silliness, I placed my pockets waaaay to low…

Who knows, maybe “knee pockets” will become a thing one day? Still, they’re good enough to carry a phone and some tissues though, which is really all that matters… And if I wasn’t so lazy, it would be a pretty easy thing to go in and fix…

A Gable Dress, made using the Gable expansion pack from Jennifer Lauren, made out of Atelier Brunette French Terry

 

6 thoughts on “Gable Dress and Gable Top: All Cables and Dazzles

    1. Me too! The dress was the whole reason I bought the pattern – fact that I like the top has just turned out to be a nice bonus! And I tend to sew more dresses than tops in any event!

  1. Both of these are great silhouettes on you! They look very cosy too, but still elegant as you say. I’m totally with you on the glory of fabrics that you can sew but look like you knitted – this is all I want to sew with right now! P.S. deeper hems help prevent them flipping up, especially on lightweight fabrics! My favourite hem depth is 3/4″ (2cm) – not too deep but enough to weigh itself down 👍

    1. Thanks Helen! Yep, I now totally agree that 2cm seems the ideal hem depth for a knit. With the ponte on my top, it wasn’t necessary but the French terry on the dress definitely needs just that bit more hem! You’re spot on – which is exactly why you design sewing patterns for knit fabrics, after all!

      1. Hehe, sewing geek guilty as charged!!! If you wanted to redo your hem (OK, who wants to redo a hem? But if you wanted to weigh it down without losing any length) you could always unpick and then iron on some knit stay tape to weight it, then re-sew? I did this with the crushed velvet Dress of Nightmares that I blogged about last week and of all the sins I can attribute to that dress, a flipping-up hem wasn’t one of them 😉

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