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.
Beck of Grey Gables
If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare, you can sew yourself a Gable Top. Really. I kid you not.
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!
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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…