I have become a sucker for mommy and me sewing and am excited to get to share today's project with you. A year or two ago I posted in a few PDF Pattern groups on Facebook asking for pattern recommendations for a top with a drop waist with a ruffle detail at the bottom. I posted a photo of my daughter wearing a store-bought one, and I wanted to replicate it for me and her. I didn't get much response, but I did try the top that was recommended to me. I liked it, but my heart was not quite satisfied so I have been waiting for a pattern designer to come out with a pattern like I initially envisioned.
Well, Jessica from 5 out of 4 Patterns did, and I went a little crazy and made four!! I made one for my 7 year old, two for the baby, and one for myself. I think I need a dozen more now! I feel like every fabric in my stash may become a Mabel.
The Mabel Tunic has the perfect high low hem that curves in the front and dips in the back. As the name suggests, the Mabel Ruffle and Cowl Tunic, features OPTIONAL ruffles and cowls. You could make a plain tunic without either from this pattern, but that is no fun. I still have not made the cowl version because I couldn't quite squeeze a top for myself and daughter out of 2 yards if I made cowls. My next top will have the cowl. Other options: short, 3/4, or long sleeves.
How to Work this Tunic
I made a size Small and graded my waist to a XS and then graded back out for my hips to a Small. I also removed 1 inch of length to get the ruffle to start at the right place on me. I think there are two big keys to liking this tunic on you: (a) grade for every measurement that you need to. If your waist or hips fall in another size, make sure to grade for each because you need the ruffle to be swingy and not clingy, and (b) remove or add length to get the ruffle to not get stuck under your butt. You need the ruffle on the front to hit around your belly button or a little over it, and you need the ruffle in the back to hit around your upper butt area. Do you see where the tunic lands on my back? That is what you need!
I made two Mabel Tunics for my baby and cannot get over the cuteness. I made one in her measured size of 6-9 months with length added (the blue floral tunic) and a second one in the next size up (the striped rayon spandex tunic) so that she can have one to fit her a bit longer. Babies grow so fast so I want to be ready for the next growth spurt. The baby version does not include the cowl (because it might not be safe for a baby).
I find that with babies I usually grab onesies first when getting her dressed because they don't show tummy when she is held a bunch. I also don't gravitate towards her dresses for everyday wear because she is a crawling ninja at the moment and needs all the mobility she can get to explore. BUT, and a big but! I love a girl in dresses. I love the ruffles and the pink. It is the fun part of having girls. So, let me tell you, this tunic is the perfect compromise!
I absolutely LOVE the length of this tunic on her. She gets the frills of a dress, but can move all over the place. The tunic is longer than a top so her tummy stays covered when she is picked up so it is just as good as a onesie (maybe better because I don't have to snap it back after diaper changes!!). Let me tell you, this girl gets picked up all the time and tries to escape diaper changes so I feel like a total winner.
Big Girl Approved
My 7 year old (who turns 8 in 2 weeks) loves bows and dresses and frills, and she loves her new Mabel tunic. I absolutely love it when I can make her something that satisfies her girly nature and is practical at the same time. You have no idea how many arguments we have had over appropriate dress in the winter. She wants to wear all the dresses and frills and is ok to freeze while doing it. Well, this winter, I am coming prepared with tops that she can wear with her jeggings. She is happy because she feels pretty, and I am happy that she is dressed for the right season.
She is the biggest help with her sister. In fact, she is playing with her right now while I write this all out!
I made my top and my 7 year old's top out of double brushed poly from Knitpop. I played a bit of fabric tetris with it and got 2 long sleeve tops (both with a ruffle) and a pair of baby pants out of out of just 2 yards of fabric! Woohoo!
- Pattern: Women's Mabel Ruffle and Cowl Tunic by 5 out of 4 Patterns and Girls Mabel Ruffle and Cowl Tunic by 5 out of 4. If you purchase both, you can use a coupon for $2 off!
- Mustard floral double brushed poly fabric on my top and my oldest daughters was bought from Knitpop. You can find it here.
- Striped fabric for the baby's 9-12 month top is rayon spandex from Sincerely Rylee. I got it in a scrap box from Black Friday last year. Those are SUPER cheap and come packed.
- The Blue and Pink Floral for the baby's 6-9 month top is a jersey from Wherehouse Fabrics Dallas.
- Pattern for Baby Pants: Juniper Joggers by Striped Swallow.
- Baby's Headband: a strip of scrap fabric that was 3x30 inches, sewn right sides together on the length of the fabric, turned right side out through a 2 inch hole, and tied in a bow on her head!
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Disclosures: I received this pattern for free as part of the testing process to give the designer feedback about the instructions and fit of the pattern. This post also may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.
Here are all the photos that I just loved so much. It is so hard to pick favorites of photos of your kids!! Getting all 3 of us in one photo was challenging, but I got a few that at least one of us was cooperating for.