Hi, everyone!  Emily from MM here.  It's time for another installment of Mabel Madison Monday!  True confession time:  I wasn't so sure that these character prints were such a great idea.  I mean, Mabel Madison stocks high-quality Euro imports, right?  And the character knits I've seen in certain large chain stores aren't exactly soft and cuddly, or very nice feeling altogether.  I had some serious doubts.  But they're so much FUN!  So I took a chance and placed an order.

Much to my surprise, these knits are quite smooth and soft.  They're 96% cotton, 4% lycra (spandex), and that high cotton content, together with the finishing on the material, makes for a very decent fabric at a very decent price.  Just to make sure, I sent some of it to Roxanne at PenSeb&Rox to test out and tell us all what she thought.  Roxanne is the Mabel Madison Monday guest blogger of the week:



Hello! I'm Roxanne, the "Rox" in PenSeb&Rox. Recently, Mabel Madison invited me to try one of their newly in-stock character knits. They sent me TMNT in Training which thrilled Seb to no end since he is a big fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


The character fabric washed up fabulously with minimal shrinkage and no noticeable fading of the colors. Speaking of colors, each Turtle has a specific color assigned to them and I thought it was a good opportunity to add a little extra "geek" to the shirt by adding a contrast trim according to Seb's favorite one. He picked Donatello, who also was my favorite when I was a kid. Good choice!


I'm a big fan of using clips instead of pins when possible. I think they especially shine when working on knit projects such as this one. The clips make quick work of holding things together without stabbing my poor little fingers full of holes and I find the clips hard to forget to remove. Sewing over pins is definitely a bad deal but accidentally SERGING over pins is asking for all sorts of trouble. Don't ask me how I know!


I thought that TMNT in Training was the perfect weight for a shirt or even light layering piece. Since winter is supposedly coming any day now, I wanted the option to layer the shirt over another if needed. I also wanted something comfortable, stylish, and something a little more special than a typical t-shirt. LouBee Clothing's BIMAA Sweater with the shawl collar option was ideal for showcasing the fabric and adding a touch of "geek" with Donatello inspired purple contrast.


The BIMAA Sweater is meant to be slim-fitting, which is perfect for the character knit fabrics from Mabel Madison since they have a good amount of stretch and excellent recovery. I wanted room to grow and layering as an option which is why I went up two sizes width-wise for a looser fit. One thing I've learned since I started sewing knits a few years ago, is that there is no shame in going around measuring existing clothing to get an idea of fit before deciding on pattern sizes. I'm a very visual person so being able to see the fit in action helps me a lot more than telling myself that there would be 2" of ease if I picked size X.


Since knit fabrics often come in wider widths than woven, you often end up with a little extra that can be used for fun mini-projects. I used some of the leftover TMNT in Training to make Seb a pair of socks using the pattern Abby's Trailblazing Socks by The Wolf and The Tree. Both the softness of the jersey and the bit of spandex in the fiber content makes for a comfortable pair of socks. The socks were a huge hit!

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I was very pleased with the character knit fabric I got to try from Mabel Madison. Seb loves his new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed shirt and socks. Even as much as the muddy puddle he tested his ninja jumping skills in!

Wow!  Roxanne, that was amazing! Thank you so much for showing us all how this fun print can be so versatile!

You can find 'TMNT in Training' in our Character Prints section, which also has prints featuring Elsa, Mickey and Minnie, some superheros, and even My Little Pony.  The entire Character Prints section will be discounted $1 per yard through Sunday, January 24 - it's our Fabric of the Week!

Don't forget to join our Facebook group - Mabel Madison Modern Makers - to see the latest new releases, learn about coupon codes, and participate in fun giveaways!

See you next week with another installment of Mabel Madison Monday, when Starly from Sew Starly reveals her very special project with some very special fabric...