I think all of us have that one (or a few) garment(s) in our wardrobe, that we are practically in love with. For me, it’s a simple washed grey denim skirt. I’ve had it for 6 (six!!) years now, and it has been worn all four seasons, with boots or heels, dressed up with a lace top or dressed down with a simple jersey tee or sweater. It has been my true friend through my weight-gaining time, took me through going from size M to an almost XL (yes, I experienced just that in the past 6 years. No reason, apparently).
Last year I noticed that, unfortunately, it had become a bit too small, and began riding up. It’s not always a problem, unless there are a lot of people staring at you, and you can’t just pull it down, so it’s so indecently short for what I usually wear nowadays.
So I started looking for a new one, all over the stores. Yes, I did find denim skirts. But they were either too fitted, or too short, or the waist is very low. My search had no success. Then, last summer, came the Grainline Moss skirt. It’s 99% MY denim skirt!!! I bought it, and bought the fabric for it last July. Life interfered, and all this time I had the pattern printed and the fabric all washed and ready, all waiting for me in my sewing stash.
Lately, after a series of pattern testing , I felt the need to sew something for myself. Not that the garments I tested were useless, on the contrary. I just felt the need of closing myself into my room, with some chocolate and some good music, and dedicate some time to sewing this skirt.
The skirt as it is, in View A, it’s REALLY a mini skirt, so I legthened the pattern by 10 cm (4″) at the line on the pattern, and also kept the length of the largest size.
The pattern is rated as Intermediate, and I totally agree. I rate myself as an adventurous beginner at the moment (I do know a few tips and tricks, but still have loads to learn). I had problems with understanding the instructions, as they are aimed to a more advanced sewer than I am. I had some difficulties inserting the fly front – it’s a totally different method from the one on my Burda jeans. I also had to scratch my head a few times at different parts of the instructions, pick up my denim skirt, and look at it as an example. It was really helpful.
The differences between the two skirts are not many: mine has back pockets (which I will add in a future copy), back kick pleat (will ad that one, too), a different method for the front fly, and belt carriers, which I totally copied and added to this version.
I did make some changes to the original pattern: I didn’t understitch the pocket lining and the waistband, because I then topstitched them, as in my old skirt. I also topstitched front and back, and lateral seams, with a twin needle. I used normal black thread, because I didn’t have the proper thread on hand. And, as my Burda jeans are made from the same fabric, and it has stretched very much, I also took the time to fuse strips of lightweight interfacing on the lateral and front and back seams.
I am very puzzled by the Moss skirt sizing. As per sizing chart, I’d be a 14 (perfect match in the hips, but I’m slightly wider at the waist). So I cut a 14 everywhere, suspecting I’d have to deal with a small waist, but my fabric is a stretch denim, so I didn’t worry. After sewing everything but the waistband, I put it on and… it was large. I mean, really large, especially at the waist – it would fall if I didn’t hold it!!. No, I didn’t do something wrong! I measured the skirt with my pattern, and it hadn’t stretched! And it printed good – the test square is perfect. And I did cut a size 14! Mystery… I took it in at the side seams for almost one whole inch (2,5cm) on each side! And other 2 cm (almost 1″) at the center back. Much better.
Another puzzle was the waistband. If I took in a total of almost 3″ (7 cm), it should have been that longer than the skirt, right? No. Totally wrong. I shortened it at the centre back notch by the same amount I had shortened the skirt at the same point, then started pinning it to the skirt from there. I also matched the front notch where instructed. And I didn’t have 2″ (5 cm) to shorten at the side seams, as suspected. I only had about 1/4″ (0,5cm) surplus, so shortened it at one side only. Imagine that: pinning a waistband, not knowing where and how much I was supposed to shorten it again (talking about dedication to make a skirt work! 😉 ).
Anyway, although I did put a lot of work in finishing well this skirt, either on the inside and outside, I was aware this was a (hopefully) wearable muslin. New pattern, new designer, new techniques. I consider it part of the learning curve, and for me it is very wearable – until I make the next one, at least!
Oh, and let me share two last pics with you: the “location” of this short photo-shoot (in the country-side, where we went to feed our chickens and dog),
and my dear and patient photographer 😀
Note: 1. I have sewn the skirt and written this post back in March, and since then, Jen has come with an errata on pattern placement on fabric, so I’m going to try that method on my next skirt. Fabric is on the cutting table already.
2. The fabric has stretched out of shape a bit, with all the wearing (I still wear it at least twice a week), so in these pictures you see how it is now, but not right after I made it (a mix of lack of time and of a photographer, and a not-so-good point-and-shoot camera kept me from taking proper pictures right away).
How about you, have you tried this skirt?