Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Geometric Moss Mini Skirt

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

Today I've got a project to share with you which didn't turn out to be the roaring success that I hoped. It was one of those projects that you are so excited to sew and can't wait to wear but just doesn't quite live up to expectations for one reason or another. I made this towards the start of the summer and envisioned myself wearing it all summer long with simple t-shirts and sandals but in fact it's had hardly any wear at all. Now a couple of months have passed and I've dug it out of my wardrobe to take some pictures fresh eyes have seen that there's actually a lot of good in it though.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

I've had the Grainline Moss Mini Skirt pattern for a while now as I love every version I've seen made up and I'm a big fan of Jen's drafting, instructions and wearable styles. I love my Archer Shirt and Alder Shirtdress. I've always thought that as well as being a practical garment it would also be a great way to showcase a fun fabric. I'm always drawn to bold prints when fabric shopping but have to remind myself that I'm unlikely to wear them as a full dress. The size of the Moss Mini is a great way to add a splash of something bold and be able to tone it down with a simple t-shirt. The print I ended up using is actual fairly discrete though as you can see! It took a while though for a print I liked to come along on the right weight of fabric for this style of garment. This geometric printed stretch cotton from Mood Fabrics instantly caught my eye on the new arrivals page of the site. I loved the modern print and the monochrome simplicity of it. I could see it slotting into my existing wardrobe really well.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

My main problem with this project stemmed from the fabric. It's beautiful, with a subtle satin finish similar to other cotton sateens I've used before and is the perfect weight and thickness for this kind of garment. However it's stretch content is fairly high and the recovery pretty poor. I was hopeful that the stretch in it would make the skirt even more practical and comfortable to wear when dashing around London for work but it loses it's shape really quickly. Using the pockets makes that worse. I also had problems with it stretching out during the sewing process. As you can see from the side on photo the hem has lost it's shape and now kind of flares out. The snug shape of the Moss is one of the things that I really like about it so that's a real shame. I probably should have thought about it before sewing and tried to combat the stretching by stabilising that edge or perhaps using a walking foot but I've never encountered the problem to this extent before. I've tried giving it a good steam but it doesn't want to bounce back. In general I just feel like the fabric has a bit too much give in it for this design too, I think I'd like it more in a stiffer and more stable cotton twill or drill.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

Anyway on to the good. The pattern itself is an absolute winner. The details don't show up fantastically in this print but it's got classic slanted front pockets, fly and back yoke. I love how professional and RTW looking the insides end up looking if you follow Jen's method of construction. I overlocked all the seam allowances inside in black as I like the contrast against the plain white wrong side and also because it tied in well with the black thread I was using for construction. Because of the percentage of elastane in the fabric I had to fiddle around a bit with what needle to use. I was getting a few skipped stitches at first but just putting in a fresh needle and going down a couple of sizes did the trick. I wanted to include topstitching along all the seams as I felt that suited the style of the design. I considered going for white as I thought it would tie in well with the print but as it was my first fly front I chickened out and went with black as I thought that would help hide any mistakes!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

I was very nervous about constructing my first fly. I found the process very confusing and didn't particularly enjoy it but I am really, really pleased with how it turned out. It definitely tested my patience but I'm glad I made myself take each step slowly as I know the result wouldn't have been as good if I had just pushed on through. I've got a pair of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans cut out and have heard good things about the fly instructions for those so hopefully that will help me get my head around how a fly works rather than just blindly following the steps and I can perfect my technique. My attempt at a bar tack was pretty much a disaster because of the stretch in the fabric. It just pulled everything out of shape so I ripped it back out and gave the the fly a good steam to get it to lay flat again.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

I cut the size 4 as I usually do with Grainline patterns and I'm pretty happy with the fit. As you can see it sits more on the hip than the waist and I like this for this style of skirt. I needed just 80cm of my 120cm wide fabric and used up some scraps of black lawn for my pocket linings. A great project if you're trying to use up a bit of your stash! I'd seen a lot of reviews about it coming up very short and design wise I didn't want to make the version with the added band on the hem so I added 2" at the lengthen/shorten here line, despite being fairly petite. My job is pretty hands on and I wanted to be able to wear this bare legged to work and not feel conscious about flashing my bum every time I needed to pick something up or pin a hem in a fitting. Once I'd sewn it up I actually ended up taking 1" back off though and used 1" for the hem.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

I'm definitely going to give this pattern another whirl in a fabric without stretch. I've got my eyes peeled for a bolder print this time...maybe something along the lines of Lindsay's floral print as I absolutely love her version. I also think a denim version would be a wardrobe staple that I'd wear for years to come. What do you do with a project that turns out differently to how you expected? Do you ever find that a disappointing finished garment actual grows on you if revisited a couple of months after making it?

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Geometric Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Stretch Cotton from Mood Fabrics

20 comments:

  1. I really love the style of the skirt. Not sure how that one passed me by! What a shame about the fabric though. It doesn't look that bad in the photos but I know that feeling when you personally feel disgruntled with something. And after all that work to make it looks so beautiful on the inside too!! xxx

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    1. Thanks Janene, I'm definitely proud enough of that fly to wear it anyway! But it does irritate me that it's not quite perfect. Looking forward to using the pattern again anyway!

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  2. Such a shame about the material because it is a gorgeous skirt. I would like a denim version but I would need it to sit higher on the waist and would need even more length! Good luck with the ginger jeans I finished mine about a month ago and was really pleased..

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    1. It is super easy to lengthen at least Mags! I like it enough to wear it anyway when I'm not going to do too much moving around!
      Glad to hear another good report on the Gingers, I just need to find a good amount of sewing time to get stuck into them now!

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  3. That is a shame, a lovely skirt and a great print, but you can see you're running about a lot and why the hem has stretched out. I've had a few of these issues, things stretching out after sewing, and while some have grown on me and only get worn once before washing, others have been sacrificed to the present-for-a-small-person clothing stash.

    Good luck with the Ginger jeans, they are fantastic and the fly turns out beautifully, really clear instructions and a great result. I've just made my first pair, which are in heavy rotation, and have a second cut out. I'd recommend following Heather's instructions for making a pocket stay whichever waistline you choose. I made the low rise versions without the stay (the high rise comes with a stay as the pattern piece) and have drafted a stay for my second low-rise version, as I'm not such a fan of high rise (I'm also bending over all day) to avoid the great pocket untangling.

    By the way - Fabric Godmother has some lovely floral needlecord at the moment that might make a good repeat of this skirt. I am in love with this one http://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/clara-needlecord-blue/ but am on a fabric-buying ban until I deal with some of the stash, which is currently threatening takeover...

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    1. Thank you for your lovely thoughtful comment Liz! That needlecord sounds lush, and I agree perfect for this pattern!
      Glad to hear your good thoughts on the ginger jeans, I am planning to use the pocket stay yes, it sounds like a great feature! Just need to get my machine to like the top stitching thread now!

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  4. Ooh great to hear what you think of the pattern - I'm keen to try it out now.

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    1. It's definitely worth a try! A nice challenge if your looking to try a few new techniques and details and something which will be wearable for years to come

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  5. it's a shame you had such a hard time with this fabric! I've had my eye on this pattern for a while, might have to invest. even though it didn't turn out exactly how you wanted it still looks great from here!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! There is lots that I am happy about, it just bothers me about that hem!
      I think this would be a great pattern for you, do give it a try!

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  6. It looks a great little skirt, such a shame about the stretch/lack of recovery.

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    1. Thanks Tamsin, I am disappointed as it is such a wearable item but I can't help being bothered by the hem! Still I learnt lots from making it and might wear it anyway!

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  7. It really is cute, and so wearable! Thanks for including info on how you chose your needle--that's a detail I'm still figuring out.

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    1. If I have problems with needles I usually just try out some different ones until something works! Sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it! In general though you want finer sharper needles for more delicate fabrics and ballpoints for stretch!

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  8. Too bad the fabric stretched out - it's such a great print! It still definitely looks wearable to me, although I know sometimes my frustrations with a project ending up clouding my view of it after it's finished. It's definitely a great pattern for adding something a bit more bold to your wardrobe! My next one will just be in classic denim, but I'm sure there's many more to come!

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    1. Ah looking forward to seeing that Lindsay! I'm thinking about a denim one too with some classic gold top stitching! But have so many other ideas in my head too. What with this pattern and the Vogue 1247 I've just discovered it looks like I'll be wearing a lot of skirts!

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  9. The style suits you, pity about the fabric:(. Personally I hate stretch wovens - I've had problems with sewing them man y a time. I find the best trick for a sewing machine is to use a universal needle, which is supposed to be used with both wovens and knits. But still, the recovery is something that is so hard to test properly before making up that it can often be an unpleasant surprise:(.
    Your finish inside is amazing. Totally looks like high end RTW.

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    1. Thank you Francesca! I have to say that inside finish all comes from the pattern instructions and construction method, it's great!
      It was a bit of a nasty surprise as I absolutely loved the fabric to begin with and was sure it was perfect for this skirt. Never mind! Lesson learned!

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  10. I think your skirt is totally wearable. I guess it's up to you how comfortable you are. You could always refashion it if you have extra fabric and add a flounce at the bottom, a drop waist flounce skirt if you will, they seem to be on trend at the moment.

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    1. I haven't got any of the fabric left now unfortunately but I have actually worn it a couple of times! I feel like the hem is one of those issues that if I didn't sew or anyone looking at me didn't sew they wouldn't really notice, it's just because I've got so picky now I know how things should be. It's so hard to shop now because any tiny little fault sticks out!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!