Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Geometric Moss Mini Skirt
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?