Thursday, January 9, 2014

Denim Moss Mini

Wow, what an unimaginative blog post title - sorry, going back to work has made my brain tired. Lucky then that I finished this skirt on Saturday, while I was still on holiday and getting loads of sleep!



Finished up on Saturday morning, worn straight away. I think it goes well with the slouchy yellow top I was already wearing, and hey! I've got coloured shoes to match too!

The skirt is the Moss Mini by Grainline patterns. If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I don't sew many independent patterns*, but this pattern is one that I've been seeing around the internet for a long time (d'oh! the pattern was released a long time ago!) and it's one that looked like it could easily find friends in my wardrobe. I've been wanting a plain denim skirt for YEARS!

* Why don't I sew more independents? Well I know Vogue patterns fit my height and dimensions pretty well 'out of the envelope', but independent pattern makers use different size and height standards depending on their target markets. I don't really have the time to make the kind of hardcore adjustments needed to translate a pattern intended for a short curvacious woman with lovely shoulders to something that would fit me... so even when a Colette pattern looks gorgeous, I'll try to resist. That's the main reason - but I also have a ginormous Vogue pattern archive stash!

Anyway, back to the skirt. Based on just a few of the measurements I'd been using to play around with swimming costume patterns, the Moss Mini size chart put me at a 12 in the waist and a 10 in the hips. As the length looked way too short for me, I also added 11cm to the skirt (that's 4.3"). I cut the skirt, pocket and fly pieces out as a size 12, and left the waistband to cut out once I'd confirmed the size that worked for me - depending on the amount of ease I wanted.



This skirt is probably intended to be worn low and loose on the hips, but I decided I wanted it to be fitted and to sit at my natural waist. My denim jeans always seems to bag out a lot, so I thought it'd be better to go tighter than looser! And so the size 12 proved to be too big. I took the skirt in on side seams to about a size 10 (waist, hips, all the way down), then found some remaining gap-osis in the back so took in a wedge that tapered to nothing at the fullest area of b-um. I think I should have done something more radical to improve the fit in the back, as the lower back skirt has a bit of bagging - I'm guessing because I'm not filling out the skirt as intended.  As the bagging in the back doesn't seem significant I'm pretty happy with the fit, and I think this skirt is going to be an absolute wardrobe staple.

Below are a couple more of the pretty seaside pics that my mother-in-law took for me on Saturday afternoon... I've applied absolutely minimal cropping to all of them and a drop of 'warming' to a couple of them, but seriously, can you believe she did this well with only 6 photos? [I normally take hundreds in burst mode to get a couple that are presentable! Maybe I need to go to the beach more often... ]



Moving right along - let's talk about The Sewing Details.


  • My measurements put me as a 12 in the waist and a 10 in the hips, but the skirt is probably intended to be worn below the waist whereas I'm wearing it on the natural waist.
  • Cut out as a size 12, but sewed it as a size 10 after checking the fit, then removed a wedge from upper centre back, taking care to keep yoke seams and top stitching aligned. This makes for a fitted skirt for me, and I'm currently a small size 12 in Australian RTW. 
  • Only cut the curved waistband once I'd fit the skirt. I then matched centre back of the waistband pattern piece to centre back of the skirt and worked around to the front of the skirt in both directions to determine which size to cut out. I ended up cutting the waistband halfway between a size 8 and a size 10 because the wedge I took out of centre back brought the size down a bit from a 10 at the waist. 
  • Lengthened by 11cm or 4.3". I'm not sure what height this skirt was drafted for, but by lengthening the skirt by 11cm I got an above knee skirt - and I'm about 173cm or 5'8". 



I don't know if you can see this properly in the photo above, but the top stitching was sewn with yellow Gutermann top stitching thread, with stitch length set to about 2.8 - I find this looks much better than the automatic (shorter) stitch length. 

For pocket linings I used a striped quilting cotton that I bought heaps of when I discovered a local fabric shop - and it was having a sale to boot.





I followed the instructions as written, but the colour coding of right and wrong sides of the fabric initially threw me (just different to what I'm used to!), so I ended up with left and right sides mixed up and my fly consequently does up the wrong way around. Since denim jeans and denim skirts tend to have a unisex fly, that means I inserted a female fly when I shouldn't have! Speaking of the fly, I wasn't entirely happy with the Moss Mini methodology... because you sew up to the lowest point of the fly then fold the front skirt back to sew in the zip one side at a time, there's a lot of stress on the lowest point of the fly (around where you can see a bit of a bar tack). Hmm this is perhaps only an issue if you're using a thick fabric that has a lot of cloth to be folded out of the way. If I make this skirt again (and I well might - maybe in a linen next time) I'll investigate fly methodologies - the tutorial here looks brilliant but I haven't tried it.

Overall I found the Moss Mini pattern to be a great little pattern; it's well drafted, and it makes for a classic wardrobe staple. The instructions explain all the steps comprehensively with clear line drawings. Interestingly, despite Jen's evident training and experience, the pricing is a lot gentler than that of many other indy patterns. I'm guessing this has something to do with the pattern only being available as a download? Maybe the relatively more expensive downloadable versions of other patterns are subsiding the production costs of the paper patterns?   

One thing that would be useful on the pattern is an indication of the height of woman the skirt was designed for - is this usually included in indy patterns?  

And finally I've got a comment about the pattern that's just for me!  The pockets have been drafted with some room in them, but next time I'd cut the pocket and skirt pattern pieces without room to keep the front of the skirt flatter. I don't need any extra volume there ;).


Let me finish up with a photo I took, 'borrowing' my mother-in-law's camera as our beach outing came to an end. This is a view across the salt water pool - where we moved when bluebottles turned up in the surf - back towards the beach. I love summer!


See you soon!


- Gabrielle x

30 comments:

  1. Your skirt looks great and it's already working out as a summer staple for you. I hope you had a great break too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maria, i really hope it's going to be a summer staple but should probably suspend judgement till the end of summer as my casual clothes are usually shorts!

      Delete
  2. I've just traced this pattern off to make it too! Your skirt looks great, I'm sure it will be a staple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, I can imagine it on you already -can't wait to see it! Make sure you lengthen it heaps though unless you want a very mini mini :)

      Delete
  3. Great looking summer skirt and love the yellow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharon, I think yellow is becoming my new blue - I love its cheeriness!

      Delete
  4. Wow, very cool pool - is that part of the beach? Nice skirt and top too. You look very leggy in your photos, I think it was a good choice to make it fitted and at the waist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the pool is on rock ledges at one end of the beach, just along a path between beach and bush. I suspect it gets submerged when the tide comes in! I love these old fashioned kinds of pools and they're definitely photogenic!

      Thanks, I just hope the denim doesn't do any more shrinking or I'll be in big trouble!

      Delete
  5. Gabrielle, this style and length really suits you! Wish I had your long legs! It's makes me want to consider making up the Moss Mini. I don't normally go for fitted silhouettes (pear shape doesn't appreciate them), but maybe this could work...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks... I don't really know what styles suit what shapes - could you wear this kind of skirt if it was altered to a-line shape and made in a less stiff fabric? Actually you probably already have a gorgeous 70s denim skirt pattern just like that, right?

      Delete
  6. Great photos and your skirt is lovely! Thanks for all the information about the adjustments you made. The fit looks really good and It looks great with yellow. Like you say, it looks like a real wardrobe staple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kathryn, and I hope that info is useful to someone! Yes, it is proving to be a wardrobe staple so far - 2 days of wear out of the last 6 :). It's such a massive improvement on the denim skirt I made same time last year (0 days wear out of the last 365)!!

      Delete
  7. I love it! The original sounds scarily short. It was lovely to hear you explain your alterations - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has to adjust commercial patterns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the original must be pretty short - so I assume it's drafted for short women!

      Ah, I can't believe there's anyone who doesn't need to make adjustments... and so long as they're the same kind of adjustments every time, I think we can all live with it :).

      Delete
  8. Looks so good - especially with those yellow shoes. I'll have to check out that other tutorial as I have made a moss mini and wondered about the zip. Which beach are you at? It looks so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I am so into coloured shoes - but I'll bet it's a trend we'll be poking fun at in years to come!

      This is Freshwater Beach, near Dee Why. It's quite a kid-friendly beach (apart from the bluebottles there the other day) but gets really busy compared to many of the other Northern Beaches of Sydney. We were there really late in the afternoon and there were still loads of people there!

      Delete
  9. Such a super cute little skirt; everyone needs a really great little denim skirt :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn, you're so right - I feel like I've been waiting for one for eons!

      Delete
  10. Very nice skirt. I love it in denim and love your yellow top and shoes. Very helpful info too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jean, it was great to come across your Moss Mini - I'd love a Moss MIni in a colour like yours too!

      Delete
  11. I am seriously tempted by this skirt. I really like how you have styled it and the fit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Somehow I thought you already had one of these... It would definitely fit nicely in your wardrobe :)

      Delete
  12. Your denim skirt looks great, I can't see any bagging at the back. I like how you modified it to fit your measurements! I can never find a denim skirt in the shop that fits right so I should sew myself one someday. You know the list of things to sew keeps getting longer :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - it's hard for me to differentiate bagging due to sewing choices from bagging due to sitting ;) so I just hope it's the latter. You should definitely sew yourself one... And yes, I know all about the ever-lengthening sewing list, I've got one of my own!

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your moss skirt looks terrific! This seems to be the skirt that folks sew in denim and courdoroy, casual. I like all the yellow you paired it with. Navy and lemon yellow look so great together! And so nice to see some sunshine and beach photos! Its snowing here. I needed s summer beach fix!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I've got a bit of a thing for yellow lately. We've actually got too much sunshine lately - heat waves, argh! I would send you a summer beach - or at least some hot weather - if i could!

      Delete
  15. I'm about 5'9", and almost all patterns vary between too short and TOO short! My favourite jeans skirt pattern - which I've made several times - is a DKNY Vogue pattern, number 2372. I bought another copy on Ebay as insurance in case it wears out :-)

    I just checked, and it was printed in 1989! It's a classic jeans skirt, so not everything from the 80s was ugly - just ignore the jeans in the pattern, as they have definitely dated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I know what you mean - and the Indy patterns mostly seem designed for much shorter women than the big 4! I'll have to look out for this pattern - as a big DKNY fan AND an 80s/90s tragic :)

      Delete
  16. Very cute skirt, and a great length too, well done!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...