This is quite possibly the sewing project that has taken the longest stretch of time to complete. I’m embarrassed to say that I ordered the fabric and the pattern for this skirt from White Tree Fabrics back in March to make for the White Tree blog team, and I only finished sewing it on 10th October!!
Part of the reason for this, aside from my inability to get around to anything without a deadline, was that I made a toile of the skirt first and found out that I needed to sew the next size up instead. It was meant to be a ‘wearable toile’, so I sewed it with the same degree of care and attention as I would the final garment. I really hate leaving things unfinished so I just carried on making it even though part-way through I knew it would be too small. Perhaps I can give it to a thinner friend or something!
I then got sidetracked for a few months with other sewing and my big commission, and then school holidays, but finally the skirt made its way back to the top of the queue! I bought a nice chunky metal zip and some toffee-coloured topstitching thread, used a button from my button box and some scrap fabric leftover from something else.
I really like Grainline Studio at the moment. Their designs are really simple and wearable: they give you the power to sew the kind of things you’d buy from a shop and wear to death. This skirt is a very satisfying make. The instructions are good on the whole. My only gripe is that they tell you to align the serged edge of the fly guard with the topstitching of the fly facing – whereas on their online tutorial they tell you to align the folded edge instead. In my toile version, I followed the instructions in the paper pattern, but for my final version I followed the instructions from the online tutorial and it looks a lot better. It’s not a big deal in terms of construction – it’s purely a cosmetic preference!
I’m really pleased with my topstitching. I used special topstitching thread rather than doing triple stitch with regular thread. It would have been better if I’d had a topstitching needle, as they have slightly larger holes to get the thicker thread through, but it was just about ok with my machine’s needle threader. It took me a while to figure out that I needed my machine on the highest possible thread tension in order to make the topstitching neat on both sides, and that I was supposed to use topstitching for the top reel only and keep regular thread in the bobbin, but thankfully I worked that all out on a few scraps of denim rather than on the actual garment. I wasn’t able to do my bar tack with the top stitching thread, which was a shame, or the button hole, so they are just sewn in navy blue instead. Next time I must remember to buy a reel of regular thread the same colour as the topstitching thread!
The denim itself was great to work with. Although it’s a 14oz heavy-weight cotton denim, I found it no problem to sew. I made sure to trim and grade my seams where indicated so it didn’t get too bulky. The skirt is a snug fit, but like all denim, it seems to have a bit of give in it the more you wear it.
I had read quite a few reviews of the Moss skirt saying that their waistband pieces were too short by several inches, but I’m happy to report that I didn’t find anything wrong with the waistband piece at all. Perhaps this was in the early version of the PDF pattern, but my paper pattern worked just fine for me.
The skirt is short on me. I didn’t alter the pattern and I’m about 5’10”. It’s shorter than some of my other stuff but it suits the style of the skirt and it looks good with boots and tights which is exactly what I wanted. I think next time I might prefer to use a skirt hook and eye rather than make a buttonhole on the waistband, just because I think it looks neater, but to be honest I hope no one will really see the waistband anyway, as I like my tops to be a bit longer so I’m less likely to accidentally flash my belly!