It hasn’t been by design, but I’ve done a whole lot of double sewing over the summer. I find sewing the same pattern twice in quick succession is very useful for consolidating in your mind the best way to make it and how to solve any tricky parts (I guess making a trial muslin does the same thing…). Mixed in with the double Dahlias I also worked on two version of Grainline Studio’s Moss skirt. I don’t know why it took me so long to try this pattern!
First up I used this medium-weight, slightly stretchy polka dot denim from Spotlight. I have a RTW plain denim mini skirt that I bought when at uni and have worn nearly to death and was looking for something to replace it as a summer wardrobe staple. This one certainly fits the bill.
I have sewn fly front zippers before but it was a very long time ago so I was grateful for Jen’s online tutorial with lots and lots of photos – and the pointer to it in the pattern instructions. The second time around was much easier but I still had to refer the the photos at one point when I forgot to sew the zipper to the skirt piece in the right order.
I’ve seen reference around the place to something odd happening with the Moss waistband, though not entirely sure what. Mine came out the right length on both versions but ended up different heights on the overlap both times. Not sure if this was my dodgy sewing, but I did try hard the second time around to make sure all the seam allowances were correct and sewn straight and it still came out wrong. The polka dot one was more pronounced so I unpicked the taller end of the waistband and resewed it so the height matched the other side (top stitching still a bit dodgy but not really noticeable when worn).
I was in between sizes so cut a size 14, the larger one, in the denim but ended up taking it in just over a centimetre on each side seam before attaching the waistband. Because of the sizing and the slight stretch in the fabric (and possibly because it’s not really the proper weight material for a skirt like this) it sits a bit lower on my hips than I’d really like. So for the second version I cut a size 12.
I also added three inches to the length of the skirt. I like the mini length in the denim but there’s a limit to how many short short skirts have a place in my wardrobe. I wasn’t sure how short it would turn out and did cut the hem band pieces int he polka dot denim to attach as per View B but ended up deciding they weren’t needed (I didn’t cut them in the faces fabric, just added length to the main skirt body). As it turns out, because of the smaller size and this fabric having no stretch whatsoever, the hem sits in about the same place. But the waist is higher so it feels quite different to wear.
This fabulous fabric is from – believe it or not – Ikea. In fact, they still sell it. A few years ago I found out Ikea sold fabric and made a special trip up the highway to check it out. At that point I was still rather clueless about what material was suitable for which garments, so I wound up with all these heavy-weight cottons, more properly suited to home dec stuff, and no idea what to do with them. I made a few cushion covers out of this (but then decided they didn’t go with the sofa so they’ve been retired) and felt slightly sad about not being able to find a clothes usage. Then a couple of weeks ago I saw a man at the shops wearing shorts in this exact print. Aha! Of course, it’s perfectly suited to become a hard-wearing skirt.
Because of the way the pattern repeats on the fabric and the fact I didn’t have a whole lot left there wasn’t much pattern matching opportunity. I cut the front and back panels nearly on the fold, so there’s only a bit of the pattern lost in the seam allowance, and much the same for the yokes. Similarly, there was little room to play around with pattern placement. I’m very happy with how it turned out though and it’s so much fun to wear – and hasn’t failed to attract comments yet.
For both skirts I lined the waistband and pockets with remnant quilting cottons from the stash. The multicoloured spots is Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric I used to line a friend’s bag and the newspaper fabric was left over from a skirt made ages ago. I love having secretly exciting insides like this; they give me a thrill every time I pull the skirt out of the cupboard. Plus I think the newspaper/faces combination is perfect for me because I gather people’s stories and retell them. Oh, and I got clothes tags for a belated Christmas present! The faces Moss was the first thing I added a tag to and it makes me so proud.