Adventurous Me: Time for IPM17! Can’t wait!
Lazy Me: Is there anything that I can make that just has two seams?
Economical Me: Don’t you be buying anymore fabric now. You know it’s taking over the living room!
Adventurous Me: I wonder what I can make? Which contests? I’d love to make something for all of them.
Lazy Me: You’ve got to be joking – be realistic!
Adventurous Me: Yeah, okay I’ve only got a few weeks.
Economical Me: You know that Grainline Moss skirt you love, how about making another one of those. I’ve even got the perfect fabric….
Adventurous Me: Really! That’s just making the same as something I’ve already got – you know I just can’t do that!
Lazy Me: Sounds ideal to me. I’m all for making life easy!
Adventurous Me: But, but, that’s just boring! Dull, dull, dull! Oh hang on…..I’ve got an idea!
Lazy Me: Oh no! I can guess what’s coming!
Economical Me: Don’t forget that stash fabric! That beautiful purple corduroy is just waiting for you.
Adventurous Me: How about a Moss skirt, with different pockets? I really fancy some welt zip pockets. And that qualifies my make for the Hack It! contest.
Lazy Me: Pah, zips – you’re going to regret that!
Economical Me: Fine by me! At least we’re not after more fabric.
Adventurous Me: But, I just need a top to go with the skirt. Seriously, I NEED more purple clothes.
Lazy Me: You just don’t give up do you?
Economical Me: I need a lie down!
Hack One – Grainline Moss Skirt:
After a little deliberation (see above), I decided to make a Grainline Moss skirt hack. I have already sewn this skirt before and it is one of the most worn garments in my wardrobe, probably because it is perfect for work. I’ve always had plans to sew another one; it is a well-drafted pattern which suits my wardrobe. I’m not sure why have simply not got round to it, until now. I picked up the fabric for my skirt at Birmingham Market at the Sew Brum event. It is a cotton corduroy and I think it may be a second as occasionally the print is a little off and I see some white areas in the pattern. I think I managed to steer round these during the cutting steps.
The original pockets on the Moss skirt are deep pockets with diagonal openings. I love them, but I’ve seen so many skirts with welt zip pockets that I really wanted to try incorporating these into one of my makes.
It may seem like a simple modification to just change the pockets, but absolutely not! I had to change not just the shape of the pocket pieces but also the front of the skirt.
Somehow I then had to figure out how I was going to sew the pockets as I was really deviating from the pattern instructions. Fortunately, after a search on youtube I found a great video by Gretchen Hirsch on zipped welt pockets. The video shows how organza can be used to minimise the bulk on the welt and I used this technique for my pockets.
There was one disappointment with the video and that was that Gertie used some special pocket zips by Coats. I tried to find some online, but couldn’t find anything in the UK. I bought some standard closed one end zips and because I knew that it would be more likely that there would be a small hole at the open end of the zip, I positioned a strip of my corduroy fabric behind the zip to make this look tidier. I didn’t want to make the whole pocket from the corduroy as I thought that might be a bit bulky. I’m rather pleased with how the pockets turned out. Here are a few photos of my pockets during construction. I must admit did suffer from “enthusiasm fade” for sewing zips during this make. I’m not sure I’ve ever sewed three zips in quick succession like that!
One of the features I like so much about this skirt is the graded waistband. That pattern piece has so many pin holes in it now I may have to re-trace it since I’m adding this waistband to virtually all my makes now! This type of waistband seems to fit me so much better.
The rest of the skirt was sewn pretty much as per the Moss instructions. The instructions are easy to follow (at least the steps I followed for this make), and there are additional tutorials on the Grainline website. The only change I made was to add some belt loops. I made the view B variation with the optional hem band.
There are some more photos on my blog post here.
Hack Two – The SBCC Tonic Tee
The Moss skirt with all the zips has taken quite some time to make so I didn’t had much time for an additional make to complete my outfit.
My top is based on the Tonic Tee from SBCC patterns. I’ve never tried a pattern from this company before and I find it really helpful when they have a free pattern that I can try before I buy another pattern. The Tonic Tee is free as a PDF when you sign up for their email newsletter. The fabric is a cotton-spandex by Art Gallery.
The pattern itself is a classic t-shirt with a scoop neck. The Tonic Tee pattern comes in lots of sizes which is fantastic – ranging from XXS to 3XL. They are specifically designed for petites, so those that are short in stature. There’s more information on their sizing here.
I’ve never really thought that I’m “petite”. I’m at the taller end of the range that SBCC state for their designs, but I do have a short body and this being a t-shirt pattern I’m just dealing with the top half of the body anyway. After consulting the sizing chart and comparing this to my body measurements, I didn’t alter the pattern at all; must be a first for me.
The sizing charts are really handy. There are also finished garment sizes for the pattern which is a feature that I find vital. It helps to show how fitted the design is supposed to be. That way if I need to do any alterations for fit, I can work out what the ease is designed to be.
The instructions were very easy to follow and there were handy illustrations, not that it was a particularly difficult pattern anyway.
I made two modifications to the design to fit in with the Hack It contest. First, I changed the neckline to a V. I basically followed this tutorial on the Colette Seamwork website for the Aberdeen t-shirt, to draft the new neckline and also to sew it.
I did have some problems in the construction stages though. It took me a couple of hours to get to the point where I was happy with the way the v-neck looked. I also don’t think I have been less chilled during a sewing session for years – there was lots of swearing involved too! The problem was that I just couldn’t get that v-neck as tidy as I would have liked. I pinned, tacked, sewed and then unpicked numerous times. I just wasn’t happy with the way neckline sat.
I do like the construction method, even if not entirely happy with my execution of it. I had a good look at my lone RTW t-shirt which is a v-neck and noted that the manufacturer had literally sewn a standard neckline and just sewn the neck band at the V across to made a triangle – this construction technique looks rubbish to me. I’m such a critic of RTW clothes these days!
I’m still not sure whether my v-neck is a success. What’s your verdict? I’m definitely not making another v-neck anytime soon, too stressful by far!
The other modification I made is a subtle one. I decided to make a gentle curve to the hemline of the t-shirt. I thought this would make the t-shirt look better untucked.
For more information and photos see my post here.
In summary, I’ve very pleased with my outfit. Having sewn the Moss skirt before, I’m again full of praise for this pattern. It fits me well, it’s a versatile addition to my wardrobe and I can’t wait to wear it at work. I’m sure I’ll make another Moss skirt, I can hear a denim version calling to me….perhaps even with the new zip pockets. The Tonic Tee in some ways was the more tricky make for me, but that was only due to the problems with the v-neck construction. I will definitely make another Tonic Tee with the scoop neck-line it’s designed with next time, but I’m tempted to keep the curved hem. I’m looking forward to buying a pattern from SBCC patterns, as this t-shirt has vote of confidence in their patterns.