Coral Moss mini – finished!

Coral Grainline Moss mini - front with hands in pockets

My first Moss mini skirt is complete!  I really like the simplicity of this pattern and the streamlined silhouette, not to mention the endless possibilities for customization and embellishment.  As this was my first time sewing this pattern, there were a few hiccups along the way, but overall I’m pleased with the final product.

Coral Grainline Moss mini - side Coral Grainline Moss mini - back

Project Stats:

Pattern: Grainline Moss mini skirt, size 6.  Despite my 2 muslins, the skirt came out a little too small.  Next time I’ll go back up to a size 8.

Fabric: I used a total of 7 fabrics on this project!  The lining was a complete stash-buster.

Modifications: Took out a 5/8 inch wedge from the center back to fix waistband gaping; added 1.5 inches in length to accommodate my height (I’m 5’8″).

Level of crafty satisfaction: Satisfied.  This skirt isn’t perfect, but I think it’s good enough for my first attempt.  🙂

Check out my in-progress post for more photos of the interior and additional construction notes.

The skirt is a little wrinkly in the photos above because I wore it on Thanksgiving on Thursday, but thankfully I took some photos on the hanger beforehand.  I sewed a double-row of topstitching in matching coral thread on most of the seams, and I quite like the result.

Coral Grainline Moss mini - front on hanger Coral Grainline Moss mini - back on hanger

I drafted a full lining for the skirt to avoid the dreaded “skirt sticking to tights” syndrome.  I really hate when my skirts ride up, and with a short skirt, riding up is a big problem!  To draft the lining pieces, I overlaid the pattern pieces to avoid unnecessary seams, such as the yokes on the back and all the pocket pieces on the front.  This was super easy to do – just draw the seam lines on your pattern pieces and match them up when overlapping multiple pieces.  I love the finished look!

Coral Grainline Moss mini - front lining on hanger Coral Grainline Moss mini - back lining on hanger

The tricky part was figuring out how to handle the lining in the fly area.  I wound up making a rectangular cutout in the left front lining piece and slipstitching the edges down along the fly facing (on the left) and fly shield (along the bottom and right).

Coral Grainline Moss mini - fly lining closed

It came out fairly well, except for where I over-shot the width of the cutout in the bottom left corner.  Oops!  Since the only fabric underneath the lining in that area is the actual garment front, I didn’t want to stitch it down to avoid stitches showing on the outside of the skirt.  As a result, the jagged corner just hangs loose.

Coral Grainline Moss mini - fly lining open

It’s actually not too bad, all things considered.  There’s no strain on that area since the zipper stop is about an inch above it, and I think the rest of the area came out nicely.

Have any of you done this before, and is there a better way to handle the lining here?

Coral Grainline Moss mini - fly and waistband facing

I really like the clean look from the outside, and the slippery lining does a fantastic job of gliding over my tights.  A sewing win in my book!  🙂

For the hem, I added a few stripes in hues of pink and orange to give the skirt a little more interest.  To construct the band, I fused a lightweight interfacing to long strips of fabric: 1.25 inches wide and slightly longer than the circumference of the hem.  I sewed the strips together with 1/4 inch seam allowances, so the final width of each stripe is 3/4 inch.  I hemmed the skirt as usual, and then I topstitched the entire band on top, folding the top and bottom edges underneath and catching them in the topstitching.  Finally, I topstitched along the top and bottom of each stripe, just for extra security.

Coral Grainline Moss mini - striped hem

I slipstitched the lining 1/2 inch above the skirt hem by hand.  This is my standard method for lining skirts and dresses, and I’m always pleased with the results.  Sometimes I’ll add a 1/2 inch “dropped fold-over” to give the lining a little wiggle room (like you would do on a jacket lining), but I didn’t think it was necessary here.

Check out the pocket lining – I love how well it matches!  The lining fabric is much more lightweight than the twill, which reduces bulk around the pockets (and hips).

Coral Grainline Moss mini - pocket interior

All right, now for some complaints.  I mentioned last time that I had a few gripes with the instructions for inserting the fly, which was particularly annoying because I guess I have high expectations for indie patterns and am a big fan of Jen and her work.  This was my first time inserting a fly, and I was really relying on the instructions to guide me through it.  I figured it out in the end, but I was disappointed with the instructions overall.

Gripe #1: In Step 9, the illustration shows the right edge of the zipper aligned with the understitching of the fly facing.  When I did this, however, I had **barely** enough zipper tape to sew the zipper to the right front of the skirt.  To Jen’s credit, the written instructions say to align the zipper with the edge of the fly facing, but the illustration doesn’t agree with the instructions, which was confusing.

Coral Grainline Moss mini - fly instructions step 9

Since I had barely any zipper tape to work with (maybe 1 mm?), I sewed a narrow zig-zag with a short stitch length to secure the zipper to the right front.  Can you see my tiny zig-zag below?  It was a nail-biter!  The zipper teeth are just too far away from the right front skirt piece.

Coral Grainline Moss mini - zipper far from skirt front

Next time I’ll line up the zipper tape along the edge of the fly facing (not the understitching), or even hanging over the edge by a few millimeters.

Gripe #2: My first complaint was relatively minor, but this is a major error.  In Step 12, the illustration shows the fly shield facing the wrong way!  The wording is correct: align the folded edge of the fly shield with the topstitching of the fly facing (i.e., the left side of the illustration).  However, the folded edge of the fly shield is on the right in the illustration, with the seamed edge on the left.  This would result in a completely backwards fly shield.  Thankfully I caught the error and didn’t just sew blindly!

Coral Grainline Moss mini - fly instructions step 12

To be perfectly honest, I find this type of glaring error to be completely unacceptable, regardless of whether the pattern is produced by an indie designer or a huge corporation.  Simple proofreading should catch things like this.  I was particularly surprised that the error was still in the instructions a year after the initial pattern was released (I just bought the PDF in September).

All right, rant over.

I’m pretty happy with this skirt overall, and I’m excited to add it to my winter wardrobe rotation!  I love being able to wear short skirts in the winter (with opaque tights), as I wouldn’t feel comfortable with this hemline with bare legs.  Here’s a shot with an (un-ironed) Archer, to give you an idea of how I’ll wear it to work:

Coral Grainline Moss mini - paired with Archer

I love this look!  I’m currently halfway through a denim version, and I just picked up some really colorful canvas for a 3rd.  You know I like to crank out multiples.  🙂

Coral Grainline Moss mini - frontHooray for everday wardrobe basics!  If you have any thoughts on how to better handle the lining in the fly area, please chime in.  🙂

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23 thoughts on “Coral Moss mini – finished!

  1. You know I’m a huge fan of Jen’s work, but the fly instructions for this pattern are just bizarre to me! Glad you managed to work it out okay. The lining looks so well done! Smart idea for a winter skirt. I’ve never lined anything with a fly… maybe there’s a lined pant tutorial that could help. And, I’m willing to bet the skirt is actually the right size, and it’s the lining that is making it feel too small. Bemberg has absoutely no give, whereas twill and probably whatever you used to muslin does. This has happened to me before! You really need to make the lining bigger than the shell to account for the difference. Anyways… love how the skirt came out!

    • Thanks Lisa! I suspect the sizing issue is a combination of the shell and the lining. I think you’re right that I should have made the lining a bit bigger. I sewed it with slightly small seam allowances (maybe 1/16 inch) than the shell, but maybe I needed to add more! I do think the shell is a little tight as well, as it had stretched out a bit when I wore the skirt a second time and fit a little better then. Lessons learned, I guess!

      As for the fly instructions, who knows! I’m surprised I haven’t seen other people comment on this.

      • You should forward this review to Jen, I’m sure she would appreciate knowing about your issues with the pattern instructions so that she can correct the pattern file for the future.

        I just used my TNT fly instructions and never really read hers at all when I made my skirt.

  2. Carolyn, this skirt looks great on you! I really like the colored stripes at the bottom. I’ve seen this skirt a bunch of times on other blogs but I don’t recall anyone else talking about the confusing instructions. I’ll have to remember to come back to this post if I ever make this skirt. It looks like such a great basic and of course it looks great with the Archer!

    • Thanks so much, Teri! I agree – I’m surprised I haven’t seen other bloggers mention the fly instructions, especially the backwards fly shield. I suspect that (a) more experienced sewists don’t follow the instructions very closely, if at all, and (b) many people are hesitant to give negative reviews. I don’t particularly enjoy giving negative feedback, but I’ll do it when it’s justified. Regardless, I’m still a big fan of Jen’s patterns!

  3. I’m always so inspired by the professionalism of your makes! Your dedication is incredible.
    I can relate about bad instructions though, I recently bought a deer and doe pattern which was horrendously expensive and so I expected great quality instructions. However, nowhere does it mention sewing shoulder seams together! The whole instructions are incredibly brief and many of the trickier parts quite unclear. For £16.50 I did expect more. Frustrating isn’t it?

    • Thanks so much, Jodie! I really enjoy taking my time with my projects and finishing them inside and out. I often have to rush at work to meet deadlines, so I enjoy going slowly with my hobby. 🙂

      I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with Deer and Doe! I’ve never tried one of their patterns, but I agree that it’s frustrating to have inadequate (and even incorrect!) instructions with such a hefty price tag. I had a similar experience with Victory Patterns’ Simone dress and swore off the whole company.

  4. Another fantastic FO! I love the level of detaile you go into. And I think you are right: many people are hesitant to criticise indie patterns on their blogs, which is so silly, because we all want indie companies to improve their products and honest reviews are the best way to achieve that! Thank you for sharing your gripes.

  5. I think your double stitching makes it look super professional as well as your attention to all the details and fit. I like how you break down the pros and cons of each pattern, too. I’m hoping to get back to sewing for me after Christmas. Your projects are inspiring me!

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! I usually don’t have too many negative things to say about patterns, but then again, it’s so rare that I actually sew a new pattern, LOL. Best of luck with your Christmas sewing! We still have plenty of time… right? 🙂

  6. Your skirt turned out beautifully! I love the hem and the colour! Please also post pictures of the denim version soon. I would love to see this. 🙂

    • Thanks Vanessa! The lining came out slightly better in the fly area of my next version, but still not 100% clean. I’m still trying to figure out a better way of handling it. Hmmm…

  7. I had similar frustrations with the fly instructions. I eventually realised that the fly construction is similar to men’s trousers or jeans I was also disappointed with the sizing. I made up the size that matched my daughter’s measurements, yet had to take in several centimetres from each side seam, and the centre back.

    I too had high hopes as the Grainline Scout tee worked so well for in several versions. I have consequently avoided Grainline patterns since.

    • I’m sorry to hear you had such a frustrating experience! There is definitely something wrong in the fly instructions. I’ve emailed Jen about it, so hopefully it will be corrected in later versions of the pattern.

      As for the sizing, I suspect the Moss is supposed to sit very low on the hips, hence the lack of waist shaping. Also, since each pattern company drafts for a different shape, you have to shop around to find a line that fits. Grainline works for me, but I’m way too boxy for Colette and Sewaholic. Oh well!

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