G32001: Moss Mini Skirt


After a over 4 weeks of not being able to sew, I’m finally back in action and have made Grainline’s Moss Mini Skirt. The above photo courtersy of TJ from The Perfect Nose, post a frenetic morning of Christmas shopping, humidity and an hour or so sitting in the car (turns out the fabric I used likes to crumple. *sigh*).

But before we get down to business – the consumables need to be thanked. I’d like to take a quick moment to think about all of the now bent pins, snapped needles and bobbin thread snags’n’snowballs that sacrificed themselves in order for me to complete this project.

Because my deep-seated need to own and wear something in a bottom weight army green canvas fabric was stronger than the stab of fright I got when the upholstery topstitching thread I’ve become such a fan of chewed up yet another bobbin. I should have taken photos of the three occasions this occured… but I felt guilty for my poor feather weight Janome so they got removed asap.


The fabric is a cotton canvas, from Tessuti, similar to the canvas I made my Baby It’s Cold Outside coat from, and the facing and pocket linings are leftover Liberty lovelyness from my Freddie Vest. The only thing I actually bought to make this was the pattern, matching thread, topstitching thread and a zipper – a total score for my fabric diet, which I’ve been on since mid-September. I’m on a mission to sew up stuff with what I already have, and barring the seriously freaking awesome Tessuti Silk Stash giveaway I won (whoohooo!!!), not a single scrap of fabric has crossed the chez poppykettle threshold since well before my birthday back in September (Kat, that fabric you ‘gave’ me is still sitting in the car – on purpose I might add! :P). I would like to claim responsibility for this, but really, my work & personal life has just been so NUTS recently that enjoyable things like drooling over fabric and then buying said fabric (maybe even a bit of sewing with said fabric?) have been pushed out of the schedule.

Call me a skank, but I totally shortened this mini-skirt. By a good 3 inches! I gave the skirt some little splits at the side for ease of getting in and out of the car and the like.
I did my own shank button hammering, too – a first! I bought a huge pack of these off ebay when I was making my Turquoise Terror Jeans, but hadn’t had the guts to try. Like all things I’m scared about that are sewing related, I more than quickly realised I was being stupid. Really stupid. I want to hammer more shank metal buttons! 

Lisa from Notes from a Mad Housewife totally inspired me to go a bright red button hole after seeing her winter coat creation. I’d say the honeymoon period with my Janome’s automatic button hole attachment is over though – it really struggled with the thick layers of fabric, and I’m still a bit miffed that this was the best result I got:


It’s a great little pattern, but I do have one major gripe. I get that the reason we love independant pattern company’s is because they do things differently to the big 4. That’s cool. But it’s not cool when you’re being different just to be annoying. Like, having 1/2 inch seam allowances? Come on guys – we have standards for a really good reason. I’m sure that 1/2 an inch is fine when you’re sewing up one of those lovely Tiny Pocket Tank‘s, but when you’re sewing up a pattern designed for denim, I automatically think “yeah, flat felled seams would be nice!”. You can do flat felled seams with a 1.5cm (5/8″) seam allowance – just. You can’t do flat felled seams with 1/2 inch seams. It doesnt even convert into metric measurements nicely. Luckily our good old friend Unnecessary Ease came to the party, so I was able to save the day and end up with 2cm seam allowances – the ideal amount for flat felled when sewing with a thicker fabric like canvas or denim, methinks.

Oh yeah, and that little square you use on printed out patterns to check the scale? It’s printed across two pages. Might wanna fix that up, Grainline!

**UPDATE – The lovely Jen from Grainline Studios has advised me that this has been fixed up :) Oh, and they will soon be offering printed patterns. Yay!


I managed to squeeze in an hour or two with TJ on Saturday who shared with me what she thinks is quite possibly the only copy of these books in this Great Southern Land. You heard it from me that they even smelt amazing. 

Thanks to her University Library access priviledges, a copyright past its use by date and a super high-tech scanning system (couldn’t help myself TJ!), we should be able to convert this into a digital copy for our use. I use the term  ‘we’ loosely because my role in this is simply supplying a piece of glass. She’s going to be an absolute champ and do all the grunt work. 

yay, TJ!

In other news – I’ve decided to start keeping a record of how long it takes me to complete the various ‘stages’ of sewing for each garment I make. Kinda like how some people record the cost of a finished item… but for me this will be a bit more scary than the $! So each finished thing I make will be accompanied by this little table – proof of how slow the process is I am!

The Stats:
00:45  Pattern Preparation
00:00  Toile (cutting/sewing/fitting)
00:50  Fabric Preparation (cutting/interfacing)
09:10  Sewing
10:45  hours



  1. I laughed an evil laugh when I read about the fabric sitting in the car! I'm very proud, just don't let it sit in the sun for to long so it doesn't change colours! It's good to see you blogging again. Oh and btw if your going to be a skank, your our loveable skank. :)Cute skirt. x

  2. Great little basic skirt there, that will go with all sorts of different coloured tops. I will enjoy reading your time spent on each project, because I think we all kid ourselves at how quickly we can sew things, and that is why our stash grows.

  3. I love the skirt length. It suits the 'skank' style but seriously it's a great length and actually longer than I've seen recently.Those bent pins, snapped needles and bobbin thread snags'n'snowballs gave themselves to a worthy skirt.All the best with your collaboration with TJ. She finds really great resources – all the time.

  4. I agree with this 100%! I'm totally guilty of thinking, "Oh, I'll just dash off this silk dress and then bang out a quick blazer!" Yeah, right! Suddenly you have mountains of fabric lying around, just waiting to be made up!

  5. I know I certainly kid myself – massively. It always takes longer than I think it should! And it's also why I've cut back on fabric purchases… between the two my time and my stash should become more manageable :)

  6. Your topstitching is awesome and it looks great on you. If I had legs like yours all I'd wear are mini-mini skirts too! The red buttonhole is cool (I loved the one on Sherlocks coat in the BBC show so love adding them to everything now) :)I'm guilty of buying way too much fabric too and am on a fabric diet, I tend to buy too many patterns too when I should use my current ones and just modify them a bit.

  7. The skirt is beautiful! I love the buttonhole and liberty facings. Love this pattern too, but I'm not sure I'm a mini wearing gal… don't like getting the pins out too much ;)

  8. I love the skirt, and IMO it isn't anywhere near skank length (you should see what the skanks are wearing where I live). The stitching is perfect and love the red buttonhole. All in all, perfection.

  9. Definitely not skank! I see ALOT shorter. Including one student of mine from a few years back who wore one that barely covered her ass while presenting to the whole tutorial. It was difficult to know where to look….I love yours – making me think maybe I will make a shorter one too now!

  10. You've done a beautiful job (as always) on this one – I love the facing fabric, too!As to the length… well, it looks great on you, which is the only thing that matters. Nobody here thinks you're a skank :-)

  11. i think the length is perfect! love all the top stitching, love that this is a casual wear-with-everything skirt, and LOVE the colored buttonhole stitching! how could i not? i've been wanting to try out the hammer in the button thing when i have a project to use one, good to know it wasn't that scary after all! i'm very interested in how long it takes people to make things, as i always feel as if i sew really slow. when people post things like: "i totally whipped up this ball gown in less than 2 hrs…" huh? what? i just don't believe it.

  12. I really like your skirt. I have always liked this style of a skirt and at my ripe old age, I still like wearing a jean skirt and in nice thick cotton drill fabric. Maybe these days with a little lycra included in the weave. Melanie, you will never be a 'skank'. But you do look great in a mini. The topstitching and attention to detail on your skirt is once again so well done. Great work!!

  13. what a cute skirt! And I totally think that you're a whore for shortening it 3 inches! I admire you tracking the time it takes to complete a project but I don't know if I could do such a thing. I think I would be appalled at the amount of time I spend on the TINIEST details.

  14. i like your skirt! sorry about the hassles that come with sewing bulky thick fabrics. :( that's weird about the seam allowances. i've only used the tank and scout patterns by grainline but i believe both had 5/8" SA and a test square across two pages kind of defeats the point. yours is the first version i've seen made from the moss pattern! glad you're back!

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