Arrested development skirt

Since I wrote this post in which I expressed an interest in dialing up the crazy a bit, I’ve got a few ideas and a sewing dare to boot! I appealed to Gillian for one of her legendary dares and she suggested taking a look at my Top 5 Goals for 2013. Oh yah, those! I’ve decided I want focus on Goal 2, “Textile experiments: learning more about applique and embroidery as well as putting my knowledge of shibori and maybe silk screening into practice” by doing a shibori romper. Holy crap, I’m excited! I’ve already cut out the romper! Lou from A View Into My World suggested the McQueen kimono jacket. Every few months for the past three years, I’ll take a look at that pattern and wonder if I’m ready to handle it. Jury’s still out, but maybe I’ll get crazy and try it before the end of the year! And gosh, have you seen Carolyn’s recent version?

Anyway, this project I’m about to share wasn’t an effort to dial up the crazy, but I’m super into it. I think it’s one of the best, most useful things I’ve ever sewn. Meet my Grainline Moss skirt!

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

“Arrested development” is a fitting name because I was watching the new season of the show while I was making it, but also because I lived in skirts like this for the near-decade between freshman year in high school until I graduated college. I would have worn it with a hoodie, some lipstick, and a scowl (see below.) Unlike this version, my high school/college skirts were very short – to my thumbnails, perhaps.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

I scored a yard of cotton canvas from a rummage sale at my work, and dyed it khaki green as the original color was the very same color as my legs.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

I only made minor changes to the skirt; the yoke was a little wide and tall, so I removed 1/2″ width from each of the side seams at the top, and took out 1″ of the length since it was bunching. I baste-fitted it rather than making a muslin, since the design looked fairly simple and my measurements matched one of the sizes really well. I added 3″ in length instead of using the bottom band.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

I also used a 1/4″ seam allowance instead of the 1/2″ recommended by the instructions on the top of the skirt, since I prefer a wider waistband.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

Next time I make it, I’ll widen the hips by maybe 1″ to match where the waist sits a little better. As it is, the skirt is still extremely wearable.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

I did a hook and eye closure for the first time, which was really easy and clean-looking.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

My top-stitching was 3/8″ from the seam.

As I mentioned in my python pants post, the fly pattern pieces and instructions (especially when combined with Jen’s fly tutorial) were fantastic. They were leaps and bounds better than the ones included in the Burda pants pattern.

crabandbee.com Grainline Moss

I would definitely, definitely use this pattern again. Since this version is pretty much my ultimate casual/work skirt, I’m interested in making both a dressier version (perhaps in black, with the bottom band) and a more casual mini version. Experimenting with pocket variations would be a lot of fun, too.

But for now, this version is deeply satisfying to both my teenage/early-twenties self and my current self. Have you made anything lately that transported you to another time in your life?

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26 thoughts on “Arrested development skirt

  1. This looks great, I’ve been thinking about getting this pattern but have a few in the stash that I need to make up in order to justify another purchase.

    Can’t wait to see you kimono jacket, bring on the cray cray Crazy!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I highly recommend the pattern for when you get through your stash. And I’m still on the fence about the kimono – so beautiful, so complicated!

  2. Love it! I’m all about wearable basics, though I can’t wait to see your rompers! And how funny, I have that same top…

    1. Too funny! Great minds. I’m pretty excited for the romper. Given my sensibilities, I may find a way to accidentally make it into a wearable basic. 🙂

  3. This is such a great pattern isn’t it and the fly instructions are soooo good. Love this one you and the colour is perfect. Wow to that McQueen jacket – I think it is definitely your style and would look amazing!!! But I love anything of yours where you dye the fabric.

  4. great skirt! i’m a huge fan of this pattern, the denim version i made this spring gets worn several times a week! i have fabric for another that i can hopefully get to soon. love that you dyed the fabric!

  5. Love it! It looks great on you . I have made two of these and have plans for a few more- it’s such a great basic shape and picking a different fabric totally changes the look. Oh, and I LOVE Arrested Development 🙂

  6. Your Sewing Dare outfit is going to be so fun! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! In the mean time, what a greta Moss Mini! Totally basic, but not boring. Nice work!

    1. Thanks, Gillian! My romper is basically done – just need to finish the sash and hem the legs – but I’m having a lot of fun imagining how I’ll dye it! I might need to make some drawings.

    1. You know, I’m finding that most of my tops are too long for this skirt, even though the color really works with my wardrobe! I ended up thrifting and making a couple of shorter tops to go with this and my denim skirt.

  7. This is so perfect– what a fabulous skirt! Isn’t this the best pattern? I’m with you– I lived in straight mini skirts in college that were really similar to this look, although most of them were blue denim. But this really is an awesome basic skirt!

    1. Thanks, Sonja! I thoroughly enjoyed this pattern, and it’s really nice to wear this skirt silhouette again. Now I remember why I fell in love with it in the first place!

  8. That McQueen pattern sure smacks of the Bat Wing jacket…

    Also, I am just WAITING to see some shibori / silkscreen action.

  9. Your skirt looks absolutely perfect! I’m like you and would wear the heck out of this too, skirts like this have basically been my lifetime uniform!

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