Mood Sewing Network – a Mini debut

*faints* *gasps* *giggles* *runs outside in pjs to read email to husband*

That was my reaction to receiving an email from the revered fabric kingdom Mood Fabrics NYC expressing an interest in little old me, Sew Busy Lizzy in far-flung Australia joining the Mood Sewing Network.

My first outing as a Mood Sewing Network blogger

My first outing as a Mood Sewing Network blogger

So many bloggers I have followed and admired since I started blogging are part of this network – the skill, personality and individual style of this crew is quite fabulous. In fact since I started sewing I’ve become so enamoured of Mood Fabrics it was already on my travel plans for 2014! Yes I will be in NY in October – I can’t wait!

I can’t tell you how I agonised over my first Mood make. I felt I needed to be fancy, couture… then a sewing friend said that perhaps I was asked because I had a distinctive style, perhaps Mood just wanted me to be ‘me’. Suddenly it all became easy.

It’s so easy to become swallowed up by what you might imagine other people expect of you. Defined by your own expectations. Trying to be the best version of yourself – which too often is framed by what you imagine others expect.

At the end of the day?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” (quote often attributed to Oscar Wilde)

Mood has so many fabulous fabrics… the range feels endless. Fabulous fabrics destined to be ‘fashion’ makes ­- fabulous individual creations, the very reason why we love to sew. I really wanted my first Mood make to be ‘me’… in extraordinary fabric (of course – this is Mood Fabric after all)… something I couldn’t obtain elsewhere…

So denim it was (I have suffered from a lifelong denim affliction – I strongly believe there is no such thing as too much denim in a wardrobe, jackets, jeans, vests, skirts, shorts, capris, dresses – just waiting for a medical term for this obsession. True, I don’t ‘do’ ‘double denim’… this girl has some standards).

Not just any denim but Italian denim… printed with a bronze damask design… I fell in love with this Italian Printed Denim. I love the slight grunge style of the print. It’s decadent but not quite perfect, it’s not gold but bronze.

Mood Fabrics Italian Printed Denim

Mood Fabrics: Italian Printed Denim

I’ve often read about how metallic denims lose their lustre or print in the wash… me being me decided to throw caution to the wind when preparing this fabric for sewing. I threw it in the washing machine on a ‘normal’ cycle, hung it up to dry… and guess what? The world didn’t end.

And then I sewed… a Grainline Studio Moss Mini Skirt. While some might argue that a simpler pattern might have sufficed and the construction details are hidden, I love the fact this fabric gives this simple yet classic fly-front skirt design a rockstar makeover.

Mood Sewing Network: Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Italian Printed Denim

Mood Sewing Network: Grainline Moss Mini Skirt in Italian Printed Denim

I’ve found this pattern wants to sit low-slung on me – which delivers the look I was after and suits the grunge element of the design.

Lovely design details... front slant pockets, top stitching, fly front and more - I would even been fooled into thinking it was RTW!

Lovely design details… front slant pockets, top stitching, fly front and more – I would even been fooled into thinking it was RTW!


OK. Yes. Rather proud of this pattern matching. #sorrynotsorry

OK. Yes. Rather proud of this pattern matching – yes there is a vertical seam running down my centre back. #sorrynotsorry for showing off.

Just a few tips when sewing with this fabric… a part of the selvedge is not printed – so I decided to trace around the pattern pieces with tailor’s chalk on the right side to avoid running pieces onto the non-printed section (you can just see later on what happened when I didn’t do this with the inside waistband). I’m that girl who is guilty of squeezing every inch out of her fabric. So I traced each piece carefully. While it takes a little longer it’s easier to pattern match and you will make the most of your yardage.

Going crazy with chalk.

Going crazy with chalk.

This fabric did not bother my Bernina sewing machine at all and I used a denim needle. Likewise my Brother overlocker had no issue with the fabric. While the drape is stiff, the fabric itself is not overwhelmingly heavy.

I did quite a bit of top stitching which finishes the skirt beautifully by holding down the seam allowances and adding a professional finish. Fabric that is this fabulous deserves a good finish. I’ve rather proud of its innards too – that’s what is so nice about being a sewing blogger – I can’t wear my makes inside out but I can show you guys!

Grainline Moss Mini Skirt - insides

The insides – because I can’t wear it inside out…

I couldn’t find a bronze button that perfectly matched (I’m a little bit OCD about some details) so I finished the waistband with a heavy black trouser hook & bar from my stash. I also chose to use a metal jeans zip from my stash as it adds to the ready-to-wear finish of the garment. If sewing a fly front freaks you out completely – I strongly recommended a few things:-

  1. Use Jen of Grainline Studio’s excellent fly front tutorial
  2. Get your hands on a RTW garment with a fly front and use it as a reference (and do yourself a favour and use a women’s garment as a man’s fly does up the other way)…
  3. and if you are terrified – try making a muslin first to gain some confidence.
Grainline Moss Mini Skirt

oh and I’m also not keen on unzipping my fly while the skirt is on – so here is the non-risqué version of the fly front

Funnily enough as I was hemming this garment a blog post from Grainline Studios popped up and guess what? It’s Moss Making Month over with Stephanie at Makes the Things and Sara at An Elemental Life – how’s that for coincidence – for once I’m running ahead of schedule. Unintentionally but I’m OK with that.

We are hitting autumn in my part of the world – it never gets truly cold in my beautiful seaside Port Macquarie, Australia. I’m often barefoot on the beach in winter and we never see a frost. Seriously. However the days are getting shorter and it was a race against sunset to take these pictures after work. I love how the fading evening light really brings out the amazing metallic print of this fabric. A little bit rockstar!

If I’m not looking my usual relaxed self – I was fretting about the fading light and my deadline… but I was also taking tips from the Posing Super Coach…


I know – heaven help me when she hits her teenage years. She’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious trouble.

Thank you Mood Fabrics… I’ve got a mini skirt my non-sewing friends are lusting after!

Still figuring out how to wear these boots... but I'm getting used to them

Still figuring out how to wear these boots… but I’m getting used to them

The good news… as I originally planned to make jeans… I think I’ve got enough for a fitted dress or a high waisted skirt… watch this space…

Fabric: Mood Fabrics: Italian Printed Denim
Pattern: Grainline Studio Moss Mini Skirt, size 4 (as suggested to me via Instagram by Unique Schmuck – thanks Oanh!)

Also See: Vogue 8330 skinny jeans by Kadiddlehopper I was so tempted to make jeans initially – but it would have been hard to top these amazing jeans…

Now there is a ton of awesome makes going on all the time over at the Mood Sewing Network – so get yourself over there now and put them in your blog reader…

102 thoughts on “Mood Sewing Network – a Mini debut

  1. You have polydenima. I’m sure that the medical term for this! I think this one of the most “you” garments I have seen you make, so I am glad you decided to be true to your style. And it is FABULOUS. I love this skirt, especially on you. Wouldn’t look good on me, but it is so flattering on you. Your friend is right, Mood asked you to join not only for your sewing talent, but for the style your readers have come to expect. Your debut did not disappoint!

    • Polydemia – sounds so much better than polydementia! LOL. It’s always hard to swim against the tide – or to second guess what others might expect. I think I shall take a lesson from this and just do what feels right for me. Thanks Becky!

    • Hi Ramona, I often say to people it’s often as much the attitude and the styling as it is a piece of clothing – I do love minis…. at some point I will have to start being more sensible in my clothing choices… perhaps not for a while yet…

  2. Firstly, congratulations! That is awesome for you to be chosen by Mood. You definitely deserve it. Secondly, gorgeous skirt! I have plans to make my own moss mini once but comes and your awesome version has inspired me further.

  3. Congratulations on joining Mood! Love that fabric, it looks so rich and your skirt is fabulous. Thanks for all the details of the make, I love seeing the innards of gorgeous clothes.

  4. Did I read you’re coming to NYC in October? I’d love to take a day trip there to meet you – let meknow when you firm up the dates!

    Congratulations on becoming a part of the MSN. You’re a great addition!

    • Thanks so much Maddie – I would love to meet you! I’m still planning… waiting for airfare sales as going anywhere from Australia is a long way and rather expensive! At the moment I’m planning the first ten days in October… watch this space!

    • It’s a great little RTW look skirt – I would warn you that I think it’s designed to sit low down on the hips (not like Vogue 1247 which is quite high waisted). Several bloggers talk about how they had the modify eh back… but I think looking at it on Jen that it’s a hipster style skirt – rather than a traditional higher waisted skirt… could just be me – but it works low on the hips on me. Lots of fun to make!

  5. FAB as usual, Lizzy! Love everything about this make. And congrats on the Mood blogging! I’m so happy and excited for you 🙂

  6. I like your style Lizzy! Those boots are great, I want them!! 😉
    Congratulations on joining the Mood Network. I cannot WAIT to see what you’re going to make with unfettered access to fabric Mecca.

  7. *wolf whistles…. holy cow lady, that’s one rocking skirt! I love the styling with the loose shirt and the boots. You look super cool and I’d try and muster up the courage to ask you out for a drink 😉 (or some toast at Costa Coffee!)

  8. I can’t tell you how excited I am for you that you are a Mood Network Blogger. It is amazing and so well deserved. Love this make. The denim is great and you look super rockstar. Next…double denim… you know you want to.

  9. Congratulations on becoming part of the Mood Fabric network – I don’t know how you find the time to do it all but I’m looking forward to your future makes

  10. congrats on the MSN gig! love this skirt!!! i’m a huge fan of the moss skirt, and i admit to oogling that exact fabric… a perfect match for this pattern.

  11. Congratulations on being a Mood Network blogger! How fantastic. I love your skirt. I love the Moss skirt (but it isn’ t the right shape for me) and looks great on you. It was great to meet up in Brisbane last month.

  12. Congratulations! Well deserved. Love the skirt and in fab fabric.
    Denim disease? Sounds normal to me. Must add to my ever growing list.

  13. Great skirt and nice Mood debut! Very rock glam and very you! I’m joining april ‘make a moss’ month and have the pattern cut out ready on the fabric, I’m a bit concerned now though about the size. I’ve also gone with size 4 and I’m curious what advice you had to arrive at size 4, I think this maybe too tight for me now! Also is your skirt the unaltered length of the pattern? I want mine a bit longer and am wondering how much to go for, I think we’re about the same height. Just being lazy really, should make a muslin but it would be great to be able to skip this! Cheers!

    • I’d made the size 4 based on my Maritime Shorts experience – where I made a size 2, size 6 and finally a size 4 :-). I’m between a Size 2 and 4 in the hip measurement. I turned it up a little more – only marginally as I wanted a slightly wider hem as the pattern’s hem is quite tiny and most of my skirts have a wider hem. On me this skirt does sit very low, right down on my hips. I personally think it is meant to – as when you look at it on the Grainline site it’s quite rectangular in shape. I would focus on your hip measurement and if your fabric has very little give to make sure you don’t size down. Grainline doesn’t seem to have much ease built in like a Big 4 pattern. – Good luck!

      • Ahh thanks Lizzy, this is really good to know! So far I’ve only made tops from Grainline, this’ll be my first venture into bottom half! I’m rechecking the hip measurement and good to know that I should add a bit extra to the length for the hem. You did such a good job on the fly front, I’m a bit scared by this! I’ll be following Jen’s instructions very closely!
        Thanks again for this, you may have saved me a muslin!

        • I also didn’t put on the hem band. I made the simplest version. The hem band will add several inches. My hip is about 36 to 36 1/2 inches 🙂
          Fly fronts seem trickier than they are – if you are really unsure, do a test run on something to gain confidence.

  14. Nice skirt! I have this same fabric. I don’t normally sew pants so have been thinking this fabric would be good as a skirt. Glad you made it into one. I will not be making a mini skirt, I am too old and I don’t have young legs any more.

    Great job!

  15. Congratulations on becoming a Mood Sewist! Your skirt is gorgeous. I love the matching on the back seam, you totally deserve to show that off! I, too, find that marking and cutting on a single layer makes it much easier to match the pattern. In fact, I spend yesterday evening crawling around the living room floor doing just that. Not good for the knees!

  16. Woot! Congratulations on joining the MSN. They know their stuff over at Mood, for sure! I could not wear this skirt. You, on the other hand, totally rock it! And your little miss is hilarious.

  17. A massive congrats and well deserved!! I agree, remain true to your style and aesthetic – that’s why they chose you. You my lady are rockin’ that mini BIG TIME

  18. I’m having a bit of a brain lapse here because I’m pretty sure I already commented… somewhere… maybe Instagram? LOL (going senile…) Seriously, though, huge congrats – obviously why would they NOT choose you? Your makes are all spectacular, and you are courageous in both fabric and form. This skirt is amazing on both counts – I’m particularly enamored of that sheen on the fabric – just lovely!! Well done!! 🙂

  19. OMG OMG Congratulations you Mood Blogger you! Though, really I’m not surprised really:-). And good choice with your first Mood make – very you and very cool. I’m loving the casual cool going on ….. and your posing coach….

  20. Congratulations on joining the MSC and the skirt looks lovely, as does a lot of your other garments. Best wishes and look forward to hearing how you do.

  21. I only got to see this late – but wow-gasp-wow!! That skirt is just ace, especially on you. When I make the Moss it is short on me even with the added hem band, haha. I tried to make it as the mini, was told off by my daughter for indecency (“Mum, your clothes really should cover your underpants – tut”).
    I will watch out for you on the Mood network – congratulations with that!

  22. Pingback: MMM14 Day 11: Red Moss and Green (S)Leaves | said & done: Handmade by Chris

  23. Pingback: A double take… Morris Blazer Grainline Studio | Sew Busy Lizzy

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