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…

GrainlineMossMini_moreposingtips

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…