One of my favorite parts about sewing is finding the patterns that work for you – work for your body, your style and your skill set. I love seeing the creativity of all the indie pattern designers to see what unique finishes or construction they use in making similar garments. I think the Moss Skirt and Chi Town Chino Skirt is a perfect example of similar skirts that are very different in a lot of ways! I had a lot of fun sewing both skirts up and thought a comparison between the two might be interesting!
The Moss Skirt by Grainline Studio is a mini skirt from Grainline Studio featuring pockets and a yoke waistband. It also had a zipper fly and the option to have either a button or a clasp closure. It has two views – a mini version (like mine shown) and a longer version with a hem band. I chose the mini view (see previous post about abnormally short legs here) and decided to make it out of a stretch grey twill from Stitch Sew Shop in Alexandria, VA.
I made the Moss Skirt as part of a class at Stitch. I didn’t make any modifications to the skirt with the exception of changing the fly to mirror the Ginger Jeans fly. This allowed the fly to sit a little bit further into the skirt so it wasn’t as visible when zippered up as the original pattern was drafted. Minus some odd waistband issues (which might have been a lack of trying to make it work…) it didn’t cause any issues switching out the fly. As a big Ginger Jeans fan, it was a nice substitution!
I chose to use a Rifle Paper Co quilting cotton for the waistband facing and pocket linings and you can see it peeking out just a smidge in the picture above — probably not on purpose, but I think it’s a cute touch. One of my favorite parts about sewing a garment is picking the lining fabric or bias binding fabric – it’s a fun way to play with color but not take away from the solid fabric on the outside of the garment! I almost always have a fun floral for the linings.
I chose a vintage button from Stitch to use as the waistband closure. I think I need to go back to buttonhole school because it was such a struggle! I finally got it to work, but the button hole is a little bit larger than the button, but nothing anyone else would notice.
As for the fit, I really like the Moss Skirt. I was conservative in my size choice and probably made a size a bit smaller than I would have normally due to picking a stretch fabric. Over the course of wearing the Moss Skirt during the day it doesn’t stretch out and is a comfy fit all day!
My main complaint with the Moss Skirt is the pockets. It is designed to have a bit of a gap so it’s easier to get your hands in and out of them. For me, it makes me feel like the skirt is too tight across the hips. I think next time I would try to make the pockets lay flatter so it doesn’t bother me as much. I would also add a little bit more length to it.
Overall, I really love the way my Moss Skirt turned out.
Now onto the Chi Town Chino Skirt! When the Indie Sew fall collection came out I knew immediately I wanted to make this skirt. I bought the fabric and the pattern from Indie Sew and I love the way it turned out!
Similar to the Moss Skirt, the Chi Town Chino skirt is a mini length skirt with a fly front and side pockets. The pattern is drafted with back pockets and belt loops, but I left them off. I felt that I wouldn’t probably wear a skirt with the belt and I don’t love pockets on the back of skirts. In hindsight, I think I would have done the welt pocket option now that I have some experience from my Milano Cape, but when I was starting this skirt, welt pockets were unknown territory!
I again was conservative on the choice on size and sized down. Even then, the skirt was too big and I ended taking it in a lot when I was assembling the skirt. It was an easy fix, but it was pretty large on me – I think it was a mixture of the stretch fabric and the pattern running a little larger than I expected.
The most confusing part of the construction for me – coming off of the Moss Skirt – was that the Chi Town Chino Skirt doesn’t have a yoke or separate waistband, just a waistband facing. Once the facing is attached you top stitch on what I was considering at the time the main part of the skirt to create the borders of the “waistband.” Once I got it, I was fine – but I think I read the instructions and sewalong post a million time. Sometimes your brain just doesn’t want to believe it’s true!
I used a vintage button again for the closure and again had trouble with the button hole – I swear I’m a broken record at times! I used a Liberty Poplin fabric for the waistband facing and the pocket linings.
In looking back at the photos, I think the Moss Skirt and the Chi Town Chino Skirt are similar length, but I felt like the Chi Town Chino Skirt appeared longer when wearing it. I think it has something to do with the pockets in the Moss Skirt that I mentioned above, I like the Chi Town Chino Pockets a lot more! I also really liked the top stitching on the Chi Town Chinos. It’s subtle, but I think it’s a nice touch on the skirt.
In terms of value, the Chi Town Chino Skirt pattern is part of the original Chi Town Chino patter that contains the pattern for the skirt and shorts version. You can then purchase expansion packs for pants and longer shorts. Definitely a value!
I really enjoyed making and wearing both skirts. There are parts of both of them that I really liked, but I think in terms of being the most comfortable and wearable, I would pick the Chi Town Chino Skirt! I think the pockets on the Moss Skirt were a big part of that decision – so maybe a pocket change might change my mind.
I wore both skirts with one of my Julia Cardigans and a Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress Top.
Hope you enjoyed my comparison of the two skirts! Have you made either one? Do you have a favorite?
This comparison was great! I have the Chi Town Chino pattern, but I haven’t made it yet. The skirt and the pants remind me so much of J. Crew, which is what drew me to the pattern in the first place. Once I gain enough courage to actually start my Ginger Jeans, I’m sure the Chino skirt will follow closely after!