Pattern Testing: Halfmoon Atelier Midi Skirt Roma

Disclosure:  I received this pattern for free in exchange for my honest feedback and styled photos, not a public blog post or promotion.  All opinions are my own.

Halfmoon Atelier is a new-to-me pattern company, so I was unfamiliar with this pattern, the Midi Skirt Roma. But, when Meghann contacted me about testing it before its rerelease (August 15th), describing it as a midi skirt with the "je ne sais quoi," of course I was intrigued!

As you can see, the "je ne sais quoi" refers to the cute curved slit, created by overlapping the two hemmed edges. A simple enough detail, but one that definitely does add a little something to an otherwise very plain skirt.  The version I did was V3 and it almost doesn't get easier than that.  The skirt is one piece, hemmed first (and Meghann has included a great tip for hemming the curves), then overlapped, topstitched, and then a "waistband" is created by folding the top edge over elastic, cut to length.  That's it!  This is definitely a fast project for anyone with any experience.  Need a skirt tomorrow? Tonight even?  This might be the skirt for you!

That said, my actual experience with this pattern was still a bit of an interesting one, particularly for such a simple design (did I mention it's all one piece, save for the pocket!). I thought by now, I had a firm grasp on "ease," how much I needed, and what styles would need adjusting. So, when I saw this skirt pattern only has .5"-1" of ease, I admit, I panicked a little. "How will I sit? That's not going to be flattering... I'll look like stuffed sausage."  Meghann, the designer, has a very different figure from me, with significantly less bum haha, so I was immediately concerned. But, there was no need to be and my panic resulted in a slightly too big skirt in the end. This is why we muslin (with $1 remnants, like this one, when able!).

The size chart for this one put me between sizes, but originally, we didn't have finished measurements (not to worry, they're there now) and I could see it was meant to be fitted, so I chose the smaller size.  Well, it turned out, the finished hip measurement of that size was exactly my hip size. That wasn't going to work.  Then, I was hesitant to use even the next size as that had only 1", so I went up another and then tweaked the side seam to end up somewhere in between. (Instead of stacking the two hemmed edges, I nestled them beside each other, taking in the sides by ~1/2".  The resulting skirt is a bit loose, which surprised me, and my fiance! Granted, some of that could be due to the nature of linen (it definitely does grow with wear), but since it was loose from the start, I suspect I could have used the smaller size afterall, especially in a fabric like this one. It's not that I don't like the fit as it is, it's just something to keep in mind.

Another thing to keep in mind is where you how you like to wear your skirts.  As you can see in my photos, I chose to wear mine roughly at my waist, because as a "pear," I tend to find it more flattering to show that I do have one. But, Meghann intended for it to be worn more a little low on the hip, for that laid-back vibe. Wearing it lower would have also given me more of the "midi" hemline that I was supposed to have.  But, wearing it lower also makes this one feel even looser.  It would probably be a good idea to pin the side seam and try the skirt on at various levels to see what works best for you.  Luckily, no matter you decide, it's a very easy adjustment.

Here's a summary of what I did:

  • My hips were 44," so I chose between sizes 8 and 9 (overlapping the side seam hems, rather than stacking them)
  • I'm 5'10" but I opted to test the length as is for this one. To get the designed length, I would need to add 3-4" but I find above and at-knee skirts a bit more practical anyway
  • I cut the elastic to 2" smaller than my waist measurement, rather than exactly my waist measurement as recommended (because I was wearing it higher) Side note: if you can find "soft waistband elastic" I highly recommend trying it. It's far more comfortable than your typical stiff knit elastic.
  • I reduced bulk and added a little extra size to the, already very generous, pocket by turning the hem in only once. If you need a pocket for carrying your phone, this one works well! My iPhone 5SE fits with room to spare.
  • Next time: I think I'll try an actual size 8 for a bit less ease.
So, minimal skirt, minimal instructions, right? Surprisingly, no?  Never having worked with a Halfmoon Atelier pattern before, I didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by some of the detail that was included, particularly for hemming the curve. Even a newbie is going to be able to turn that with ease (no pun intended). I haven't yet seen the final draft of the instructions, but especially after the tester feedback, I expect them to be thorough. And as a bit of a bonus, not only does the pattern have a "hand-holding" section, the last page contains an abbreviated set for those with more experience who don't need illustrations.

Overall, I was pleased with the pattern and my finished skirt.  It's a nice throw-on for running errands or walking CoCo and its simple shape and elastic waistband fits right in with the current, more minimal, trend.

So, what do you think? Do you like a quick, beginner-style project every so often? Or do prefer to stick to the more complex?

Top: Pattern: Ogden Cami (review to come!), Fabric: Fabric.com (no longer available)  //  Skirt: Pattern: Midi Skirt Roma (pattern release set for 8/15), Fabric: Fine Fabrics USA  //  Handbag: Vintage  //  Shoes: Hush Puppies (currently on sale!)  //  Bracelet: Alex and Ani
Awkward pose, yes, but when you're taking photos in under 5 minutes in the rain, you go with what you got haha!

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