Hot! The “Irish Eyes are Smiling” Skirt | Sarah Gabbart


2451 Fabric: Target tablecloth ($10)
Pattern: Simplicity 2451
Year: c. 2010
Notions: Vintage zipper – 50 cents
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? YES! I love it. 

Total Cost: ~$10.50 

In case the green eyes and auburn hair didn't give it away, I'm an Irish girl. I can execute a near perfect Irish Goodbye (or Shamrock Shuffle, if you prefer). I love shepherd's pie and Guinness. Irish coffee and crusty bread. And rain. I love the rain! After two trips back to the motherland, my family has an extra-special appreciation for all things Emerald Isle. 

In celebration of Saint Patrick's Day I was originally going to make a kitchy, cute top with tons of shamrocks. The fabric I set aside for this task was like "I'm going to grow legs and walk away" and hasn't been seen since. Thus a trip to the fabric store was in order. It was slim pickings there.

What to do? I know – Target might have some crazy Irish sheets! They did not. On to plan D – kitchenware. As I rounded the corner I spotted exactly what I needed – a green tablecloth with a dupioni-type texture. $10 later, I was in business!

Detail shot The pattern, given to me by the lovely Ruthie, was very straightforward. The tulip shape is easily made with princess seams down the front and back plus a yoke that helps camouflage a variety of sins (muffin tops represent!). I was surprised that when this pattern said "Easy to Sew!" on the front that it wasn't full of lies (I'm usually very skeptical when they say these type of things). 

I'm excited to pair this skirt with my Donegal tweed cape (bought on my first trip to Ireland; I'm lounging on it in the top photo!) or with my navy suit jacket when I'm job hunting this spring! I'm pumped to wear this on our (belated) Saint Patrick's Day party next week! You know, so I don't get pinched…

What's your favorite Irish custom?



Skirt full

BONUS: Wanna see Ireland through my family's eyes? Check out Max's photos, my video on how to make Irish Coffee, and my husband's photos. Some shots of us being Irish in Ireland below!









Sarah Gabbart


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  1. Great skirt! I heart the color, and so flattering! Nice job

  2. That colour is amazing, and just perfect for St Patrick’s Day! Thanks for showing your holidays snaps too! They’re great!

  3. Oh, and I forgot to say how beautiful your white blouse is!

  4. A lovely skirt indeed – fine for lounging around picnic-style but will be great for more formal occasions. Knock’em dead with the job-hunting.

  5. I, too, think your blouse is beautiful.

  6. I love that skirt! The fit and colour are fabulous and look great on you.
    I am very envious of your green grass, too. We still have patches of snow!!

  7. you look beautifull. the skirt really suits you, isn’t it lovely! you have done a lovely job, the blouse goes really well. Lovely family photos too. x x x

  8. Oh! I love the grass green skirt! It’s lovely and so is your blouse (heart that V neck). Both look very flattering on you! Thanks for sharing the lovely trip photos and have a fabulous St Patrick’s Day!

  9. Love the skirt and the tweed cape too! Ireland is so much fun! I loved seeing your vacation snaps!!

  10. Great skirt.. what a good shape – and from a tablecloth no less! well done. Happy St Patty’s day! (I’m from Irish stock too!)

  11. I had fun reading your post (I usually skim everyone’s, rather than read right through), as you’re quite witty! Your skirt is very pretty (I love the color!), and I’m glad to hear it really was “easy to make”. The second dress I made was supposed to be “easy to make” but apparently in the 1960s that meant months of work! My boyfriend is Irish and we very much want to visit Ireland, so if we do I’ll ask you where to go!

  12. I’ve long admired the tulip skirt but have hesitated to buy a pattern. I mean, tulip skirts always look great on illustrated models (those beyotches can wear anything). You have proved that the reality is just as smashing as the sketch. Imagine my relief! And the princess seams are fab…frankly, anything that hides a “multitude of sins” has my name written all over it. Awesome sewing, sister. (love the vaca pics!)

  13. Love it! Love the white blouse with it, too.

  14. The photos are great and I love the skirt. I really like that you made it from a new table cloth. I see them on sale and clearance all the time and I have never thought of making a clothes from them but a tablecloth is a lot of material and could be used that way. Great idea.

  15. That skirt is a lovely shade of green. I wouldn’t mind having one just like it. And I can’t believe you made it out of a tablecloth!

  16. oops! I meant ‘Paddy’s Day’! eep.. the irish in me is draining away!

  17. I love it! The shade of green is beautiful.

  18. Thanks lady! I will wear it all the time!

  19. Thanks Veronica! Looking though all those photos made me want to go back!

  20. Also, thank you for the shirt compliment – it’s from Banana Republic (a few years ago); love it!

  21. Thanks Jen! I’m definitely going to dress it up this weekend for a night out!

  22. Thanks Sarah! OMG – we’ve been green all winter (yay mild weather!), but you guys will have the last laugh when August hits – you cold fry an egg on the sidewalk in Houston that time a year!

  23. Thank you Debi! I was thinking of you with the tweed – you always use such cool textures in your sewing!

  24. YAY! Irish gals represent! I was so shocked that the tablecloth worked – and glad that it’s stain resistent; this will be one outfit I won’t have to worry about spilling Guinness on!

  25. Thanks Lisette! OMG – I hate those vintage “Easy to make” patterns – full of lies they are!

  26. Thanks lady!! I feel the same way – always worried that they will make my hips look enormous, but I have found that the extra ruffle at the bottom helps balance my hips out, so I’m totally going to make this pattern again!

  27. Thanks Christina! I will be wearing this on lady date night, so you can be amazed when I drop a drink in my lap and it doesn’t stain the skirt!

  28. Thanks Sue! I got the idea from the dress Veronica made the week before last – her yellow floral number was a tablecloth and it was a stunner! Same with Mena’s Christmas dress last year – so beautiful!

  29. Thanks lady! They have them at Target right now – go make one up! I would love to have a skirt twin – it’s a great pattern!

  30. Thanks lady!! I love green – it’s flattering on me and I seem to gravitate toward it!

  31. I love it Sarah. I can’t get enough skirts to wear in the summer, and that is a lovely dressy looking one.