Hot! The “Mrs Peacock” Skirt | Debi Fry

The Facts

Fabric: 1 metre of wool from the Spean Bridge Woolen Mill found in a charity shop, £4
Pattern: Simplicity 3196
Year: c. 1950's
Notions: black zipper from a charity shop, £.05
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: August 2011
Wear again? Yes and Yes!

Total Cost: ~£4

I was very indecisive about this challenge.  I have lots of fun fabric in my stash!  Mostly gift fabrics and charity shop finds.  This week, however, it really came down to thinking about my autumn wardrobe and wearable mix-and-match pieces.  That's when I pulled out this amazing charity shop find for Scottish 'tweed' with enough fabric for a skirt:


It's 100% wool from the Spean Bridge Woolen Mill which was near Fort William area in the highlands of Scotland.  While researching the history of the mill, I was devastated to learn it was destroyed in a fire in 2009.  It does seem, however that it has been revitalised and taken over by the Edinburgh Woolen Mill?  I'm not sure as it's hard to find information–but it's amazing to think about the history of this woolen mill in this decade alone!

So you can imagine my delight when I came across this wool in a charity shop in Dunfermline, Scotland.  I've never seen such a bright tweed fabric with all my favourite colours.  So I've been holding onto it for just the right moment!  With my Pendrell blouse last week in a lovely teal colour, it seemed the perfect pairing.


I had a pattern for a 1950's style pencil skirt in my stash:

I made view 1 with the higher waist and the belt loops.  I really love this skirt pattern! It was very easy to put together (only three main pieces).  The pattern was missing the waistband so I just improvised and made it approx. 1.5 inches high and closed it on the side with a hook and eye.

I did a hand picked zipper:


I think the pattern is perfect for this fabric as the front is just one piece cut on the fold.  The back is two pieces:


I ended up unpicking the back seam once because it didn't line up exactly.  When I sewed it again (super slow) and it still didn't match up perfectly, I just left it!  It doesn't bother me at all.  Plus, David who is the perfectionist in the family, didn't even notice so I think it's fine that the pattern doesn't match perfectly across the back seam.


We finally had a nice sunny day after lots of rain last week.



We took these pictures in a local park in Edinburgh that has this neat stately house.  I've named this blouse after Mrs Peacock from the movie/game Clue (or Cluedo in the UK) after Lisette suggested it for the Pendrell blouse.  I LOVE it!  This house fits the bill perfectly too.  A good place for a mystery!  Or a dinner party at least :)



Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


Comments are closed.

  1. It really does go well with your blouse! Very nice Debi :)

  2. Beautiful job with some beautifl fabric. If anyone mentioned the back seam just indignantly ask them why they were staring at your butt.

  3. Lovely skirt and it really does go nicely with that top!

  4. Debi, you look lovely and your skirt is perfect. What a yummy outfit Mrs. Peacock, delightful I say!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous, Debbie! I’m thinking I need a skirt like that in my fall/winter wardrobe :)

  6. Oh my, this skirt is wonderful!

  7. What a beautiful skirt! I love that you found such a gorgeous fabric in a charity shop – amazing find!

  8. I absolutely love your skirt and it looks so good with your pendrall blouse. Just perfect. The colors look great on you. Happy Sewing.

  9. What a great little find that was. It is a good thing when you can make an outfit, not merely a item of clothing that doesn’t go with anything. Clever improvisation with the waistband too. Beautifully simple skirt.

  10. Your plaid fabric is beautiful and perfect for that skirt, luv the purse too! Nice work!

  11. yowza debi, david didn’t notice the back seam because he was too busy DROOLING. this is incredible! the fit is perfect, and i cannot believe that zipper!!!

  12. Such a lovely skirt! A girl can never have enough pencil skirts I think. This post has got me itching to make one myself now too.
    That said – its a bit annoying that the pattern you used has a side zipper when it has a perfectly good center-back seam you could use. Am I the only one that *really* hates side zippers. It’s such an awkward position. Hehe. I’ve even taken to putting in snaps and hook&eye fastenings on vintage patterns that call for a side opening. More time consuming but they are easier to put in and sit nicer.

  13. LOVE satin and tweed together. Wonderful color combination. And did you say the plaid does not match on the back seam? I didn’t notice. ;-)

  14. Debi Debi Debi how cute do you look? I adore your skirt she’s just lovely, I bet that was a nuisance unpicking arrr. Ho hum to it matching up it’s close enough he he. Did you line it? I would worry about it having a bum left in it after sitting for a while looking glamorous. Smashing job I say.

  15. You did a beautiful job Debi. The plaid matches perfectly at the side seams which is actually much harder than the back and it’s only a teensy bit off in back. The colors are so vibrant and happy too. I’m so jealous you actually get to wear these great woolens and have such a lovely setting to wear them in. In California we only have about two weeks to wear things like this and I love to get dressed up in winter clothes.

  16. Oooh, that’s scrumptious! I love how it matches your Pendrell blouse so perfectly. So, so gorgeous!

  17. This whole outfit made my heart flutter. Beautiful.

  18. Absolutely dreamy!

  19. Oh Debi, this is a wonderful combination! The skirt goes so well with last week’s Pendrell blouse, and the skirt fabric is indeed beautiful. Love your hair, too!
    I think the back is fine, but if you’re worried about it, you may consider using a walking foot for matching up striped/checkered fabric? That’s one of the specific uses this sewing foot is recommended for (that, plus sewing with knits/stretch fabrics), as it makes both the upper and lower fabric layer move at the same speed, whilst sewing. It’s one of the more expensively priced sewing machine feet, though – sadly… :-(

  20. margueritedesigns

    Beautiful colours – if you do want to be REALLY accurate about getting the matching right, I’ve found that it helps to hand sew in some little tacking stitches right where the main tweed lines meet, just before machining. Takes a little bit more time but seems to stop the fabric shifting under the foot.

  21. Unless the pattern calls for a backzip, you could try cutting the back piece as one piece :)

  22. You look absolutely gorgeous and your outfit is too!
    I am rather envious!

  23. Amazing, Debi! The fit on that skirt is stunning and the colours are to die for!

  24. Great outfit. I admired your Pendrell when you first posted it, and now this skirt: it’s awesome. Love the wool, the colors, the high waist, everything. Great job!

  25. The skirt is outstanding, but I’m still in love with the blouse. You look great in jewel tones…I hope you will do other sateen fabrics…I think you would look fab in a gold blouse. It would be so 1940s.

  26. Gorgeous! I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the 1990s television program Twin Peaks, but oh, you’ve nailed that look here (that’s a compliment). :-) Beautiful work. It looks so finished and polished.

  27. Foxy lady! Great colour and style combo! You look very chic!

  28. A great use of that wool. I’m a bit crazy over using local products where I can and even though I’m down in the south east I always turn to the highlands for my wools. Such a shame about the factory. Especially when so many or going under for economic reasons. I’m hoping they’ll become a luxury product soon though and designers start investing in these unique parts of Scottish heritage and craft before it’s too late. I don’t think people will need wool as much as they once did, which is a shame as it’s a wonderful renewable resource unlike synthetics but there is something so classic and elegant about authentic weaves that there must be a place in everyone’s wardrobe for some. If not the house itself. Thumbs up for highlighting such a great product.

  29. Lovely skirt and blouse!

  30. Oh I love this outfit on you Debi! You look stunning. The colours are beautiful. Mrs Peacock is the perfect title! I hope you wear this loads.. I find it so tricky pulling whole outfits together. Dresses are so much easier!(how fitting that I should have a teal moment for my ‘inspired by you’ challenge!) Now I am inspired to work on separates a bit more.

  31. Debi! this is fantastic! you look adorable in this outfit combination (not that you don’t otherwise, but especially so here! i think it’s because you’re especially happy with what you have made). love the nice bright tweed. it will be a spot of happy in the long scottish winter!

  32. (and my grandmother used to say, when i fussed about this or that on my outfit,” if they’re looking that close, they shouldn’t be.”)

  33. Oh Mrs Peacock, how gorgeous you look! The pendrell is perfect with this skirt, stunning!

  34. hahahaha! Brilliant!!!

  35. Thank you so much! I am really pleased with how well they match!

  36. Yes–you should definitely make a skirt like this! It’s lots of fun and very versatile!

  37. I KNOW!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found it! I grabbed it right away and wouldn’t believe it was mine until I paid and was out of the store..hahahaha ;)

  38. Thanks Jen! I really wanted to make something that I would wear a lot!!! And this is definitely it!

  39. Thanks Graca! I forgot to mention that the purse is also a charity shop find–I have really good ‘teal’ luck in charity shops :)

  40. You my dear are probably correct…he did keep saying how he loved the outfit..heheheheehe :)

  41. What lovely colors and the top and skirt are so nice. You look great in that color and style.

  42. You should definitely make a pencil skirt!!! I don’t mind zippers on the side (I think I actually prefer that to zippers on the back seam). This pattern actually offers both options!

  43. You are the best!!! :)

  44. Thanks Kazz! No lining but the wool is very stable…I don’t think it will get bum seat..heheheheeh Oh yes, and unpicking a seam in wool is really challenging!

  45. Thanks Justine! I am such a big fan of wool (though warm weather is nice too…ehehehehehe)!

  46. Thank you so much! Btw, I really love your Wednesday Wardrobe Challenge…I’m thinking of participating but need to make sure I can :)

  47. awww…thank you so much! What a wonderful comment!

  48. Hi Sabine! Thanks so much for your comment! I really need to start exploring using different sewing feet…it’s not something that I’ve really explored yet–but I think something like what you mentioned would be really useful!

  49. That is a great idea! I’m learning all sorts of ideas for helping to match up the tweeds/tartans! Which is good because I want to make a lot more tartan items this year!!

  50. That is a BRILLIANT idea–especially for tweed/plaids! Thanks Clara!

  51. Thanks Alana! I was super happy to have found this tweed with that delicious teal colour in it!

  52. Thanks Andrea! I’m super happy that I now have several outfit options for my Pendrell! YAY!

  53. I do lOVE jewel tones! ooohhh…gold…I love gold…ok, you’ve got me thinking!!! :)

  54. Super fabulous! Thanks Stephany!!!

  55. Thanks Mimi! This definitely makes me feel like a foxy lady!!! :)

  56. Thanks Lianne! I love using local wool as well and buy British whenever I can. I would love to learn more about some of the woolen mills that still exist. I do hope they can be revitalised as it’s a shame to lose such an amazing industry!

  57. It’s absolutely perfect that you made your parfait out of teal!!! Teal is my favourite colour at the moment and I’m trying to incorporate it into my autumn wardrobe!!! :)

  58. Thanks Liz! I am definitely happy with it…and it is so perfect for all of the seasons here!

  59. HA! That is PERFECT!!! thank your granny for me as that is definitely going to be filed away for use later! ;)

  60. Thanks Adey! I’m really quite happy with how well they go together! I really loved your dress this week–I might have to try that pattern out!

  61. Thank you so much Sue!!!

  62. Perfect pairing indeed! So smashing :)

  63. Thanks so much! And thanks for commenting–I follow your blog and love getting your newsletters! :)

  64. That is an amazing thrift store find! I love wool and those colors are just fabulous. The higher-waisted skirt is a brilliant silhouette, maybe I need to try it. It looks so flattering.
    I’m away in Wyoming on a cowgirl sort of trip and bought a silk cowgirl’s scarf that is the same color as yuor blouse! There will be pictures, of course.

  65. Ooohhhh…your trip sounds like so much fun! Can’t wait to see your silk scarf!!!

  66. Love the outfit! Beautiful!