Hot! The “Tribute” Skirt | Debi Fry


The Facts

Simplicity3196 Fabric: 1 metre of wool/acrylic blend found in a charity shop, £3
Pattern: Simplicity 3196
Year: c. 1950's
Notions: black zipper from a charity shop, £.05
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Yes and Yes!

Total Cost: ~£3


This has to be my favourite challenge ever! I love tartan so much.  In fact, I'm building my autumn/winter wardrobe around a few key tartans.  Living in Scotland has a distinct advantage if you are a tartan lover! It's everywhere.  I often find really lovely plaid fabrics in charity shops and I am super happy to get to use one of them this week.  I found 3 metres of the very popular 'Royal Stewart' tartan in a wool and acrylic blend earlier in the year.  I really love the colours on this tartan!

   1 September 2011 weekly sewing inspiration

My inspiration for this week came from the from the 2006 Alexander McQueen ready-to-wear collection.  You can view the video for that runway collection directly from the Alexander McQueen website (I absolutely LOVED his runway shows–so innovative!)  I was particular inspired by the high-waisted tartan skirt (bottom right) and especially the full skirt with the tartan mimicking the formal kilts that have the shoulder sash!

I revisited Simplicity 3196–because it's such a great classic skirt pattern. I was inspired by McQueen's unfinished edges on the full skirt.  So I used the selvedge for the bottom of the skirt.  It's a little less pronounced since it's not 100% wool but it does have a nice fringe effect going on (plus–I didn't have to hem it!! YAY!).  In order to make sure the skirt was even all around, I had to adjust it during the cutting out process (I made sure to line up the tartan stripes such that it hung 1/2 inch longer in the back) by adding the extra length at the top and using the waistband to cover up the difference.

I also made the waistband higher so that I could accommodate larger belts (again inspired by McQueen's collection).  I borrowed one of David's great belts with a neat celtic inspired belt buckle.

I used an extra piece of fabric from selvedge to selvedge to create the shoulder sash.  I borrowed the idea of wrapping it around my neck and I fastened it with another celtic inspired brooch at the neck and then loosly tied it under the belt!  I really love how it looks–a sort of modern twist on a traditional Scottish look.

Yay for tartan!!  I plan to make a lot more with this specific tartan (I've found this exact fabric in both of my local fabric shops!)  Speaking of tartan, I've a got a tartan related giveaway going on my blog in honour of the 'mad for plaid' week!


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. That looks fabulous, Debi!

  2. That outfit rocks!. Is the sash attached or can you switch it around a little bit? I love how you gave such an old scottish favorite a modern twist, and I think the high waist is a great adeptation, as plaid look so good with a big belt.

  3. Tres innovative Debi! xoxo

  4. What a great twist to this challenge bringing it right back to Scotland! I love your inspiration and mood board and of course the end result!

  5. OMGah!! I love that collection and your skirt is sensational!!!

  6. Love it! You know I couldn’t resist – being the Scottish Highland dancer – looking for your post all way because I knew it would be fantastic!

  7. Oops – that was supposed to be ‘all week’, not ‘all way’

  8. Love the tribute to McQueen. Your skirt is amazing. I’m on the look out for some more Buchanan tartan.

  9. Love it! I am wowed, and I think it was a GREAT use of plaid/tartan.

  10. Thank you so much! The sash is not attached–so I can remove it or play with it!!

  11. Thanks Cathe! I absolutely love tartan week–I wish every week was tartan week :)

  12. YAY for Highland dancing and all things Scottish :)

  13. Thanks Angela!!! What does the Buchanan tartan look like?

  14. Thank you so much Judi! What a wonderful comment!!!

  15. Your inspiration board is dreamy that first and third dress are my favs, you can see that you’ve carried the dreaminess out in your own skirt. It’s very modern for you Debbie. LOVES IT!

  16. Love love love this! It’s beautiful and the inspiration board is awesomesauce!!

  17. Saw your post and then came across this:
    Emma Watson in McQueen tartan!
    i remember the plaid from when i was 13 and my mom thought it was funny b/c she wore it when she was 13…and now more 13 year olds are wearing it. Hoping I can wear it again at 30, too :)

  18. You. Are. A. Rock. Star. I adore this!!!!