Hot! The ‘St Patrick’s Day Alpaca’ Skirt



The Facts
Fabric Jade green and black plaid Alpaca tweed – 99p for 60 x 75 in
Pattern BurdaStyle Jenny Basic Skirt
Year 2009
Notions Thread, zipper
Time to complete about 4 or 5 hours
First worn For photos today
Wear again? Definitely
Total price About £2.00


I have had this fabric in my stash forever.  It terrified me.  Actually it’s funny how many of my posts seem to start like this, I clearly have a lot of issues that I am being forced to confront with these challenges.  I picked this fabric up on ebay for less than a pound – Bargain!

It was only when it arrived and I read the words on the selvedge that the fear set in.  And what were those words that sent my stomach fluttering and my palms sweating, I hear your cry?


So how the hell am I supposed to handle this?
It could have been worse.  Any mention of this class of creatures is banned in our household after Mr T had a particularly traumatic experience on Father’s day at our local animal park.  Who knew that Llamas can spit that distance? And with such accuracy.  And the smell….!

Hiding the bundle of fabric from my husband in case a glimpse of those words forced him to relive the horror he suffered at the hands, or rather hooves of their cousin, I shoved it to the bottom of my stash until this challenge was announced.

I only have two green things in my stash.  The other fabric is some vintage 50’s emerald green brocade-ey stuff that I am saving for when I can sew properly.  So it was out with the alpaca.  I had forgotten how soft it is, and what a beautiful jade green color, these pictures don’t do it justice.  A bit of google-ing soon revealed that no animals would have been harmed in the making of this tweed, but yes, according to the info I had available it was indeed Alpaca.  You can’t machine wash it, or hand wash normally apparently, or it will shrink, matt, stiffen, burst into flames, etc…(okay, just read that it is actually flame-resistant, and even meets the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards, so ignore the last comment.)  It is proper hair, apparently, and must be treated as such. So into the bath it went with half a bottle of baby shampoo.  It did seem to do the job, but I don’t know if I can be bothered every time I need to wash it.  I rarely even bother sorting darks and lights before I chuck the laundry in the machine, so I am afraid this skirt will probably have to take its chances with the rest of my washing.

Anyway, the sewing.  I chose the BurdaStyle Jenny skirt pattern, firstly because it has been sitting in an envelope already stuck and cut for almost a year now, and secondly because I fell in love with zilredoh’s version she made for the Accessorise challenge. I made the waistband about half the width because I didn’t want it too high waisted. Otherwise nothing exciting to report about the construction, except that either it comes up large or I have lost weight since I cut the pattern out.  I may take it in a bit, and raise the hem. although if I’m lucky it will shrink to exactly the right size when I can’t be bothered to hand wash it. Otherwise I am pleased. It is really comfortable and I have overcome another sewing fear.

(I have just checked the preview and I have only just noticed the extra pair of legs that I have grown in this photo! Too late to take any more shots unfortunately)



Taracat is a beginning seamstress, scientist, teacher, mother, gin drinker, almost author, drama queen and a bit of a stroppy 'mare. She discovered The Sew Weekly in February 2011 while using the internet to teach herself to sew. She's getting there.


Comments are closed.

  1. Hey Taracat, lovely fabric and the skirt looks great on.

  2. Thanks Krista!

  3. That looks great! I have had my eye on some purple tartan to make a skirt like that for a while, maybe this is the push I need!

  4. Lovely skirt! What a steal too!

  5. Love your whole ensemble, there!

  6. Ha! At first I didn’t know what extra pair of legs you were referring to…until…oh, there they are! Nice work on the Jenny skirt. I’ve been meaning to try it (or any basic pencil skirt) myself. Seeing yours reminds of how lovely they turn out.

  7. This skirt is cute. I love tweed. Those adorable alpacas look like ewoks.

  8. Great skirt! I’d love to have some alpaca fabric, it sounds wonderful. I suggest that you don’t throw it in the washing machine unless you want it to fit the one who belongs to those little legs. I’ve been very sorry several times with my woolens.

    • Thanks Barbara! I know you’re right about the washing machine. Unfortunately it means this skirt will probably spend most of its life at the bottom of the laundry basket. Unless I can train my children to do hand-washing. Now there’s an idea…

  9. I love it when you can make what looks like a too-small piece of fabric do exactly what you want it to do. It’s a fine skirt.