Hot! The “Coathanger” Skirt

The Facts
Fabric: Seven vintage tablecloths from Op Shops – about $40
Pattern: Vogue 7924
Year: 1950 something
Notions: Zip, bias binding for the waistband
Time to complete: 8 hours
First worn: For the photos
Wear again: Yes – while the warm weather lasts
Total price: Under $50

Gidday! I finally got myself out of the ‘burbs and down to the water for some photos for the City challenge. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is colloquially known as The Coathanger and she turned 80 recently. She is a stunner!

I moved to Sydney on New Years Eve of 1992. I had just finished studying Fashion Design and I was going to have to leave my home town Wellington, New Zealand for work. I had friends in Sydney so I came to stay with them. I planned to stay a while and save for a trip to London.

Well I have been here for 20 years this year! I did make it to London for a wedding back in 1997, but I love it here.

This skirt is my ode to my adopted home town. Sydney is huge, brash, outspoken and good-looking (hopefully so is this skirt!) and so are its people. It can also be lonely, rude and expensive, congested and HOT!

I met my husband here. I have two Australian children. It’s home now and the sickness is not bad after all that time (I miss my parents in NZ).

I have lived all over the place – so you know what that means – I know all the good op shops! This is where I found the fabric for my skirt. Collected over several years, but most of it pretty recently. The roses on the grey background – is one of my favourites in the skirt and just came home a week ago!
Can you see the Sydney panel? If I tire of this skirt – it may be upcycled to become the mother of all table runners!

A considerable amount of time was spent cutting and arranging the patchwork, much like making a patchwork quilt. Not to mention the pieces that had to be unpicked and moved.

For this skirt I used my tried and tested 50’s skirt pattern. It is the style of skirt my mum alway said suited me best. The yoke is more flattering than gathers from the waist on my pear shape. Thanks Mum!

Sydney is a great place to live – and a wonderful place to visit – if you lob in and if you need a tourguide – give me a hoy, I will take you on a tikitour!

More over on my blog, including the inspiration for this skirt and the process.



Trish lives in Sydney and has way more thrifted patterns and fabric than her fair share. She studied fashion design in her former life and sews while trying to not to burn the dinner.


Comments are closed.

  1. I cannot say enough how much I LOVE THIS SKIRT!! But then again I do write a daily blog using retro linens and dishes so I might be a little biased…but your take on this is amazing : ) I may have to try something like this for myself now, thank you.

    • Thanks Loran! I just checked out your blog – I had no idea people were so interested in that kind of thing! Different strokes hey?! I think you should definately make you own version – I bet you have a huge stash!

  2. Oh my goodness, that is so flipping gorgeous! You have such a brilliant eye for matching colours and print. Wow, love it!

    • Thanks Tempest! I don’t know about that, I just know magic happens when you stitch random fabrics together – the one quilt I have made (here: ) taught me that! I was worried at one point because they all looked disgusting to me!! Proves you also have to stay with it sometimes too right?!

  3. Wow Trish, can’t wait to head over to your blog for more details. The skirt is beautiful and I love the basket purse. I knew this challenge was going to bring out some good stuff!

    • Thanks Krista. That purse is called a Banana Bag – I think it’s a New Zealand style as I have never seen one in Aus. I love Kiwiana! I hope we are going to see some photos of the Big Apple from you this week – I went out into the masses – you can do it too girl!

  4. I love vintage linens, and I can often pick them up for <$1 around here. I once went to an estate sale and found, hidden away in a kitchen cupboard, a stack of real linen tea towels, one for every year since 1972. They were all wrapped up and "saved for best", rather than used. I found it quite poignant that they were saved for best, yet "best" never arrived. I bought the whole stack and use them, wrap gifts in them, give them away….better used and appreciated that hidden away…which I why I love your use of them!

    • What a great find Vicki! I have a collection of them too – the cotton ones they make these days are rubbish compared to the old linen ones. They are really creeping up in price in Op Shops especially if they are unused. I love the soiuvenir ones. I use the Aussie and Pacific Island ones and keep the Kiwi ones as I have heard they have been selling in NZ for up to $70 – for a tea towel!!

  5. It’s just amazing!

  6. I love this! It’s so creative and lovely and such a nice ode to your adopted city. Gorgeous!

  7. Oh wow, I want one!! You are so talented. This is so fantastic!

  8. Gorgeous -it’s like a beautiful collage. The colours are so fresh. I think I’ll have to try the yoke trick. (I rather like the blue blouse too).

    • Thanks Jen, I have had them in my Spring Pallete group for a while, there is cockatoo and tangerine in there! The blouse was from Target for about $9 – the scallops are heat cut – but we could replicate that with sewing right!?

  9. I love this skirt so much, it’s amazing what you can do with a collection of tablecloths!

  10. Yay, you’re on the front page! And no wonder – this skirt is simply divine. You’ve done such a wonderful job with the patchwork that the fabric looks like it’s just one big printed piece – impressive! Love that cut on you, too. :-)

  11. I am in awe! This skirt is a work of art and you look great in it.

  12. Well who would have thought…it’s beautiful. And I loved the nivkname of the bridge and learning a few words.

  13. Love the skirt. I couldn’t believe it was a pieced skirt…From the photos, I thought the print of the skirt came like that! Excellent job!

  14. Thanks Adri, that would be one messed up Textile Designer!

  15. So awesome! I never would think to use vintage linens for anything. Well done!

  16. OH WOW!! What a magnificent patchwork skirt!!! I LOVE all of your different panels – it turned out beautifully!

  17. Wowzers! That’s so creative and looks so adorable on you! Great job!

  18. Trish this skirt is absolutely stunning, I would keep that on my dressmakers dummy whenever I wasn’t wearing it just so I could admire it 24/7. It’s so gorgeous, well done and I LOVE your photos of Sydney. What a gorgeous day for photo’s.

    • Thanks Kazz, actually it is on display in my hallway – I like looking at it – not sure about my boys! Yes, definately got lucky with the weather.

  19. I envy your finds and you’ve done just the right thing with them – enjoy! Love the bag too …

    • Dianne, thanks so much. I bet you could find some beauties around your way – it takes dedication to shopping! Wish I was coming on your next meet up – I am sure it will be a hoot!

  20. Wow what a creative skirt! I love it so much! The scalloped top is cute too.

  21. Thanks so much sweetie!

  22. Beautiful! This skirt makes me so happy. I wish I had some tea towels so I could make my own.

  23. This skirt is so cool! I love it!

  24. This is so, so cool! What a fantastic way to use your collection. Sign me up for a tikitour :D