Hot! The “Magpies and Blue Skies” Skirt

The Facts
Fabric: 3m Cotton Lycra Sateen at $12.99 per metre
Pattern: Skirt from McCalls 9400 – without pleat/underlay
Year: 1950’s
Notions: Zip, Button, Waistband interfacing
Time to complete: 4 hours includes unpicking
First worn: For the photos
Wear again? Yes, a lot I think
Total Cost: $39

It’s winter, we are home – with no plans of travelling in the near future so this week’s photos are taken in our backyard. If I were going on a lovely tropical holiday – this is the kind of thing I’d like to wear.

During the middle of my “photo shoot” (me with camera set to self-timer and using a chair on the kids trampoline as a tripod) a magpie broke into my house. My youngest son was panicking and screaming as it flapped about, trying to get out – I opened a latch on a window and shoved the glass, but the window was stuck and I broke the glass! Luckily I didn’t cut myself.

So I am not smiling in these photos – I am fuming!

I bet you are fuming too because, guess what – I have made this boring skirt three times!
Oh yes, and it’s even a UFO so all I had to do was take off the too small waist band and re-attach a new one because it’s taken me making this three times to work out what my waist measurement is!

Being grateful helps me when I am whining so. I am grateful that: I have a garden where there are Palm trees, the Birds of Paradise are in flower, the Sydney sky was blue for the first time in days and this skirt is finally finished!
I really like that print. It is the exact colour palette of one of my Dads 1960’s Hawaiian shirts that I used to wear when I was a teenager. Oh, and I picked up a tripod in an op-shop today for $12 – I am very grateful for that!
More over on my blog!




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.


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  1. *Sigh*. I want to be where you can wear an outfit like that outside! It may be a pattern repeat (and hey, if that’s a reason for fuming we’d all be furious at all the other Sew-Weekly-ers all the time), but the fabric is absolutely stunning. Such a good colour for you and perfect with all that greenery!

    I hope you’re able to get the window fixed soon.

    • I feel for you Leimomi – you poor thing. We are getting down to some low temps tonight and just 14 degrees for tomorrow – real Wellington weather! Thank so much. Dining room window not fixed yet!

  2. Looks fabulous Trish, you always do, and your garden is dreamy.

    • Thanks Kazz, I can’t take the credit for it – it’s all the previous owners’ doing – we have just let things grow madly. We had so much rain over summer grass grew and we had to buy a mower!!

  3. Lovely! You look like you are on vacation in the tropics! You could have fooled me! Great skirt and it’s ok to fix up an existing garmet. We need to use those sewing skills to our benefit, right?

    • Ha ha, the camera never lies right Barbara!? It is so busy around here right now, I am sewing for my son (his school project) this weekend! Hopefully it will be all about me again soon!! ;)

  4. Love the colour and that you ove it too because the happy memories….sad you broke a window, but very much relieved you didn’t cut yourself on it, or it was any worse. And that is one beautiful garden….love your accessorising too, that basket is ace!

  5. Thanks Tempest. The basket is a classic Kiwi “Banana Basket” – not sure if they were popular around the world. Great for carrying round objects!

  6. That skirt looks great and to me, it looks as if you’re already on vacation on a tropical island with the palm trees and the sun…and boy, what a story about that magpie! Pretty big birds – must be kinda scary to have one fluttering around the house!
    I used to have such a basket in a smaller version when I was a kid. It was plastic but exactly the same shape. I didn’t know there are actually “grown up versions” made of wicker – it looks absolutely cute.

    • Thanks Djamila, Sydney weather can be pretty amazing. I’m lucky I didn’t have to leave the back yard. That baby magpie showed up for a feed tonight at dinner time – haven’t seen him all week – must’ve scared the daylights out of him! Your basket sounds really cute!

  7. Love the skirt, love the basket! It looks like a vaca in Hawaii. I enjoy hearing the background stories (what’s REALLY going on) to everyone’s pics. It’s often so far from the final pics, we’d never know. I also play the grateful game when I’m grumpy: it works!

  8. Hi Trish, red my favorite color so of course I love the skirt! I like the flower in the hair also, did you make that?

  9. I wish I lived in a place where Magpies could break into my house : ) Your skirt is lovely and I’m glad you got a tripod for your camera, the little things make life SO much easier!

  10. Such a pretty skirt, a lovely print – I’m so glad you didn’t hurt yourself!

  11. I had a skirt that I made 5 times last year … why not? If it works, then great! Sorry to hear about the magpie… Did you salute it? That’s a custom over here if there’s one magpie about.

  12. Can’t tell your fuming at all in your beautiful photos…the skirt’s darling and we don’t care at all if we’ve seen it before…so glad you survived the magpie break in.