I was gifted this lovely Irish tweed by a friend of mine.  It came attached to its own personal hanger with the description “skirt length” printed on it.  It measured about 40 inches (just over 1m) in length.  I promptly shrunk it in the dryer using my TNT wool shrinking method.  At the time I was contemplating the incredible embarrassment of riches that is called “Mezzo’s Personal Fabric Store”, while lamenting that, if I hold true to the virtue of self-discipline and ONLY shop at Mezzo’s Store, I’m pretty limited to colour palette, etc.  That same day I was also gifted two lovely 80’s outfits in silk – one in ivory twill and the other in a crepe de chine blue print – which have yet to be dissected.  I’m still musing on what is possible with them and what I’d really like to see made up from them.

Well, I’ll confess I had never heard of Foxford tweed before reading this label, and so, in the interest of what my kids’ teachers call “connections”, googled it. Alas, there is no online place to purchase more, but here are some quotes from about Foxford cloth:

“And our wool that was sold in Rome in the time of Juvenal and our flax and our damask from the looms of Antrim and our Limerick lace, our tanneries and our white flint glass down there by Ballybough and our Huguenot poplin that we have since Jacquard de Lyon and our woven silk and our Foxford tweeds and ivory raised point from the Carmelite convent in New Ross, nothing like it in the whole wide world.”  Ulysses

“I did not like to tell her that Margaret McKeon lamented to me that Eileen was cutting out that beautiful Foxford tweed so badly.” Love of Brothers

I always find literary allusions interesting, so reading these quotes was quite fun.

foxford tweed

This is an old skirt pattern from OOP Vogue 1721, made up a few times.  You can see my other versions in this Flickr group.  I underlined the tweed with silk organza and lined it with bemberg.


I added 1 inch to the length, and did my usual high hip adjustment.  I like this pattern because of the back pleats.  There are only two seams in this skirt: the side back seams that end in the hemline box pleats.  Where each side seam should be is a very deep dart.

DSC04640 I put in a hand picked zipper (my favourite zipper insertion method, even for invisible ones).  I have to say I really love working with wools.  You can shrink and shape them to your heart’s content.  And they have such a pleasant woolly sort of smell when you press them.


I realize this skirt is a little standard, but I like standard skirts in my wardrobe.  I’m a skirt girl. Even in the winter it’s easier to wear skirts and tall boots to go schlepping through snow than worry about tucking trouser legs into said boots to ensure the hems don’t get filthy with slush and salt and what have you. blue skirt

Plans gone awry

Woe is me. I’ve had two projects in my cue and they’ve both gone off the rails.  The first, and most pressing, is a new winter dress coat for DD3.  In an effort to be economical, I asked her to shop my stash, and she decided this purple-green-teal tweed was the best thing available.

v7792 tweed

This Vogue pattern I’ve made up a few times over the years.  The details make it:  all the pleats in the back and the length…. The length is very important.  My little princesses really like their winter dress coats LONG.  Unfortunately, there’s not enough tweed for this gem.  The fabric is only 35 inches wide, and there’s no way to squeeze the coat out of it.  So I’ll be shopping for fabric.

And the other complete mess up is this:


It’s a vintage Claire McCardell design for McCall’s (M4228)  that I purchased off EBay last winter.  The jersey is from EOS, but being distracted by some kids movie that the girls were watching while I was attempting to cut this darling, I completely planned the cutting WRONG!!!!!!!  I don’t have enough fabric because I didn’t lay it all out prior to cutting.  How stupid!  Now I have 3 large pieces (skirt) and one not-large-enough piece for the bodice and the belt.  I actually don’t know what I’m going to use all these pieces for, but it won’t be this dress.