The Mystery Skirt -part 1

Tweed skirt from Stylish Skirts

I have been reading Stylish Skirts by Sato Wantanbe.Front cover of Stylish Skirts

Sewbusylizzie reviewed it here

I’m rather partial to Japanese pattern books, with their clear visual instructions, occasional quirky designs and forlorn looking models.  Stylish Skirts (which uses dressmakers models instead of the forlorn models) is a little different to other Japanese pattern books in that there’s no pattern sheet.  Instead, all the skirts have their own drafting instructions.





And, as it would happen, the one skirt that I most wanted to make (Tweed skirt with panel detail) is the only one with no drafting instructions or measurements.  There’s just a sketch to show how the pieces go together.  It appears to be a spontaneous juxtaposition of triangles and rectangles.  Spontaneity can’t just be left to the last minute, so from looking carefully at the front and back photographs, and standing in front of the mirror with a tape measure, I’ve come up with this:

draft of tweed skirt with panel detail

I suspect it might be too tight around the hips since the rectangular panels have no waist shaping, but it depends how the triangular pieces work out.


The fabric I have in mind is some deep navy blue striped suiting purchased recently from the op shop.  It must have been in someone’s stash for many years, certainly pre-1966 because the price tag is in pounds and shillings.

Hambours is still around, but now sells school uniforms.




Navy blue striped suiting fabricprice tag on navy blue suiting fabric

Next time in Part 2, I’ll show you the toile/muslin/calico of The Mystery Skirt (I hope it works out!)



  1. Juliet on March 1, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Maybe all those forlorn models are trying to emulate this dressmakers model???? 😉

    • lizhaywood on March 2, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Hi Juliet,
      Ha! Ha! To be fair they don’t always have forlorn models in these books, although they often look serious.

  2. Rebecca on March 1, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Wow Liz! That fabric is quite a find! I can’t wait to see how the skirt works out. I love Japanese patterns but this one looks complicated! Have fun!

    • lizhaywood on March 2, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for leaving a comment. I didn’t realise quite how old or lovely the fabric was until I got it home. I cut it out yesterday and there’s enough left for something else -a neat fitting jacket maybe?

  3. Catherine on March 2, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product. I remember Hambours just scratching my brain to remember where they were.

    • lizhaywood on March 3, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Cathy, great to hear from you.
      There used to be Steve Hambour’s Fabrics across the road from Marleston TAFE where I was a fashion student. We often used to go there at lunchtime. I don’t think he’s there now, and I don’t think it’s connected to the other Hambours.

  4. Scott on March 6, 2016 at 7:15 am

    “Spontaneity just can’t be left till the last minute” … absolute gold Liz, that is my new favourite saying!

    • lizhaywood on March 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Hi Scott,
      I can’t claim the spontaneity saying as my own, but I know you’ll have fun using it!
      Thanks for reading my blog.

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