Zero Waste Clair skirt in family tartan

Ever since I saw Liz Haywood in her tartan Clair skirt I knew I wanted to make one in the Preston tartan which I bought in Scotland in 2019.

I’m going to give a potted history of the name as it’s why I bought the tartan. The name first appeared in 1222 and Lyulph de Preston, of whom my father was a direct descendant through his mother’s side of the family, was chartered a piece of land at Linlithgow. In 1374 Sir Simon de Preston bought Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh, the ruins of which still stand. William Preston (my father’s first two names were William Preston) brought the arm bone of Saint Giles to Scotland from France, although I’m not sure this is something to brag about! The Preston name is mostly found in Stirlingshire, Edinburgh and the Lothians, and I’m rather thrilled to note that there is an Irish link with the de Prestoun family. I need to mention that it’s been all downhill with the family since these times!

Anyway, it was important to me that I acquired a piece of the tartan, but then I had no real idea what to do with it. I had thought trousers, then a jacket, then some sort of pinafore dress, but when I saw Liz’s Clair skirt I knew it was meant to be. Serendipitously I also had the exact amount of fabric required, although my fabric was 163cms wide, so the skirt is a bit longer.

I could not be happier with my skirt, it will take me through autumn, winter and cool spring days. The wool is very fine, but I can make it warmer with the addition of a silk layer underneath. A silk underskirt is on the way!

I had a play with some coordinating options. First up is a wool jumper I machine knitted years ago. I also have a very old silk top under it for extra warmth. I rather like this combination.

You can see that the skirt falls differently depending on how I stand. I really like that. Not so keen on seeing my ankles though, boots may be in order!

I love the way it sits at the back too.

If you remember, I had to remove the invisible zip as I had sewn it inside out. My pattern matching the second time was even better than the first time – unheard of! You can also see the label retrofitted to the pocket. I always forget to sew on the labels!

I teamed it with a Pattern Union Molly Tee, I tucked it in to show off the lines of the skirt, but would always wear it out, I think.

I began to look for other alternatives as I want a lot of options for this skirt.

I wore it to go for coffee with a friend and teamed it with a black wool Empire Rose top which was given to me by the same friend. It was full of moth holes which have now been embellished, and it’s a top I really like. On top I wore my red Loopy Mango cardigan and infinity scarf made from yarn I bought at a gallery in the Sydney Rocks. This is a winning combination, in my opinion.

I also tried it on with my new Ozetta Field Day cardigan. I like this combination too.

It also works with my Pattern Union Felix Jacket made from jeans scraps, and a red merino top.

This is a fun skirt to wear and I’m sure I will reach for it often.

Finally, a little video of Miss G to brighten your day. I made her leggings and put blanket scraps on the knees to make crawling more comfortable – just as she’s starting to walk!

We are still playing with spinners…


10 thoughts on “Zero Waste Clair skirt in family tartan

  1. I love this, Sue! The Clair skirt is my favourite-ever zero waste pattern and I especially like it in tartan. Thank you for all the good ideas for wearing with it – I’m stuck in a bit of a black top rut with mine.

    1. Thank you Liz, I think it’s my favourite pattern too, I love everything about it, the shape is so edgy! I feel as though it needs fairly cropped things to wear with it, so gradually finding things.

  2. Excellent use for that lovely tartan — there couldn’t be a better way to show it off. IMO.

  3. What a beautiful tartan! It’s happily surprising to see how versatile the skirt really is! Lovely : )
    And thanks for the “icing-on-top” at the end of the post!

    1. Thank you very much, the skirt seems to be remarkably versatile and I haven’t finished finding things to wear with it. Glad you like the video too!

  4. Wow wow wow! This is the kind of traditional yet modern skirt my favorite Scottish designer Kate Davies would wear with her beautiful knitted jumpers and cardis. What a success, Sue! Especially after the problem you had with the zipper! Thanks for the lovely extra video too xxx

    1. thank you dear Hélène and I agree, this skirt is made for Kate Davies beautiful knitwear. I’m really pleased with it. I’m so glad you liked the video of Miss G, she is heart meltingly fun!

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