Finished Projects, Sewing

Stripe matching like a boss…

I shared a few progress photos of this skirt on Instagram and in a couple of sewing related Facebook groups I’m in, mainly photos of successful stripe matching on the side seams of the skirt.

And quite a few people asked about the stripe matching. Now, I’ve blogged about this particular skirt pattern before here, so I won’t go into the specifics about the pattern, but I will share how I managed the stripe matching.

TL:DR – take your time lining stuff up before you cut it out, and use about eleventy-billion pins… 💁🏼

But if you want more details, here they are… also more photos of satisfyingly lined up stripes if I do say myself!

This skirt is not the worlds most complicated pattern – it’s 3 pattern pieces. There’s the main part of the skirt, of which you cut a pair, the single waistband piece and the pocket…

Because this is a PDF pattern it has obvious horizontal and vertical markers in the joins of the paper and I used one of the horizontal ones and made sure it lined up with one of the stripes on the fabric to make ensure the first skirt panel sat squarely (stripely?? 🤔)

Once I had one of the skirt panels cut out I placed it right sides together on the next bit of the fabric and took my time making sure all the stripes lined up *exactly* before I picked up the scissors to cut out the second panel. No photos of this, I didn’t realise it would interest people ‘til I was a long way past this point…

The waistband is a single piece that is folded in half (height-wise) during the construction process so there is a notch on the pattern at the fold point. I worked out what colour stripes I wanted showing on the waistband and positioned the pattern so that the notch marks lined up with the top of the stripe I wanted at the top of the waist band.

I wasn’t too worried about making sure the pocket stripes lined up with the skirt stripes colour wise – it’s an inseam pocket so it won’t be visible… there is a pocket hiding in this picture…

During construction, there were two main places I wanted the stripes to line up. Down the side seams, and on the pleats across the waist line.

I marked on the skirt the outer edges of each pleat, and the centre point (big shout out for the Frixion markers – they are excellent for marking pleats as the marks just disappear when you press the pleats). As I folded each pleat I made sure the colours lined up and then pinned them in place, with TWO pins on each side of the pleat. In most cases the stripes lined up naturally as I folder the pleats, I didn’t need to mess with them too much at all. I didn’t baste the pleats, because I’m a rebel like that…

The side seams I again lined up the stripes as I pinned and I pinned on the ‘join’ between every single stripe – instead of my usual twice, or often not at all…

I did take my time sewing the seams, making sure that fabric fed evenly. I was also careful when inserting the invisible zip not to ‘stretch’ one side more than the other (which happens to me more often than I care to admit) so that the stripes below the bottom of the zip would line up, without any puckers, or tucks at the bottom of the zip.

Pattern: Style Arc Candice

Size: 20, with a bit added to the waist band, and the pleat depth messed with a little to suit (too lazy to print and stick together the next size up)

Fabric: Something of a mystery from East Coast Fabrics. It was on a quilting bolt, but there was nothing printed on the selvedge. It’s got an interesting texture – makes me think there’s a little poly in it. I also think I bought the last of it… sorry…

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Finished Projects, Sewing

Happiness is…

Finished a new Upton Skirt, and I'm so in love I'm going to wear it tomorrow, even though I haven't gotten around to making a solid pink top yet and will have to wear this teal top.

I've loved this fabric for ages and originally bought some to make a top that ended up being an utter disaster. Even though I bought the fabric that first time to be a wearable muslin I fell it love with it as I was working on the shirt and was devastated when the shirt didn't turn out and I couldn't find more of the fabric the next time I went to the store.

I'm not sure what it is about the fabric, it just makes me happy looking at it 😁😍

I looked out for it every time I visited after that and about a month later I scored, and there it was!

I bought all of what was left on the only bolt of it in stock on the spot, and with some creative piecing of the waistband (which I'm trying not to let annoy me, because it's very noticeable to me) I managed to squeeze this Upton Skirt out of 2.6m… and let me tell you there is not a bit left – I managed to get just enough bias tape out of the off cuts to enclose all the seams and bind the hem 👊🏻😎

Muslins, Sewing

Most things don’t work perfectly the first time…

Unlike last week when my first go at the Varda Top worked perfectly, adjustments and all, I finished my first go the Style Arc Emily Skirt the other night, and I don't love it…

But then when I line it up with my other recent skirt makes I don't mind having a different shape skirt in my collection, so I don't exactly hate it either…

I made a straight size 24 with no alterations for this first time, and it's close enough to right that I'm calling it wearable (around the house at least 😉) but it could be better…

I'm going to make something else (maybe a couple of something elses) from my list and then come back to this skirt for another go.

I either need to go up a size or do a full tummy adjustment (that'll be interesting with all the origami pleats 😳) to stop the gape-y pocket that's going on at the moment.

I want to reduce the width (height) of the waistband to get it down away from my bust and back closer to my waist!

I also want to somehow make the skirt a couple of inches longer so that it finishes just below the knee. I think that will help with the tapered look it's supposed to have.

Finished Projects, Sewing

Let’s Meet for Brunch

This is my take on the Style Arc Candice skirt. Excuse the severe pattern clashing, solid colour tops are on the make list and rising rapidly to the top of it!!

It's quite similar in style to the Upton Skirt, the primary difference is that in the pattern the pleats are stitched down for 5 inches from the waistband.

I wasn't entirely convinced that I'd be able to sit down in a skirt with pleats stitched down that far, so it tried pinning the pleats of my Upton Skirt down that far and trying it on. Turns out my suspicion was correct – the skirt looked weird on even while standing and sitting was an issue. So, on my version of the skirt I didn't stitch the pleats down.

The size of the pattern pieces for this skirt mean you either have to use 150cm wide fabric, or run it down 112cm wide quilting cotton – it's too wide to fit selvage to selvage on quilting cotton. Although this makes it perfect for full width border prints which is what I used for this one!

The only other adjustment I made to this skirt was to lengthen the waistband just a little and make the pleats just a fraction shallower. These were primarily driven by laziness and not wanting to be bothered with cutting out and sticking together the 40-something pages required to go to the next size up, when 5 minutes of messing around did the trick.

This is probably only the downside of buying Style Arc patterns from their Etsy store – you get 3 sizes of the pattern, but they're not nested in the same file so grading between sizes either requires another round with the scissors and tape or eyeballing it… eyeballing it won 🙄 ✂️

Now I really need to make some of those solid coloured tops – this skirt needs to be out and about… the guys at work are going to love it! 😎

planning, Sewing

My journey of Skirt

As you can see from my recent fabric shopping haul I'm on something of a skirt journey at the moment. I haven't worn skirts for years, I was convinced they didn't suit me. I think mainly because I was always buying and wearing skirts like these…


In fact I've made View C of that pattern and it has languished in my wardrobe for over a year and never been worn – it's now in the 'donate pile' to see if it belongs in someone else's life.

Clearly yoked skirts that are form-fitting down to the hips then flare out with any kind of volume are just a no-go on me 🙅🏼🙅🏼

During my wardrobe planning exercise back in May (away for work with no sewing machine – I bought a LOT of patterns 🙊) I challenged myself to work out what I wanted in a skirt and to find at least one pattern that ticked my boxes…

Much time spent was trawling Pinterest, Google image search and Instagram before I settled on a the design elements I wanted in my skirt:

  • Waistband to sit at my high waist, but not so high it was empire.
  • Pockets (naturally 💁🏼)
  • Box pleats
  • Zip waist not elastic.

Once I'd worked out what I was looking for it actually wasn't as hard to find patterns that ticked the boxes.

First up – the Upton Skirt hack. How convenient that I'd already picked the Upton as my 'Woven Sleeveless Dress', and the hack didn't involve purchasing any more pattern pieces, just the download of some instructions from the Cashmerette Blog (well done, economical me!).

My next find was the Style Arc Candice, which surprise, surprise is very similar to the Upton Skirt, but with less volume, and stitched down pleats.

And last but not least (for now, anyway) is the Style Arc Emily. Not at all what I thought I'd find when I started my skirt hunt, but it ticks all the design boxes, and I'm interested to see how making it up goes – the front panel looks like it may require a Masters Degree in Origami to get right…


Challenge Accepted 👊🏻