Sewing with Stripes

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I am drawn to stripes:  Pillows, rugs, you-name-it. My eye naturally gravitates toward stripes. But sewing with stripes can be a challenge.

There’s the whole matching up the stripes dilemma. Sure, a Walking Foot helps, but it doesn’t make you a sewing-with-stripes expert. However, well placed stripes in a garment can change it from ho-hum to wowzah!

And that is what I wanted to do with this top that I have been working on. I wanted to see if a stripe might change it up some.


I purchased my fabric at a recent Fabric Shop Hop. It is a 100% cotton tissue voile that sews like a dream. Best of all, it is the perfect weight for hot, Texas summers. {By the way, I apologize for not putting this top on the mannequin or myself. There is no place in the apartment for me to get a good photo.} #movingsoon

Since this top is a little experimental, I didn’t want an all-over stripe. This subtle scalloped stripe is perfect. Enough opportunity to match up stripes without making me insane.

I had another reason for wanting to use a striped fabric. Sewing with stripes can sometimes reveal problems with a pattern. Since I hope to one day turn this into a viable pattern, it’s best I look for design glitches.


I purchased 2 yards and had plenty of fabric to match stripes and make bias tape (with very little left over ~ because I.ain’t-packing-or-moving-it.

Because I carefully cut out my fabric I could easily match the stripes across the front yoke and the placket. In my pattern the yoke placket is the first thing that gets sewn.

One thing I will do on future versions of this top is sew the buttonholes BEFORE attaching the front yoke. Because the buttonhole foot does not like that bulky spot at the bottom of the placket.

Sewing with Stripes

I also changed the stripe’s direction on the back yoke. This is one of my favorite looks with stripes.

Matching Stripes

This is one of my favorite looks on shirts with back yokes. Of course, this can go awry quickly. Notice how the scalloped stripe above the gathers is nice and even. I was very careful when I sewed this seam. If it was a crooked seam it would’ve been obvious. If there were a lot of stripes it would’ve been a disaster.

Overall, I am pleased how The Top turned out with stripes. It will get worn a little over the next week or two, then I will put it away until the Texas summer descends upon me again.

I want to try adding sleeves to this pattern and I’m thinking of trying it in a knit. I think it could hang nicely in a knit. If it’s a bust, I’ll let you know.

But that is not likely to happen until I’ve moved – which will hopefully happen in a week or so.

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