Monday, April 21, 2014

Working With Stripes

Burda's four gore skirt pattern No. 3152 is the "go-to" pattern for the summer! This breezy skirt pattern can be made in both woven fabrics as well as soft knits.  Either way, we love how simple it is to sew - four seams, elastic waist and hem!

For the woven look, I wanted to use that beautiful rayon batik challis that we worked up in a sleeveless top last summer.

Together with the skirt, it's an awesome look for spring and summer. I love the way this batik flows, and the best part is that it always looks crisp and fresh.

For the knitted version, I chose a striped ponte knit. I want it to be cut on the bias so that the stripes form a chevron pattern. Laurel made this same skirt for herself in a soft rayon knit. Sewing stripes is not difficult, but it takes a little extra effort to make sure that the pattern matches, especially with a chevron pattern that will be so visible at the center front and back.

I won't have to worry too much about the selvage edges of my ponte knit, but the rayon knits like the one Laurel chose, tend to have selvages that pull slightly, so it's very important to trim them before you lay out your pattern pieces. You can already see just by trimming a section of the fabric edge that the selvage was knitted tighter than the rest of the yardage.

Anytime you cut out a pattern on the bias of the fabric, the pieces should be cut in a single layer, one at a time. For striped fabrics, this is even more crucial. Laurel uses her table's edges to line up the stripes, ensuring the best possible match in the chevron stripes.


 Most paper patterns, and this Burda skirt is no different, are semi transparent. For cutting on the bias, you can draw a 45 degree line against the grain line, which is indicated on your pattern, and use that as a guide to position it on the striped fabric.

This rayon knit is so slippery on Laurel's waxed table, so a little Scotch tape here and there helped her hold the stripes in place while cutting.

To match the stripes for the perfect chevron pattern in the center front, use the actual fabric section that you just cut (the front right panel, for instance) - not the paper pattern - and place it directly on top of the fabric to cut the front left panel. Be sure to put right sides together and match the stripes as you pin it. In the photo below, you can see what happens when you sew the seams - the chevron appears.

This soft maxi skirt is a great wear for spring and summer alike.

Two skirts, same pattern!
Laurel and Zan - same skirt pattern, different fabrics!

As if we haven't had enough of sewing stripes, why not try try The Perfect T-shirt by Pamela's Patterns in a striped knit? I chose a dark teal and grey combination, with the high rounded neckline and short sleeves.

Even though this T-shirt won't be cut on the bias, the same care in fabric preparation, layout and cutting still applies.

Pamela's Perfect T-shirt is a cinch to long as you choose the "perfect size".  Instead of reading the pattern first, Laurel dove right into the cutting out part, choosing my usual size. However, the pattern uses a different bust measurement to pick your size. Measure above the fullest part of the bust to pick your size (lesson learned - always read the pattern BEFORE you begin!).

So, naturally the T-shirt, is as cute as it is, was huge on me. But alterations are a fact of life when you sew for others, so a few nips and tucks and it will be fine.  We'll make the smaller size next time.

Can't wait to show you the finished T-shirt!  It's such a great style that we're making it again in another knit. I'm glad Laurel loves sewing on our knits...she says there is nothing more satisfying than "stitchin' in the ditch" of a beautiful knit. We love it too!

Come in and pick out a nice striped fabric for yourself…we have a huge selection of cotton, rayon and polyester knits. You could make the Burda skirt out of a woven stripe cut on the bias as well. There's are stripes galore waiting for you at Stonemountain & Daughter!

Creatively Yours,



  1. Love the new header...fresh and current!! So happy to be part of your creative team!

  2. and what a team we are! lots of stonemountain magic for all :)