Creative articles about sewing

Playing with stripes


Groove stripes_1

‘Vertical stripes make you look taller and thinner.’

‘Don’t wear horizontal stripes if you are curvy.’

‘Cut along the straight grain.’

Heard this before? Well ‘if you follow all the rules, you miss all the fun’, and there is plenty of fun to be had with stripes.

Groove stripes_art

When it comes to stripes I like to play around with direction to create interest and high impact. Making horizontal stripes diagonal, mixing stripes together, fat stripes, thin stripes, stripes against stripes. Making art, I like to think.

stripes 3

The pattern I used is for the hoodie above was supposed to be a colour blocked sweatshirt. It would have been great if I had three beautifully coordinated colours of sweatshirt fabric in my stash, but alas I did not. However I did have stripes!!! I cut each of the three sections for the bodice, not in a crazy haphazard way without thinking. But each one is cut to the same angle as the pattern piece. Making it look calm and deliberate, rather than crazy and confusing.

stripes 2

The back I kept simple by placing my stripes horizontal as the fabric intended. For the hood the stripes go horizontal when worn up and vertical when worn down. And the hood is lined with the reverse of the beautiful and soft double sided fabric.

Not wanting the sweatshirt to look too busy, I used a solid coordinating blue for the cuffs and hem band.


So if vertical stripes make you look thinner and horizontal stripes make you look bigger, what do diagonal stripes do? Do we care?

Groove dress in stripes_2

To create diagonal lines on this Groove Dress I used a horizontal stripe fabric and turned the pattern piece at an angle. It uses up more fabric this way but I really love the attention grabbing effect it creates.


And can you even see the side seam? How’s that for perfect stripe matching!Stripes_5a

The trick is to cut the back pattern piece first, then use this cut fabric as a template to cut your front piece. I’ve explained in more detail about matching stripes here.Groove stripes_3

And look at the beautiful shapes the lines make as they meet at the other side seam. It really is fun playing with stripes. For more stripe inspiration, check out my Stripes (and spots) Pinterest board.


Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: french terry, sweatshirt
Used Products:

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