Stripes-To match, or not.

I’m a matcher, how about you?

I like things in general to match.  I’ll rarely wear odd socks or clash my colours if I can help it.  In fact I admire those who can wear hot pink with orange, I just can’t.

So, when I’m working with stripes or a plaid, I’m a bit particular.  I’ll spend hours (yes. really) lining up and pinning a pattern so that I can match up my pieces.


I had found a jersey bought from Anglian fashion fabrics ( my local emporium) when looking for something in my studio.It was a lovely soft viscose with a stripe.  I’d not long finished a drape top (Vogue 1282) as part of my #mmmay16 challenge.  If I made it quick I wouldn’t need to add it to the list.  (who was I kidding)


Love stripes, and for some reason they say summer to me.  A drapey top on a soft viscose would be light and just right for the summer, should it come back again.  I layed it out in a single layer as it’s just one piece and started to cut.  As I got about half way round it struck me, what about the stripes?  I’d let my guard down, I’d got too excited about a new top.  I checked the back of the pattern, ‘Not suitable for obvious diagonals’. Bugger!


At no point was this going to match.   I continued to cut, it was too late to go back now.

As I pinned the back seam together, I flipped it over to the right side to see how it looked.  My Eyes!  Hmm, this is not good.  There must be a way I can save it.  Forever the optimist.


A strip of the  jersey on the bias down the back?     Nope.


I rummaged in my box and came out with some  ribbon, maybe?  Yes, I can live with that. No-one will ever know.  (Hello)


As the front seam was being stitched, I realise that no amount of ribbon was going to save me.  I’ve done a ‘proper job’.  No half measures here.

I’m just finishing this off.  As you can see there isn’t one part of this that even vaguely matches. I’ll live with it.  It’ll serve as a reminder to Always check the pattern first.


It doesn’t look quite so bad from this angle.  I’ll walk everywhere sideways.

Lesson learnt.  So, when talking to a class about matching stripes or making sure that they get the right part of a plaid together, I can own up.  This is what Not to do.

So when your thinking of that striped fabric for a project, think of my mistake and just consider these few points.

  • Always read the pattern envelope.  (the guide is there for a reason)
  • Match up your pattern notches to the same stripe/pattern section.
  • Double match your pattern match before cutting out.  Remember it needs to match at the seam line, not the edge of the pattern.
  • Most of all, concentrate.  It’s sooo easy to get carried away.

Has anyone else got a bit carried away with cutting out?




5 thoughts on “Stripes-To match, or not.

  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s awesome. I love the movement, and I think that ribbon stripe in the back is pure genius. In the lower part the lines cross over, and then – kawoom! – they’re almost at 90 degree angle to each other. “Not suitable for obvious diagonals” is an advice for wallflowers. This is not a wallflower’s top. Nor is it diagonal, the stripes are horizontal, are they not? It’s bold and beautiful. Make more, ignore pattern suggestions as you see fit.


      1. I’m a compulsive matcher as well, and tend to automatically make things symmetric. However, when I consciously work against those tendencies and aim for rhythm and balance instead, that’s when the really good stuff appears. Which I think you did here.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks great. Just like you I want the pattern run through, matching stripes and more of that. So over the years I’ve learned it isn’t always possible. If I want matching stripes or pattern running through I draw the pattern of the fabric on the paper pattern and see what happens if I would sew the pieces together. If I’m satisfied I start cutting or try to find another fabric.

    Liked by 1 person

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