How to Match Stripes!

Stripes are a perfect basic print but sewing with them can be a challenge.  You almost need to make your own clothing nowadays, when it comes to stripes, to ensure that they match up.  Here is how I make sure the stripes on my clothing match up.  I'll use leggings as an example

Generally you cut leggings with a double thickness of fabric.  When I'm working with stripes, I open the fabric and cut each piece one at a time.


Once the first piece is cut, I unpin the fabric.  Then I place it on top of the opened fabric, just a little way from the cut-out.  I match each stripe on the cut piece to the stripes on the uncut fabric.  The cut piece serves as a template.  Pinning it down ensures that the fabric will not shift while carefully cutting around the edges. I outlined the previously cut piece so you can see it.

When sewing, go slow and ensure that your stripes stay matched up.  Pins can help.  I like to not use them, when serging, so that I can better see what the stripes are doing.  Knits do tend to stick together nicely.


Here's a close-up look at the back of the finished Navy Sailor Stripe Organic Leggings (which will be available Monday evening):


NOTE: Sometimes it is possible to fold fabric so that the stripes match up, especially with wovens.  I've found that the stretch in knits makes doing so difficult, which is why I use this method.  It also allows me to check the stripes on either side of the pant more easily.



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