zebra crossing

DSC_2699 I’ve made a little black-and-white striped skirt…  DSC_0274-2 another Vogue 1247.  How many is this by now?  Okaaaay, just counted and this is version number seven, and that’s not even counting the ones that I made leaving the pockets off.  Counting those ones too, this is version number fourteen.  Wowza! what a great pattern this has been!

yes to the pockets this time

I bought the striped fabric from Fabulous Fabrics during their end of year sale.  It was brand new in the store when I first spotted it and bought this bit, and it must have been popular because on my next visit a couple of weeks later, it had all gone!  Don’t remember its composition… often when I buy something spontaneously like this I don’t pay much attention to “what” it actually is… whoops! bad me  🙂  However, the fabric is almost like a light upholstery; loosely woven, with slightly coarse, silk-like cords of fibre-dyed threads.  Quite stiff and unpliable, and doesn’t hold a crease well.
I’ve been ironing it on the silk setting, and that seems to be about as much heat as it can take.

As usual I added length about 10cm or so to the bottom edge.  I didn’t measure exactly, just made it so as finish off with a black stripe at the bottom of the front hem.  Since I’d measured so as to have black at the top merging in to the black waistband, it felt balanced to have the black at the bottom too.   And this turned out to be a nice length for me too.  There’s a little bit of the next white stripe graduating out the bottom of the back but I’m ok with this, it felt a little short when I trialled taking it up so as to eliminate that.

The black waistband is just cut so as to have exactly one full black stripe showing… the seam allowances are both in the white stripe on either side.


The camouflaged waitress pockets on the front of the skirt was the result of some very obsessive measuring during the cutting stage…  followed by obsessive pinning, basting, slow sewing, and then some obsessive unpicking and re-sewing.  #muchobsessiveness


I used a pale yellow poplin to line the waistband and to bind the seam allowances inside with HongKong seaming…. and I absolutely LOVE how this looks!  I don’t always bind my seam allowances, but it always feels so good when I do! aaaaaah, there’s nothing quite so nice and deeply deeply satisfying for the home seamster than to gaze contentedly upon some HongKong bound seaming, yes?

Hmmm, that came out sounding a bit more navel-gazing and pathetic than intended.  Clearly I need a life.  Or at least to get out a bit more…

Whatever; new skirt, in too-cool-for-school black and white stripe, love it, ultra happy.  I think this is going to be a very useful little thing to have in the wardrobe.  I’ve already tried it on with a few of my current rotation of tops and it just goes with almost everything… yay!   I LOVE it with my warm floral shirtdress, worn underneath here, so much so that I’m seriously considering re-hemming the dress a little shorter, so I can wear this combo more often.

DSC_0274-2 burdastyle0510


Skirt, Vogue 1247; striped silk-like woven, my original review of this pattern here
Shirt; Burdastyle 05/2010;111, silk georgette, details here and my review of this pattern here
Slip (under); the Ruby slip, a free pattern by pattern scissors cloth available here; mine made in ivory crepe, details here
Shoes; bensimon, from seed boutique

horizontal seam?  what horizontal seam? *self back pat*
DSC_2626 3

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45 Thoughts on “zebra crossing

  1. rianna on 12/01/2016 at 6:47 pm said:

    Another wardrobe staple…..beautifully finished off.

  2. Michelle on 12/01/2016 at 7:03 pm said:

    Looks great. Very neat finishings. I love the pockets. Well done!

  3. Absolute perfection, and it’s lovely to see it after being tantalised on IG! I do love stripes and black and white are especially striking.

  4. So beautifully made to get a very modern skirt! I love the pattern matching and the Hongkong seam finish! It suits you very well!

  5. A very smart and stylish skirt. Love the pockets and the beautiful Hong Kong finish.

  6. I love gazing at hong kong seams as well. Thanks for showing that GORGEOUS FINISHING. When I saw your hands in the pockets and I couldn’t even see them, I felt such envy at your matching ability. Congrats on a job well well well done.

  7. Karen on 12/01/2016 at 11:09 pm said:

    Cute skirt. Did you see that Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic made up this skirt in denim featured in her blog post today?

  8. Cute skirt and beautifully constructed! I need to track down that pattern!

  9. love it! I agree, that is the pattern that keeps on giving. So cute and I would wear that with so many things. might have to take your inspiration and run with it.

  10. Cute skirt and amazing insides! I would do a happy dance every time I put a skirt like this on!

  11. Wow, this is the third time this Vogue pattern has popped up in my feed today! I love how you managed to line the pocket openings up with the stripe. And the print mix on the outfit is great, too!

  12. I adore how you’ve paired this with a floral!

  13. I love the pockets !!!! it’s great !

  14. Happy new year! What an eye-catching little skirt – I imagine it goes with a lot of things. And those insides are so beautiful you could almost wear it that way too!

  15. Gorgeous! I must try Hong Kong seaming as that looks beautiful on the inside. Stripes and floral together are always a winner!

  16. Stunning! I love those pockets & insides. Love all your versions of this skirt, all of which make me want to sew it!

  17. sankati on 13/01/2016 at 6:35 am said:

    What a dynamite skirt! It dresses up (opera chic) and down (nautical/preppy) nicely, which is wardrobe gold, especially when traveling. The elegant interior finish and pattern matching give you that flexibility, whereas a quick-and-dirty method would not. Definitely worth the extra effort.

    Thank you also for telling us that even you have to fret while pattern matching. If you pretended that everything was a breeze, it would be disheartening to readers like me who, erm, don’t have your confidence or speed.

    Q: Did you pre-shrink interfacings and the mystery fiber fabric, or is the plan to dry clean this garment? In general, do you pre-treat your materials, or do you just launch in? Some sewists apparently take the pre-cutting preparations quite far…almost too daunting. I’d appreciate your thoughts. on the subject

    • Carolyn on 13/01/2016 at 5:57 pm said:

      Sankati, first, thank you!
      wrt pre-treating my fabrics; I wash all new fabrics in the way they will be washed once made up. For nearly everything, that means tossing it in the washing machine… and I use a gentle cycle for wools and silks, normal cycle for everything else. Line dry everything, since that is what I do normally for all our clothes.
      And after that then yes, I launch straight in!
      Nothing is hand-washed, I use the gentle cycle for all delicates, and I would only send leather jackets and tailored wool coats to the dry-cleaner. I do not pre-wash interfacing, and never have; and not doing so has never caused me any problems either!
      And now I’m curious, what are these daunting pre-cutting preparations?

      • sankati on 14/01/2016 at 6:36 am said:

        Just to underscore: That skirt is a perfect example of why it’s interesting to sew for ourselves.

        Well…here goes, but you may be sorry you asked. My inertia is borderline pathological these days. I may be reading more blogs and tutorials than is good for me. I’ve just been finding it hard to get back into a sewing groove which I enjoyed years ago. I feel like a novice again…but one who knows too much about what can go wrong. Heh.

        Take my pretty coral wool crepe yardage, for example. It was a treat to myself, and I’d like to make a neat sheath dress with it. With silk lining and organza underlining it’ll be an investment of time & money. Don’t want to ruin it by cutting corners.

        Although I usually wash & line-dry almost everything (similar to your approach), I’d probably dry clean this one….but how do I make sure steam pressings won’t ruin it over time? So: Do I soak the fabric in hot water to pre-shrink it? Or put it in the dryer with a wet towel for 30 min? Or just press it with lots of steam? What about the interfacings and linings and hem tapes? My brain goes down a rabbit hole of doubts.

        And how about my next shirt? I’ve seen many a collar and cuff pucker after a few gentle washes in years past. Nice RTW as well as home made. So before I finally cut into my precious Egyptian cotton, should I pre-wash the interfacing also? Or, is it worse to pre-wash interfacings because it might lose adhesive or stretch out of shape?

        Too easily I lose momentum before I even get out the cutting table. Some sewists clearly don’t mind if a lot of projects end up as wadders. I applaud their learning-minded spirit, but I cannot follow.

        You seem to get the balance just right – your pieces are solidly crafted, yet you don’t seem to dither forever. Your sense of humor & luscious photography invite me to think of what’s possible. Yours is a fearless, confident productiveness. Such fun to see.

        • Carolyn on 15/01/2016 at 10:53 pm said:

          thank you Sankati! You know, I reckon you should definitely make something with your lovely coral wool fabric, and not worry too much. Have you ever see or even been given an older lady’s stash? and there are gorgeous pieces of fabric still intact and never made up… and it’s a little bit sad that she obviously never got around to sewing it. I mean, the reason we buy fabric is because we want to sew it, and wear it, right? I know I’m preaching to myself a bit here, since I too have plenty of fabrics that I’m not ready to cut into yet either! it’s all too easy to become intimidated and paralysed by beautiful fabrics. And when you think about it, the fabric is just as much wasted if you NEVER sew it, than if you try, and accidentally shrink it or something. At least you had the fun of trying, and actually you have every chance of a successful outcome and probably nothing bad will happen after all!
          I’m always trying to remind myself that I need to enjoy my stash too. And sew it, and WEAR it! That’s why I bought it in the first place!

          • sankati on 16/01/2016 at 12:39 am said:

            Yes! Thanks for the pep talk! I’m the last in a line of fabric treasure savers, but if I don’t cut into any of it, and just buy more stash-swellers, it would be even worse. Off I go. (Feeling Jungle-y. Roarrrrrrh.)

            I think it’s not just the fear of messing up the beautiful fabric; it’s also that choosing one design closes the door on all the other delicious possibilities for it. But the answer is the same: Do it.

  18. Oh goodness, how I love this skirt!! And the bound seams….ahhhhh <3 Perfect and beautiful.

  19. Absolute perfection! Well done.

  20. Levone on 13/01/2016 at 12:29 pm said:

    I love your skirt and how you styled it!

  21. I love the stripes and the amazing ‘dress as top’ you’ve worn with the skirt.

  22. I love it. A winner, without doubt.

  23. I’m not sure if I like your skirt better from the inside or the outside because both sides look fabulous! 🙂 Great job you did there again. I also think the skirt looks lovely paired with the tunic! 🙂

  24. I too have this pattern and have made both the top and the skirt. Love them both. Your skirt is just unbelievable. Your careful planning, measuring and sewing has really paid off. Beautiful!

  25. Outstanding skirt. I love the stripes!! And I love how the fabric holds its shape. I can see why this will be a favourite. Oh, and the pockets. Yes.

  26. Cussot on 14/01/2016 at 4:11 am said:

    More pats on the back – gorgeous! And just look at that stitching on those bindings!

    Waitress, get over here and take my order – I want one.

  27. Gorgeous! I love the drama of the black & white stripe and SO perfectly put together – I just simply love this skirt. Your post provoked all sorts of thoughts – like how much better we get at making a pattern the more we do it – about how we fall in love with certain patterns making buying a bunch of them unnecessary most of the time (how many skirt patterns would you need now that you’ve crafted the perfect one for you?) and how divine those hong kong seams are. Like a little secret we keep to ourselves knowing our garment has the most amazing interior and IF anyone ever saw them they would think we had bought that garment in the most expensive boutique imaginable…THank you for sharing!

  28. Wah such amazing stripes. I adore it. I must must try this pattern – I’m keen to make a shift next winter with such pockets and this would be a fabulous pattern to hack – it’s in the stash so no excuses.

  29. Another beautiful creation! Love your new skirt and you did a great job as always 🙂

  30. Sharren Wood on 16/01/2016 at 8:54 am said:

    Gorgeous skirt Carolyn! I was inspired by your many versions to buy the pattern and make one for myself. I too added length and was very pleased with the result. I really liked your comments to Sankati. I too have a substantial stash and have had the experience of seeing the stash of someone no longer with us and can sympathise. I agree that you can enjoy the journey as much as the destination even if the final garment is destined to be donated to the nearest op-shop. Someone will love it just as much as you loved the making of it.

  31. My favourite pattern! I really love it in the stripes but then I always love a good stripe!

  32. It looks absolutely perfect, even on the inside! I forgot how nicely yellow pairs with black& white.

  33. Gorgeous skirt and the inside is so lovely to look at, another who loves a Hong Kong finish.

  34. Fab skirt & love it styled with that blouse. I would wear this all the time. And the insides are just glorious…

  35. The stripes are perfect!! I made this skirt pattern a few years ago and I love it. Every time I see someone else’s version I’m reminded that I should make it again.

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