What I wear

Striped happiness

You would think that after all that precision and pattern matching with the pleated plaid skirt I’d be avoiding anything geometric and fussy.  But no.  Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment, because not only was this project super striped and matchy, so is the project I just finished and haven’t blogged about, and my next project, and the one after that.  It’s all about stripes.

Still, stripes are awesome, and they make me happy.  How could this skirt not make you happy:

The fabric is a cotton canvas I inherited from Nana.  The stripes run diagonally on the fabric, so making them run in a continuous maypole stripe around the skirt shouldn’t have been too hard.

The operative word here is shouldn’t.  The fabric is  just  loosely woven enough that the stripes moved placement with pre-washing and didn’t match perfectly, so I had to baste every single stripe, check the matching, and then sew it.  But in the end, I got the pattern matching absolutely precisely perfect, I even managed some seriously awesome chevrons at the pockets (I mean, look at those, how awesome are they?), and I love it.

The insides are pretty perfect too.  I used two full widths of the fabric for the skirts, so the (nearly invisible!) seams at the sides are both selvedge edges on the inside.  I bound the pocket edges with bias binding (the label informed me it was ‘gold’), and finished the hem with a wide bias-turned hem, also in ‘gold’.  It would have been easy to do a self-turned hem on this skirt instead of a bias hem, but I didn’t want to loose any length, and I love the peep of orange that shows at the hem when I move and sit.

This skirt makes me so happy, and I love it so much, that I wore it three days (well, Wellington spring days, where you have to have three different outfits for the three different seasons in a day, so nothing gets worn for more than 4 hours) in a row when I finished it.  It’s just so comfortable, and fun, and the enormous pockets are so fantastic.  Pockets make everything better.

The photoshoot for this skirt was also tons of fun.  Madame O and I had a full sewing day, and then for the last few hours of the day we drove ’round the Miramar coastline (one of my favourite things to do) and stopped at any spot that took our fancy for a photoshoot.  We had a blast, and Madame O got tons of amazing shots, which is why this post is so photo-heavy.

First up was the old naval base.  It had been off-limits until just a few years ago, but now it’s de-commissioned (or whatever happens to old bases) and rented out to a number of film studios and art schools, so you can visit and explore.  We found the old naval laundry, so I couldn’t help bursting into a rendition of ‘Wash that man right out of my hair’, complete with hand motions.

From the naval base, we drove on and enjoyed the coast, and then I spotted a patch of spring flowers: yellow broom and vining white legumes and lilac daisies.

Madame O convinced me to climb right in them to show them off:

And then I got super brave and lay down among them – resting on the hammock of vines covering a bush, hoping I wasn’t laying on one of the big fat buzzy bees making their breakfast among the flowers!

After struggling up out of the vines and brushing myself off, it was onwards to the little seaside community of Worser Bay, where Madame O went into paroxysms of delight over how my outfit harmonised with the red rocks and green moss.  The late afternoon sunshine (when there as any) was pretty spectacular too.

Finally, I leave you with the very best photos of the day – perhaps not technically, but because they make me smile every time I see them:


  1. Oh I love all of this. I spent many an hours Shelley Bay Base while my Dad worked on his boat. And Worser Bay too because we just lived near there. Stipes are so much fun – so many possibilities – nice treatment on the pocket too.

    • Thank you! I love the Miramar Peninsula – Mr D and I used to drive around it when we were courting. The beaches are so lovely – what a great place to live (though I wouldn’t actually want to live on the Miramar Coast).

  2. That’s a great-looking skirt, and it looks wonderful on you.

    Didn’t you make a pale yellow shirt recently? That would have looked even better with the skirt! You should wear it that way sometime (and have Mr. Dreamy take some photos of you for the rest of us).

    • Thank you! I did. It’s the ice cream banana shirt, and I definitely intend to try it with this skirt (spots and stripes together!), but it’s still a bit chilly to wear outside in Wellington yet. The green cardigan over a tank top over a knit silk undershirt was much more suited to the spring winds.

      • So the ice cream shirt is spotted? I’d forgotten that–it just looks pale yellow in most of the shots you featured about it. I’m not normally one to suggest mixing patterns, but the spots on the yellow shirt are so subtle and the color match with the stripy skirt so good that it might work anyway.

  3. Claire Payne says

    The skirt is marvellous and you look great as ever wearing it. Your coments about diagonal stripes have got me worried about a diagonal blue striped fabric I bought while I was in Wellington. I shall have to mark this post as a favourite so I can refer to your stripey tips when I pluck up courage to make a 1950’s blouse from my fabric. I must be brave!

    • Thank you! I don’t think I remember the striped fabric (did I see it?) but I think it will be a lot easier if the fabric is more tightly woven. What pattern were you planning to use?

  4. Lynne says

    You’ve had some wonderful fashion-shoots, but this one is way up there with the best! Great photos. And I love the skirt – the excellent stripe-matching, and the chevrons on the pockets, and the wonderful gold hem tape! I can see you loving this skirt for many years to come.

  5. I can definitely see why you liked the colour matching of the moss and rocks with the top and skirt, the photo with you in the top left showing the large expanses of moss is great 🙂

  6. Carolyn says

    Oh such a fun, happy skirt! The bias hem binding in “gold” is the icing on the cake! It’s a wonderful little pop when it peeks out! Now I want one too!

  7. Hayley says

    Just wanted to say, your blog is a slice of sunshine in my day. I check it at least twice a day even though I know the updates are at most daily!!!

    I love the skirt, love your sewing, I love the sewing tips, love the history, and I ADRORE Felicity.

  8. I am loving that picture of you lying in the flowers; it looks so dreamy and idyllic! And you are totally right about the pop of gold at the hem being perfect. I’ve never seen a diagonal stripe before, but it looks like all your hard work stripe matching was worth it!

  9. love the stripey skirt–bravo on the perfectly matched lines!
    and the pictures are quite fun 🙂

  10. What fantastic photos! I especially love the ones of you on the swing. Bravo for matching up the stripes so well – truly you cannot tell where the pieces end and begin! Your talent for stripe matching is top notch 🙂

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