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Flowers, Stripes and Sisters


Love is gentle, love is kind… love is sharing your favourite fabric, and sewing for someone else! In this case, my big sis, Anne. She’s a fantastic knitter, and in return for her supplying me with hand knits, I keep her supplied with a custom wardrobe. (In fact, she’s wearing jeans I made her last summer!)

The beloved fabric is the Ivory and Navy Stripe Floral Stretch Rayon Jersey Knit from Cali Fabrics. I’m obsessed with floral and stripe combinations – I can think of at least 7 tops and dresses I’ve sewn in similar fabrics! There’s something about the juxtaposition of graphic and organic shapes that makes my heart sing. In this case, the fabric is a very drapey, soft light-t0-medium weight rayon knit.

Both shirts are Cashmerette’s Concord Tee pattern, in a blended size 14/16 with the E/F cups. I LOVE the way this shirt fits! The pattern has a serious amount of shaping at the side and armscye, which results in a top that skims curves and isn’t tight or too baggy anywhere.

Since we are sisters and not twins, I did make a few on-the-fly adjustments for Anne. Her arms are narrower, and her hips slimmer, so I trimmed off a bit of fabric in both locations… I also shortened mine an inch for obvious reasons!

Here’s a close up of the fabric… I really like the tonal quality of the floral print. It combines several different reds, several different browns, and so on, which gives the print depth and means it’s twice as easy to find accessories or layering pieces that match! The background of cream and navy combines my favourite neutrals, and is softer than black and white would be. The floral colours are actually warmer than my usual colour palette, but I think that works in summer when I have a bit of a tan.

Everything is finished as I always do- serged band for the neckline, folded and coverstitched for the hem and sleeves. I know some people worry that just serging won’t make a strong enough garment, but I’ve constructed all my knits with a 4-thread serger for years, and never once had a problem. (Similarly, I know it’s popular to reinforce shoulder seams with clear elastic, but I’ve never had a problem there either!) For me, the beauty of knits is how easy they are to sew up, and how comfortable they are to wear. No need to get fancy or add extra steps!

Do you sew for your nearest and dearest? Who do you sew for the most?

Gillian is a teacher, cat lady, and colour-fanatic, and blogs at

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