I sit on some fabrics for ages, even when I love them. I’m never quite sure whether it is because I am waiting for the perfect pattern, or whether it’s because I am enjoying imagining the myriad of items it could become, and actually sewing it up would eliminate the opportunity for further imagination.
This yarn-dyed striped linen was purchased in Chiang Mai on my first trip to Thailand (that must be about five years ago now). When I bought it I wasn’t even sure if it was destined to be something for me or for someone else in the family. Now we know – it’s for me!
There are so many great colours in that stripe – and really, the Style Arc Quinn patterns are the perfect choices.
From the Style Arc website: This is a great boxy shaped top. Use your creative skills with this style and mix textures, stripes or colours. Why not team it with the Quinn skirt for the perfect outfit? FABRIC SUGGESTION: Linen, crepe, cotton and silk.
I sewed size 12 (my usual Style Arc size) and it’s just a fraction more snug through the bust and belly than I’d like. My middle-aged spread is definitely spreading, and I need to keep that in mind when choosing size, although the 12 is still best for my shoulders, neck and upper chest.
I really like the bias strip inserts in this top – they work so well with the stripes! And as you can tell, I also made the skirt.
he skirt was more tricky, for a couple of reasons. I’d actually avoided this pattern for a while because it had a fitted waist with a zipper and facing. My waist is about three sizes larger than my hips, so I generally avoid those patterns. Elastic is my friend! So after some consideration, I decided to convert the pattern to an elastic waist. I did this the easy way – I didn’t sew the waist darts at all, didn’t include a zip, and used wide elastic a bit like a facing. I can wriggle it over my hips without much fuss, and the elastic keeps it in place.
You can see the the photo above how the elastic is attached – overlocked to the top of the skirt, then turned to the inside. I stitched in the ditch along the skirt seamlines to try to keep the elastic where it should be, and it does sit nice and flat during wear.
Because the skirt is linen there is just enough fabric give for wiggling in to it. This would be difficult if your hip to waist ratio was greater than mine – eliminating the zip makes it that bit harder to put on. But it works for me.
From the Style Arc website: Be creative with this stylish panelled skirt. Mix textures and contrast bindings or simply make it in a single coloured fabric, the choice is yours. The Quinn Woven Skirt pairs perfectly with the Quinn Woven Top. FABRIC SUGGESTION: Linen, crepe, cotton or silk.
The other tricky bit was getting the front to meet up nicely where the angled hemline panels meet. To be honest, it’s a little while since I sewed this and I can’t remember exactly how I worked it out, but I did find that the diagrams, pattern illustration and my common sense together gave me a satisfactory result, rather than relying on written instructions. If I sewed this in stripes again I would switch the direction of the lower front panel that comes to a point, so that those stripes ran around instead of down. Otherwise, in my opinion this outfit has turned out very nicely!