Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mini-Lesson in Matching Plaids

Lat month I joined the IPCA (Independent Pattern Company Alliance). I had planned to tell you about that experience this week, but like a bad journalist I haven't done my homework and interviewed everyone, so you'll have to wait a bit for that post. This week we are making Beatrice with a large scale plaid, so I thought I'd share with you on that topic instead.

If you remember back to my post about the new spring styles, ( you'll recall that Tia was made from my aunts stash fabric. This plaid came from the same place. She was going to make it into a jacket, but I just couldn't see it that way myself. There was just enough fabric for Beatrice  I'll do another post about this dress and the fewchanges that I made, but first let's tackle the job of matching the plaids. I'm going to do this with the back pleat only, but the concept is the same for every pattern piece.

The skirt on our dress has already been sewn together to make it easier to show you how this is to be done:

 Here is what the skirt looks like closed. You can see that I've centered the plaid at the center back so that the seam matches with the center of the design.
I need to cut all of my pattern pieces, carefully planning out the plaid placement. Once sewn this opening will become an inverted box pleat.

 If I were to just cut out without regard to the fabric design, this could be the result.

 First, I lay my pattern piece over the top of my skirt with the hem and seams matching. I tack the corners through my fabric and board to keep it from shifting. Using a ruler, I mark the center back and the the outer horizontal lines of my plaid on the pattern.

 I don't have much fabric left.

Oops. Centering the pattern both vertically and horizontally, I'll be missing a chunk.

I think I will move the pattern over, keeping the horizontal line centered, but put the vertical center on the red.

I'm going to slip my fabric under the opening to see if it will look alright. With the horizontal plaid lined up, it looks great.


My piece is cut out and ready to pin.

 I want to check that my plaid pattern matches at the seam allowance. Place pins directly to the right (or left) of each strip of color so that it doesn't shift while you sew.

My pleat is complete, and it looks great, don't you think?

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