How did it turn out in the finished shirt? Not perfect, but not bad either.
The side seams involve mainly matching horizontal features.
Because the side seam is curved, vertical features simply will move in and out of the seam. The horizontal features matched up very well, though the large pink lines sometimes didn’t match perfectly at a few points along the seam. This despite pinning the fabric before stitching and using the walking foot.
Left-hand side seam
Right-hand side seam
Shoulders are a mixed bag. The left-hand shoulder was a dead-on match of the vertical features with the back side:
whereas the right-hand shoulder was off.
I think this was because I was trying too hard to continue the vertical features from the left front side, across the front band, to the right side of the shirt when I was laying out the right-hand front piece. I should have matched the vertical shoulder stripes instead.
The front band matched nicely on both left and right sides.
Left-side front band
Right-side front band
What didn’t turn out perfectly was the continuation of the vertical features across the center line of the shirt. When the shirt is buttoned, there’s a repeat of the vertical white stripe rather than a nice continuation of the pattern:
Buttoned shirt. The vertical pattern doesn’t continue perfectly across the front band.
Again, if I had matched both fronts vertically at the shoulder line, then matched the front band vertically to the fronts, I’m pretty sure everything would have turned out perfectly. Something to try next time.
The pocket turned out terrific, though truth be told, the pocket is probably one of the easiest things to get right. You can tweak the positioning so that the plaids line up every time. The initial pattern layout/cutting work is to make sure you don’t have to tweak the placement much.
Front left-side patch pocket
Since the collar is cut perpendicular to the other pieces, we just match one feature – the pink stripe at center. That went well.
Collar, rear view. Pink center lines almost match.
My skills at plaid-matching are definitely a work-in-progress. I may revisit this blog post in the future with a followup, with more specific suggestions for matching at tricky spots like front band closures/flys, shoulders and sleeves.
Even though this shirt didn’t turn out perfect, the plaids match much better than those on a commercially-made Ben Sherman shirt in my collection.
And finally, I’ll close with a bit that I learned from BrianSews at the BrianSews blog: when it comes to matching plaids, it’s the thought that counts. If you make the effort to do the matching, even if it doesn’t quite perfectly match, your eye is very forgiving and will overlook those imperfections.
The finished shirt
Thanks to mportuesisf for letting us publish this tutorial!
Visit his blog http://lineofselvage.jotabout.com
Read mportuesisf's review of McCall's 6044.
mportuesisf is this month's Member in Focus. Read more about him and his sewing philosophy.
See the other posts in this series:
Matching Plaids - Part 1
Matching Plaids - Part 2
Read more about matching plaids.
Read tips about matching plaids.