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Tips & Techniques > Matching Plaids and Stripes

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Posted by: monijo
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Member since: 7/5/08
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Posted on: 3/13/09 10:52 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 20 people   
Here are general directions for matching plaids and stripes:

Even and Uneven Plaids and Stripes

�Even plaids have the same design arrangement in both lengthwise and crosswise directions. The repeat forms a perfect square. Fold the length of fabric lengthwise. When one corner of the fabric is folded back diagonally through the center of a repeat, all color bars will match at each layer.
� Uneven plaids have a different design arrangement in either the crosswise or lengthwise direction or in both directions. When one corner of the fabric is folded back through the center of a repeat, the color bars will not match in one or both directions.
� To be double sure that a plaid is even, fold the fabric both vertically and horizontally through the center of a repeat. The color bar should match both vertically and horizontally. At times, an uneven plaid will match diagonally but not vertically.

Extra Fabric Formula for Matching Plaids and Stripes

� Measure the length of the fabric repeat.
� Count the number of major fabric pieces.
� Multiply the pattern repeat measurement by the number of major pieces.
� The result will be the amount of extra fabric needed.

Plaids and Stripes Layout.

� Lay out pattern pieces so that seams which will be sewn together are next to each other.
� Match the fabric pattern from hem to the waistline, dart or under arm.
� Match the fabric pattern on the bodice and skirt at the center front and center back
� Lay out pattern pieces so that the sleeves and bodice front match at the armhole notches.
� Lay armscye of both sleeves and bodice on the same stripe. (Does not work if garment has darts.)
� Maintain the vertical repeat from jacket to skirt.
� Position prominent vertical color bar at the center of sleeves, yokes and collars.
� Place dominant horizontal bar on or close to garment edges. For straight hem, cut along lower edge stripe.
� Avoid placing dominant horizontal color bars across the fullest part of the bust, hips or at the waistline. To do so will make these figure areas look larger.
� Pin or use basting tape to keep fabric in place along the repeats before pinning pattern in place.

Quick Way to Match Plaids

� Cut a single pattern piece at a time.
� Then turn that piece over and use it as a pattern for the other side.

Matching Plaids and Stripes at Seamline

� Mark the seam allowance of one section.
� Turn under the seam allowance of the other section.
� Use a glue stick on the folded seam allowance.
� Right sides up on a flat surface, align the patterns.
� Finger press in place.
� Iron dry.
� Turn the seam to its normal position and stitch.

Cut Small Sections on the Bias

Yokes, pockets and other small sections can be cut on the bias. This will lessen the frustration of matching while at the same time adding points of interest to the dress design.

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taylorsi1955 said...
This is excellent. I've steered clear of stripes and plaids for a long time - left some beautiful stripes in the store yesterday! Now I am ready to give it a try. Many thanks!
3/14/09 6:16 AM
Andy Druian said...
Thank you for this - always an interesting & very important detail to note and keep so handy!
3/14/09 9:24 AM
Peggym said...
very helpful. Thanks for this
3/15/09 6:21 PM
KempCorr said...
Very thorough - good to keep as a quick reference sheet.
3/16/09 8:37 AM
yorkshire lass said...
What timely advice. I have a piece of plaid spread across my floor with pattern pieces sort of floating around on it, waiting for inspiration to strike on how to place them properly. And now I know.
3/30/09 4:32 AM
eword10 said...
I have a question about the formula. So if my repeat is 12 inches long and I have 4 pattern pieces, that means I should buy 1.3 extra yards? And thank you for these wonderful tips!!!
4/1/09 10:40 AM
monijo said...
Yes, Eword10, that is what you will need to purchase. I would even buy a little more extra to be certain. The formula is for the minimum you would need to buy.
4/2/09 2:33 PM
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