Boy's Cozy Pullover by Jil Cappuccio.
Plaid Curves Table Runner by Kevin Kosbab.
Men's Fall Zipper Jacket by Jil Cappuccio.
Mad for Plaid
though it's still warm outside, fall clothes and home decor are
starting to appear in stores, and my mailbox is full of catalogs
featuring the first look at fall offerings. Last night as I was flipping
through one of my favorite catalogs, I was immediately smitten with an
adorable plaid skirt with lovely leather buttons. It is definitely going
on my sewing to-do list for fall. I always associate plaid with fall
and winter sewing, even though you can find plaid fabrics all
year-round, from cottons and taffeta to flannel and wool.
In preparation for my plaid project, I pulled out this great list of tips and techniques for sewing with plaids published in Stitch Fall 2010, written by Rebecca Kemp Brent. It will definitely ensure my plaid skirt is a success!
Sewing Perfect Plaids
Matching plaid patterns at the seams can be tricky, so use these tips when selecting and sewing with this fabric classic.
- Buy extra yardage for flexibility in matching plaids across seam lines.
As a rule of thumb, purchase at least¼ yd (23 cm) more than the
pattern requirements. If the plaid's repeat is large or uneven, purchase
an extra ½-1 yd (46-91.5 cm).
- Even plaids are easier to use than uneven patterns. A plaid is even, or
balanced, if the repeat is exactly the same on both sides of the most
prominent color band, both crosswise and lengthwise. A plaid is uneven
if the pattern is different on the two sides of the main color band,
whether lengthwise, crosswise, or both.
- The larger the plaid, the more difficult it will be to match at the
seams. For a first foray into sewing with plaids, choose an even plaid
with a repeat no more than 3-4" (7.6-10 cm).
- The best patterns for plaids have few pieces and seams. Match the plaid
pattern at the center front and back seams (including button plackets)
and at the side seams where the front and back pieces join. Use pattern
notches as a guide for matching and concentrate on the bust and hip when
positioning the pattern pieces on the fabric.
- To facilitate matching the plaid, use a pencil to trace a portion of
the plaid repeat onto the first pattern piece. Sketch both lengthwise
and crosswise color bars and mark the colors on the pattern tissue.
Match the pattern piece that will be joined to the first with right
sides together, trace the pencil marks onto the second pattern tissue,
and use the pencil marks as a guide for placing the second pattern piece
on the fabric.
- Lay out the garment front first, then match and lay out the back
pattern pieces. Position the sleeves next and finish with the collar,
cuff, and facing pieces.
- Match the plaid when pinning seams before sewing. Fold back the top
fabric's seam allowance to check the match after pinning or turn the
pinned piece over and check that the pin enters and leaves the fabric
along the same color bar.A walking foot will keep the layers from
shifting as seams are sewn, for better matches across the seam line.
I hope these techniques inspire you to pull out some plaid fabric and make something fabulous for fall. And check out our StashBuster Sale for more sewing resources to get your sewing to-do list filled up for National Sewing Month!