Here's how to match a print

Nothing looks better than a perfectly matched print. Matching prints can be something of a mystery, but here are some great tips on how to get it straight:

Lots of prints to match
in the Weekend Travel
Ensemble by Carol Zentgraf. 

With a large floral pattern you
want to carefully match with
the adjoining pattern piece.

–If using a patterned fabric, such as a large floral print, you'll need to carefully match the print on adjoining pattern pieces. To do this, you can temporarily place adjoiningpieces right sides together (as they would be sewn) and pick an adjoining point at the top and bottom of each piece to check the placement; mark these spots with a pencil.

–When you are placing each pattern piece in preparation for cutting, make sure you line up your pencil marks along like areas of the print so that the print will be continuous once those pieces are joined (you may need to ensure that the two pattern pieces, once joined, will create one full element of the print, such as a flower).

–Alternatively, you could use the same process to place a cut piece over an adjoining pattern piece that has not yet been cut, adjusting the placement of the pattern piece until the print matches up with the already-cut piece. Make sure thatall adjoining pieces are matched before or as you cut.

For lots of projects that mix all sorts of prints, check out the new Patchwork Please! book in the Sew Daily Shop.

Do you have any great tips for working with prints? Do tell!

Happy stitching!

Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

One thought on “Here's how to match a print

  1. Oh, this brings back memories. Sometimes, patterns such as you have shown are best cut a single layer at a time. That way you can very carefully match crosswise and lengthwise. Secondly, there is a product available now that wasn’t available when I did most of my garment-making sewing. It is called “basting tape”. I couldn’t function without it now. Thirdly, an even-feed sewing foot keeps an even pressure on both pieces of fabric as they flow under the foot. All the careful alignment during the cutting process can go awry if the fabric slips as it passes under the sewing foot.