Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Pattern placing

I think I muttered last week about pattern placing, to get the right fabric pattern where you want it on your garment? I did right?

For the blue floral number I made last week, I really wanted the tablecloth fabric's pattern to show in the right places in that dress. It was a shift dress, so I made sure the pattern piece (front and back) was balance for the hemline to have a white border, and the floral pattern to grow thicker as it got higher up into the dress. So when I layed out the pattern pieces, I folded the large tablecloth to the best bits, for the front and back pieces to be cut out on those best bits. (ERGH, I'm worried I sound weird explaining this. I'll just keep going, and hopefully it'll make sense!)

SO! For the *sleeves* I thought: "Wouldn't it be cool to make the sleeves sit on the corner pieces of the floral pattern?" like this:

So I laid out the material's corners, matching those blue flowers, the edges of the pattern (of the fabric) and then added the sleeve pattern piece (like the above/top photo) and checked and rechecked that the flower was in the centre of the pattern pieces (like below) and then cut them out.

Cool hey? I do this with most of my pattern pieces (and I'm sure a lot of you experienced seamstresses do this too) and especially if there's an obvious print. Most of the time it works out, and if you only have enough material to match the front pieces (for example: if your dress has a bodice piece and a skirt bit that you have to attach, intead of a all in one front piece like a shift dress) just do the front, and the back pieces will still look cute.

Wow. Another Veronica Darling sewing lesson 101. I'll totally get better at explaining things, I just need practice!


  1. Totally important so that some prints compliment your curves fabulously and not make them, er larger than they are. I thought about print placement for ages on my pineapple dress. Love the 101.

  2. Dear Veronica,

    I am reading your blog for a few weeks now and I just love what you do. You are a great inspiration.

    When I want to match patterns on a fabric, I use a slightly different method which I like better because I don't need to check and recheck if the pattern is matching.
    I use BURDA plastic tracing sheets. I copy the pattern on the plastic sheet (which also preserves the fragile vintage pattern) and use the copied pattern pieces. I can lay out the pattern pieces and because they are transparent, I can immediately see if the fabric pattern is going to match or not. f that isn't enough, it is very pliable, so you can use it for a fitting.

    I don't know where to buy it outside Germany but you can order it here: http://www.resew.de/product_info.php/info/p3922_Burda-Copyfoil.html/XTCsid/qk89u4dfpab87tg1d76nek7ql5 (they also ship overseas)

    Kindest regards from Germany



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