vintage-y modern plaid at Britex, I knew I had found the fabric for which I had been searching. I had in mind a short sleeve button-up shirt for my husband, but wanted something different than classic dress shirting. This fab plaid completely fit the bill! However, once I laid out the fabric and went to cut out my pattern, I realized I had a big challenge ahead of me. Plaid. Matching plaid is one issue; deciding in which direction the plaid should be arranged and the overall layout was the other. Should the plaid on the yoke be diagonal? If the yoke is on the straight grain, could the pockets be diagonal? What about the placket?? I was completely paralyzed by indecision for a while, but after looking at some ready-to-wear men's tops, I opted to go for a straight-laced version with no diagonally arranged plaid pieces. Really working the 70s vibe of the fabric might look great, but I wanted to be sure my husband would actually wear the shirt!
Sewaholic has a great piece on plaid matching. Her suggestions for carefully pinning your fabric to ensure that the plaids are lined up and drawing plaid lines onto your pattern pieces are invaluable.
This post will help you tackle matching plaids and keeping the pattern continuous across the front of a button-up shirt, with or without button placket.
Since I drafted the button placket for this shirt, it helped me visualize the process by drawing in the sewing and topstitching lines for the placket on the left piece.
I decided that I wanted the center of the shirt and button placket to fall between the dominant plaid lines, so the center front of the right side was centered accordingly. Then, the left side front piece was overlapped onto the other side, carefully lining up the center front lines and pinned everything in place.
With the pieces overlapping, this is how the plaid pattern will appear on your final garment. However, the fabric can't be cut with the pieces overlapping, so the plaid lines must be transferred onto the pattern pieces.
|Collar, yoke and back all match up|
- be sure to mind the width of your seam allowance. If your sewing machine doesn't have the right seam allowance guideline, measure and draw the guideline on a piece of clear tape.
- use plenty of pins, but don't sew over them (the lump created by the pin may move your fabric).
- a walking foot can really help keep plaid lines together, particularly for thick fabrics.