Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista--playing with plaid shirting

Do you have fabrics that simply make you happy?  For me, it depends on the season and the colors.  In the fall and winter, I simply love plaid.  To me they speak of giving warmth, are cozy, and the colors are fun.  And, if you have seen some of my makes before, I gravitate towards red, black and white.  This plaid was the perfect choice.  Plus that turquoise blue is awesome!


It takes a little bit of practice to match plaids at critical points such as the center front, center back, shoulders, arms, etc.  Here are some tips I have found from trial and error. 


Depending on the style of your garment, it is super important the center front matches.  I always purchase extra fabric for matching plaids.  You just never know when you might have a mishap...


When working with plaids, find out whether your plaid is even or uneven.  If you fold back a corner to make a 45 degree angle, you will know.  If the pattern matches, it is even, if it looks like mine, it is uneven.  


I just love using vintage sewing books for reference on sewing fabrics that aren't on my sewing table daily.  This one is great for an explanation on how to sew plaid fabrics.  You must match the pattern within the seam lines, not the pattern edges.  It will make a difference, trust me. :)  


What you can see here is that I cut my plaids in a single layer.  I draw pencil lines on the pattern pieces where the designs need to match. In this case, I drew where the bold white lines intersected with a pencil so it is super hard to see in this photo.  


You'll want to make sure your seam lines match a critical points such as the shoulder seams, center front and back, down the sleeves, etc.  Sometimes I sort of 'cheat' and cut pieces on the bias to add a bit of drama and so that I don't have to have everything match.


My collar and center of the back yoke match, along with the shoulder seams, side seams, and center front.


Is that little loop a fun detail?  I had to add it.  I just had to.


My chosen fabric is a cotton shirting and since it is rather lightweight, to give the hem line just a bit of heft to help it hang properly, I cut bias strips to add to the hemline.  I turned it to the inside and top-stitched on the outside.  


On the inside cuff, I trimmed away the sleeve seam allowance, turned in the cuff allowance and top-stitched to finish off that seam.  I like how nice can clean the finish is.


Here is an area where I 'cheated' on matching the plaid.  I very simply cut the pocket on the bias.  I like the visual interest it gives.




Down the center sleeve, when I first laid out the pattern and decided which seam was dominate, this theme resonated throughout the garment.  That dominate part of the pattern became the center of the sleeve as well.  See my bias cut cuffs?  They go with the bias cut pocket.


Since this has a back yoke and a pleat, it isn't possible to have the pattern match everywhere.  I made sure my centers matched and went from there.  I did however make sure my side seams matched along with the sleeve pattern.  




I decided to highlight the red in the fabric with little red buttons.  


I really, really love this top.  I had a lot of fun putting it together.


It is always a challenge taking photos outdoors in South Dakota.  The wind just blows and blows.

Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Comments

  1. Love your plaid shirt!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great job Sue! I love that color combination on you, and your plaid placement is perfect. And thanks for the tip on matching the plaid on the seamline, not the edges!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, congratulations on your happy, well-made garment sewn from a fabric of style and colors that shows you in an outstanding way! I've seen you in your self-sewn garments for years online, admired your work always and this is the one I personally like the best on you! Thanks so much for all the tips ... I look forward to sewing my own plaid garment, greatly appreciate your sharing and anticipate warmly seeing your sewing again! Lynda from Toronto, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the great tips and reminders for sewing with plaids! I mark lines on the pattern, too, even for matching large prints. This color is especially pretty on you, and I love the idea of the bias-faced hem. Keep on sewing!

    Kathy in Arkansas

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is it best to sew plaid shirts with patterns that don't have darts or princess seams? I want to make some plaid shirts, but am stumped at how to match the plaid with shaping detail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! For the first few plaid garments you make, I would use a simple, straight silhouette, like the one that I used. You can get the plaid to match at princess seams, but it is a lot of work and not something that you want to try if you aren't familiar working with plaids. Good luck!!!

      Delete
  6. Wow ! Thank you for giving me a little push to get back into sewing .Thanks for all your tips also .I'll have to give this a try after the holidays . Thanks again Bev

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Completing My Handmade Cruise Capsule

I was lucky to go on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas with my husband! For the occasion, and for this April post, I initially planned on doing two versions of the Wanda Wrap Dress: a colorful sleeveless one for daytime excursions and a darker mid-sleeved one for nighttime outings. Thankfully, I did the black one first and realized I preferred to sew something else with the other fabric. Why? Indeed, the dress is very comfortable to wear. It is flowy, elegant and a good option for day or night, depending on the chosen fabric. But, with its six panels full skirt, its faux-wrap top, and its extended waistband, this dress took almost two yards of fabric to make, even in a small size! With this jersey knit elastic fabric, it ended up being bulky and heavy to pack. Knowing I am used to traveling with very minimal luggage (backpack forever!), bulkiness and weight do not work for me. I will wear this in Miami, but it won’t travel much with me in the future.  Also, making the Wanda Dress wasn’t

Made By A Fabricista: Spring Ahead

Happy Spring!  We have finally made it into my favorite season which happens to also be my birthday season.  I feel like the New Year really starts in the spring season as everything comes back alive, and we all feel refreshed. So, for this post I created two separate looks to encompass my spring vibes. This first look I dared myself to create a look using two different prints.  I don’t work with prints often, but I had been really inspired lately by fellow Fabricista Marcia (keechiibstyle) who just has a magical way with mixing her prints. For this I used two different print jersey knits of 2yds each and McCall’s Pattern M8238 which allows for easy color blocking but in this case print mixing.  The fabric requirements call for a 2 way stretch but this knit worked just fine for the pattern. I love the contrast between the two prints.  This is the perfect spring style but can also but transitioned into summer as well. I did view C which had a high slit in the center.  Initially I planne

Made By A Fabricista: Summer Brunch looks just in time for Mother’s Day

Happy First Friday of May! I am truly excited that I have 22 more work days left before the summer break.  This school year has been a roller coaster ride and I have enjoyed some high moments and dealt with some low ones in between.  I wanted to start my summer looks early and decided to focus on looks I can wear when I visit Jamaica or other tropical places. These looks made are both great for Sunday brunch as well. This set is my first faux romper for this year and I love the fact that I can rock it as separates. When I came across this yellow graphite gray polyester fabric , I knew it was perfect for summer.  To top it off, I found the perfect matching earring from Purple Paradise Studio in lime (Rise stud in lime) and knew I wanted a chic summer faux romper set.  I decided to hack  McCalls 7943 dress pattern and create another top.  I have made it several times as I truly love it and plan to use this pattern as one of the beginner patterns for my summer sewing class. I have made it