One of the recent projects that I made for myself was a plaid dress. I love it, except I wore it to the Opera last night (it's the prairies we're very casual out here) and realized that if I'm going out for dinner first I should add another button just below the waistline. That or exercise. But I digress...
I took great care when cutting out the bodice of the dress. My main concern was to match the plaid.
Commercial patterns will provide guidelines as to whether the design is suitable for plaids. It is typically advised to avoid princess seams and long horizontal darts if considering a pattern design for plaid fabric. Most patterns that are considered appropriate for plaid suggest that additional metrage will be required for matching.
How much extra fabric?
That will depend on size of the pattern plus the size of the plaid repeat. Consideration to whether your plaid is even or uneven plaid will determine the amount of extra fabric required.
Even plaids are easier to work with. And an even plaid is considered suitable for garments with a centre opening, centre seams, or bias cut.
Uneven plaid takes more yardage because it requires a one-way layout. It is more time consuming when laying out the pattern pieces and have fewer style possibilities. Unless, of course the mismatch look is your thing.
Also keep in mind when purchasing a plaid fabric if it is a print of woven plaid.
I personally avoid printed plaids. But if you do go ahead with a printed plaid you will want to take care to check that the print is not off-grain.
Luckily, I had a lot of metrage of this plaid in my fabric stash.
Since the skirt was flared, I basically focussed on the dark green stripes (crosswise) matching up at the centre front. And it worked out even though the light green stripes did not match with the waistband.
I took care with the crosswise matching before I even laid out my pattern pieces. The crosswise matching was painstaking done from the salvage edge. I pinned the salvage at two inch intervals.
Crosswise matching is done by placing corresponding notches on identical crossbars, making certain to do all your matching at the seamlines (not your cutting lines).
It is not the best plaid matching that I have done but I'm good with how it turned out. Well, besides that button thing I have to correct.
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