More than once I have come away from a fabric store with a beautiful print fabric only to find that, when I’ve gotten it home and spread it out, it contained hidden secondary patterns I didn’t see at the store. No matter the type of sewing you do: garments, home décor, quilts, accessories: this scenario may play out for you, too. I started cutting out a new top for my oldest niece and found just this situation on the cutting table before me. I thought I was dealing with a fabric that had a repeating pattern of circles in a type of horizontal stripe. Once the fabric was laid out I found I was not only dealing with the circles in horizontal stripes but also a portion of fabric area with no circles that formed a vertical stripe. This meant I was dealing with….you guessed it…. a horizontal stripe + a vertical stripe… known as a plaid. Yikes! To top things off, the patterns created an uneven plaid, meaning the pattern was not identical with every repeat.
My father taught me how to match fabric patterns; stripes, fabric repeats, plaids, many years ago. He was an amazing upholsterer and was a magician when it came to matching fabric patterns. He taught me that the secret to matching patterns was patience and concentration. I now have the top cut and will begin sewing tomorrow. Only the finished product will let me know if I was paying close enough attention to my father’s lessons! I will include some pictures next week. I hope these tips help you with your next pattern matching adventure!
This type of pattern matching is not something to attempt when you are tired! Make sure you are ready to concentrate, then enjoy the puzzle! Happy Sewing!