Last Friday I went to Joanne's to scope out some cheap but fun fabric to make yet another blouse before I start on my suit jacket, and I happened across this great cotton black and white 1" gingham that is thicker than usual cotton material for shirts and with more structure, which I love and gravitate toward all the time. It reminds me of something out out Kate Spade, who happens to be one of my favorite designers, so I got my 40% coupon out and bought as much as I could-- only 1 3/8 yards were left on the bolt. I was hoping it would be enough to make a blouse with short sleeves, and it was! That was until I made up on sleeve (normal, everyday flat sleeve) and hated it. I'm going to scope out the rest of the Slat Lake City Joanne's to find more of this gingham today so I can possibly make some great petal sleeves, which you all haven't seen in awhile now... Don't know what I am going to do for the collar yet.
Matching plaids, gingham's, or stripes is necessary for a good-looking article of clothing, but is a pain in the butt to do. Before you even cut out, the lines and squares have to match up to cute out two even and balanced pieces at one time. I like to pin through both layers of fabric so that all the lines match up and don't shift as I pin on the pattern pieces.
Now to cut out pieces so that the seams will continue the straight line print of the fabric, it is best to lay out pieces that will be sewn together next to one another, with the notches matching. This is especially important for princess pattern pieces-- you want those notches at the chest to line up so that the princess seam does not interfere with the print.
I started to sew the Center Back seam of my blouse to make sure that the seam was on grain and following the print. The first time around I got this (no bueno):
The print is only slightly off, but those little details make a big difference in the finished product, especially when it is on a straight seam like Center Back or Center Front.
The hardest part about matching stripes or plaids is working with the curved seams. No these seams aren't perfect on the back of my blouse, but it is pretty good with curvature. The print is hardly interrupted, and the fact that the CB is so good, the interruption is less noticeable for the other seams. For the first real plaid I've ever worked with, I'm pretty proud of myself.
I think petal sleeves is going to look great on this blouse, and I hope more people like it than my puffy-sleeved blouse :/