Matching Patterns/Prints at Seams
I’d like to hear from anyone who has mastered the technique of matching a repeating print or pattern at the seams in order to give the garment a seamless effect. I have found that to be one of the most exasperating things, and I can’t believe that there’s not an easier method than the one that I’m using — basically eyeballing and some measuring. Anybody have any ideas?
Sandra, I've had success by matching the pattern with notches on both pieces you are trying to match. You will be even more successful if you cut layers of fabric one at a time. If you have a piece that should lay on the fold, draft the mirror image, tape together, and cut one layer at a time.
When pinning, I fold back the top seam allowance to make sure the patterns align; then I pin baste along the seam line rather than perpendicular to the seam.
Although this doubles your work, at least you get perfect alignment.
If I am doing the work for a client, I make sure to build that cost into my estimate, and explain to the client why I do so. Generally they understand why they are being charged more, in order to have a perfect garment.
*Matching: I have had excellent success with my method: I lay out the CF piece where I want it, watching for major motif, secondary motifs, etc. Beware the dread "bullseyes on the bust"! I generally try to have a motif repeat horizontally around the bodice thrugh the ribcage area where there is lett distortion from the bustline. Cut CF piece, fold back the s/a and place it somewhere else on the fabric exactly over the same motif. Fold back the s/a on the pattern for the right side front, and place immediately adjacent to the front so the same place (height from waistline) on theseamline for the side front matches the seamline for the front. Then do the same for side back, other sf and other sb. The center back should be as carefully placed as was the CF. Frequently it is possible to match all the seams except one (there is always one that won't match, God's way of keeping us humble). The key is to keep that major motif whole as you go horizontally around the body. Smaller adjustments then tend to blend in.Good luck!
*Lay out primary front piece making certain print or plaid is centered as desired. Trace design or mark plaid stripe colors directly onto the paper pattern piece at matching points. May be necessary to make a mirror image from tissue to get full front piece if design or plaid is not balanced. When laying out subsequent pieces, use these traced placements to be certain of your matches.
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