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What should I do with this giant plaid?

AngieRobinson | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I was given this giant plaid fabric a long time ago and never knew what to do with it. After reading the recent article about working with big fabric patterns, I thought about it again but I’m still not sure what to do with it. It’s 45″ wide and 4yd long. I’m slim built so I feel like the pattern, and interest, will be lost if I try to use the fabric on the long grain. I was thinking of making a short sleeved shirt with one of the wide plaid stripes going across my mid-section starting at the bust. I’m small busted, so emphasizing that area looks good on me.

Any other ideas for me?

I suppose I could try to make a table cloth or duvet cover rather than clothing so you can see the large pattern. I could use both of those things as well.


  1. sewpro | | #1

    I agree that a tablecloth or duvet cover is the best way to use your plaid fabric. If you are small, you definitely want to stay away from all large prints and plaids. Your time is too valuable to waste it on the wrong fabric for your body. Always go for what is best for you and don't settle for less! Happy sewing, Janet

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    I recently saw a cute short-sleeved blouse in a Burda World of fashion magazine (I forget which issue, but probably the most recent) made of a large stripe. The stripe was oriented up and down on the blouse, and tucked all around the blouse horizontally, with tucks that were maybe 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. The effect was really cute--you could do something like that with this plaid to reduce the size of the pattern. Or make a pleated skirt, in which the pleats would similarly reduce the plaid repeat.

    The fabric would be excellent for home decor, but I think you could have fun working with it as a garment, too, if you handle it creatively.


    1. makesthings | | #3

      I'd make a gored skirt with the fabric on the bias.

  3. Elisabeth | | #4

    Pretty colors! Playing with bias designs could create something really interesting. Matching up stripes for a chevron effect. Or you could, on straight grain, make surprise pleats with the lighter big stripe for example. Meaning in a skirt you would see the reds if you stood still but if you move the lighter stripes open up and show.

    Tucks or small pleats sewn in could create a nice effect too or shirring. Large plaids can be subdued and played well with all kind of techniques especially a lighter weight one like this. It's only if you make and wear it as if it really were a duvet cover that it will look like one.

    1. ShannonG4d | | #5

      Other ideas:

      Cut it on the bias to minimize the "bigness" of the design.

      Smock part of the fabric geometrically.

      Cut the fabric apart and piece it back together to make interesting shapes from the lines in the fabric.

      Dye it.

      Use a stencil and bleach to remove color in a specific area of the fabric...perhaps create a border-print style design.

      Pleat it, broomstick style, and fuse the pleats permanently to interfacing.


  4. mem1 | | #6

    MMMM I can see a nice outdoor table cloth!

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