Pattern Matching – sewing tip

I know I had a previous entry about pattern matching but this one is a little different. I cut the adorable birdie fabric that I mentioned in my last post and I am ready to make some valances. Generally when sewing clothing I don’t run into the issue of having to match widths of fabric together, however when talking about home dec… this is something that you can’t escape (unless of course you just always choose solids.)

Here are two widths of fabric that I have side by side so you can see what I am talking about.

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When cutting fabric in this case you need to be aware of the pattern and cut with the repeat. Here I used the flower motif as a starting point, each straight cut across the width would be started at this point in the pattern. That way if you need to sew them side by side it will be one continuous repeating pattern.

So here is the hard part… actually sewing it so it looks good.

Sometimes you can get away with just lining up the printers marks (the crosshatch and colored circles on the selvage) and sewing a half inch or more. Sometimes you can also just keep peeking as you sew to make sure things are lined up, but this works best for bigger patterns and more geometric designs.

Now for the birdies, and generally any kind of swirling or more complicated design I take a different approach. In the picture below you can see that I pressed my top edge back so I can see a little piece of the print. I then line up my fabric pieces, right sides together while the one pressed edge will allow me to see part of the pattern.

Line up your pattern but offset it to the right just a smidge, cross your fingers and pray, then sew.

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I use the inside edge of my presser foot as a guide right along the pressed edge of my upper fabric. Since we offset the match, the placement of your needle ends up being in the perfect place.

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Viola!

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not quite perfect but I think it is acceptable.

Hopefully that made sense to you… let me know if it was a little confusing and I can try to explain when I am more awake…

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3 comments

  1. sewgreenflamingo

    hahah, well I hope you and others find it handy. I know for a while I would just stare at patterns (with a glazed look over my eyes) trying to figure out if there was anyway to make it look good.

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