Mexican Embassy, Berlin
I’m a big fan of prints and patterns and thus I couldn’t pass on this large check wool fabric when I spotted it on Maybachufer fabric market. Even though, I have been sewing for a really long time, each print/pattern still proves to be a challenge. After all, each print is different. To show off the large check as good as possible, I chose to use my Grande Arche coat pattern, which doesn’t have any dividing seams and has straight hems. For this coat I took care that the check matches at the side seam as well as the sleeve seam. Additionally, I made sure that the pattern is centered in the back. At first, I wanted to use the check diagonally at the pockets but it didn’t look good due to its large size. That’s why I made sure that the check at the pocket matched the coat and have sewn on the pocket by hand so nothing would shift. As you can see, each print requires a different approach. Through years of sewing with prints, I have acquired some tricks that I want to share with you today:
- Purchase enough fabric – Therefore, prints match perfectly at the seams, you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of fabric that you need. Especially, if the print also has a direction. You should consider the size of repeat for this, e.g. the smallest print size that gets repeated in the print. Prints with large repeats require a lot more fabric than ones with small or invisible repeats, which barely require more fabric than usual.
- Prepare the fabric – Of course, any fabric should be washed and ironed before cutting, but this is especially crucial for prints. Prints can get distorted during washing and should be dried as flat as possible. Also during ironing you should take care not to stretch out the print.
- Consider the direction of the print – Prints often have a direction e.g. floral prints with blooms showing all upwards. With this types of prints it is important to cut all pattern pieces into the direction of the print. But also irregular graphic prints should be cut in only one direction as cutting up- and downwards will be visible. In addition, one should take care that the print is centered at the front and back center.
- Match the print at the right points – No matter how hard you try, it will never be possible to match the print at all points. Thus, you should focus on the most important and most visible points. At least at the side seams the print should match. Garments that have e.g. a breast dart, require that the print matches at the hem instead of above the dart as it will stand out most at the hem. The next level of print matching is to match it also at the sleeve seam. However, this is only possible at the front and in most cases only at the lower part of the sleeve seam. Therefore, nothing shifts during sewing, I pin prints together with cross pins, which you don’t have to take out during sewing.
- Play with the print – To match prints perfectly can be very time consuming. Graphic prints like stripes or checks can also be used vertically or diagonally like I did at my favourite striped skirt. This results into interesting effects and you have spared yourself the tedious pattern matching 😉
Coat: me-made pattern Grande Arche Coat from Sewionista Patterns
Blouse: Paul Costelloe via TK Maxx
Fake leather leggings: Zara
Bag: Abro (2nd Hand via Vite en Vogue)
Ballet flats: Zign via Zalando