Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Match Plaids??

It's easier than you might think!  I had some help from a cyber sewing friend and online searches.

This is the pair of shorts I mentioned in my last post.  This is a Butterwick pattern, vintage I believe, 6025.  And I must say, the instructions were quite easy to follow, mostly.  The only place I got a bit hung up was on the tabbed front close which I wound up not using.

Now without further ado, how exactly do you match plaids?

First, lay out your pressed fabric in a single layer and pin one of the pieces (front or back) to the fabric.  I used the back.  Make certain you line up your grain line with one of the plaid stripes.  I drew my line on the pattern all the way to one end to simplify this step.

Then I raised the pattern up on the other side to be sure I was on the same stripe.  My eyes went a little buggy doing this.

I also stuck a pin right at that mark in the middle of my pattern to keep it from sliding.

And this is the cut piece.
Now unpin the pattern from the fabric, and use the fabric piece you just cut to cut out the other half of the back.  ***Make sure you flip the fabric piece over.** Otherwise, you'll have 2 pieces of the back right.

Start on one corner and match up the plaids. Match them both vertically and horizontally.

Then pin the other corner and down the side in between.

This is the other side.  Try to match the curves as closely as possible.  They may be just a smidge off.

Once you have it all lined up and pinned, cut it out.

Now take your front pattern piece and lay it on top of one of your back pattern pieces just like they would go together when stitching.  Match up the notches.  Notches are very important here.

Now, right on your pattern piece, mark your darker stripes both vertically and horizontally in multiple places on the pattern.

I slid this one down a bit so you could see.

Here you can see my marks all down that one side where the side seam will be.  Make sure you mark the lines around your notches really well.  I didn't get a pic of this.

Now take that pattern piece and line it up on your fabric lining up the marks you made with the plaid in the fabric.  I don't know why I don't have a pic of that step.  Cut that piece out, flip it over to cut out the second one.

Now for my side front piece.  Take that pattern piece and again line it up with the back piece where it will be sewn together.  Mark your lines just like you did before.  In this pic, you can see where my fold line is, so I want that pattern piece right at the fold line.
Here are my marks at the corner.  Just mark these in several places down that side.  Do NOT cut the waistband pattern piece out yet.
Now I will begin attaching my pieces.  This is my front seam below the zipper. Just ignore that little white thread.  That is gone now!

Next I attached my pocket to my front side, because it will be pressed in and won't show.  Then I attached my side front to my front.  See the plaids match!
This is my back seam after stitching the two back pieces together.

This is how I attached my waistband to get it to match almost perfectly.  There is only a waistband on the front in this pattern.  Remember our waistband hasn't been cut yet.  Take your pattern piece and line it up at the top of the waistline and mark your plaids just like you did earlier.

This is vertically and horizontally.  This is the only picture that turned out, but it's the same as the other pieces.  Mark in in several places across the top.  Take the pattern piece and lay it on your fabric matching your lines to the plaid in the fabric.  Now cut it out.

And this is what it looks like once you stitch it on the pants.  Nearly perfect.  Just make sure to match the notches and the plaids when you pin them together.  My vertical seams are off a bit.  I imagine I didn't get them quite lined up when I marked them.  Also, right where my pleats fall (middle), they didn't line up exact.  But they are close.

And this is the side view showing the side seam (front to back), side front and waistband.

And a close up of the other side.

If I missed anything or didn't make something clear, please email me.  I'll be glad to answer questions.  I am also working on another plaid (larger squares this time), so I will snap some pics to keep just in case.

Just in summary.  The most important part of this process is matching your notches and lining up your pattern correctly where it will attach and drawing your lines correctly placed.  Be sure to mark your lines all around your notches.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vintage Butterwick 6025

This is a pair of shorts I made for Robbie.  I love Polo shorts for him, because they run very slim and look great.  But mom doesn't like the price tag.  I made these for less than $10 including the zipper.  This pair of shorts really tested my learning ability.  I had many "firsts" with these shorts.

First, matching plaids.  I'll actually post a tute soon on exactly how I got the plaids to match everywhere with the exception of the hem. Bummer I couldn't get those to match!  The plaids here match on the side seams, the front and back seams, the pockets, the side front right behind the pockets, the waistband, and the carriers.  Yes, these all match with the exception of one or two places that no one will ever see.  I was very excited at my plaid matching ability, since I failed so miserably on my last attempt.

Second, a mock fly.  This was scary to me at first, but the instructions were very clear on this pattern, and with only one rip out, it went on seamlessly.

Third, pockets.  I have not done a pair of shorts at all other than boxers, so getting the pockets in these was scary too, but they weren't nearly as difficult as I had imagined.

Fourth, waistband that attaches to an elastic back waist.  Again, I was a little nervous, and I don't like exactly how the band looks.  It is slightly off on my plaid matching horizontally.  I'm pretty sure I know how to fix this on my next attempt.

And Fifth, this pattern called for a (for lack of a better term) tabbed button front close.  I didn't get that tabbed part sewn on correctly and didn't realize it until I had already trimmed the fabric back.  So I just chopped it off completely and opted for a straight front edge.  I will attempt this one again, because I do like the look.

So that's it.  I'll tease you with the matching plaid until my next post on how I did it.  This is the side view.  You can see the side seam matches up, the side front matches up, the pocket matches up and the waist band matches up.  I'm pretty certain that carrier is not that crooked, but now that I see the photo, I'll have to go check it out again!  Good grief! 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Perfect Mother's Day Gift Idea

My MIL loves it when the kids make her something for any holiday.  And this Mother's Day was no exception.  I actually had a painted tile given to me years ago, but it wasn't until last week that I had this "aha" moment.  I went to Home Depot and bought the tiles for $.15, the paint was $3.00 from Michael's and the clear coat was another $3.00.

My 9-year old son painted all of these himself with very little direction from Mom.   This is one of my favorites.

He loves lions, so of course he had to paint one.

He painted a bowl of fruit that I have sitting on my counter here.  It's another favorite.

We put felt pads on the back.

And this is the clear coat I used so the paint would be permanent.

My MIL is a big UGA fan like Robbie and me, so he had to paint the Georgia "G".

Robbie painted these in less than an hour.  I put several coats of the finish paint and let it dry in the sun.  It said to wait an hour between coats, but with our heat lately, it dried in 20 minutes.  And the total cost of the project was less than $7.00.  But I believe it will be priceless to my MIL.

Happy Monday!!