Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Using Directional, or One-Way Prints

Using fabrics that have a print or design that must be matched takes a little know-how, and a lot of forethought. 

  • If you use a lot of vintage patterns like I do, you'll see on the back of the pattern envelope a yardage suggestion and pattern layout for "one-way or with nap" fabrics. (Contemporary patterns don't discuss this much now, or show a layout.) So what's a one-way print? I'll show you.

  • My striped fabric looks like this when I look at it from one direction. The stripes, from left to right, go brown, chartreuse, aqua, brown.

  • When I look at my striped fabric from the other direction, the stripes go brown, aqua, chartreuse, brown. If I don't stop and think carefully while I'm cutting out, my stripes won't match up at the shoulder seams.

  • I wanted my shoulder seam stripes to match up and look "continuous." I felt this was especially important because the sleeves on this 1945 dress are cut-in-one sleeves (that means there's no separate sleeve to set in; the sleeve is incorporated into the bodice). So when I laid out and cut out the front and back bodice pieces, I butted the shoulder seams together. Have a look.

  • When I joined the front to the back, it matched up perfectly. If you're fond of prints, take the time to look at them before you cut out your pattern and find out if they're an all-over design, or one-way. This dress isn't done yet, and I have even more pattern matching to do.

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