Aligning plaid and stripe fabric can be tricky and time consuming. This tutorial shows you one way of aligning stripes. It definitely takes a bit of time, but it’s a nearly foolproof way of getting the job done. Patterns that match up on the sides always look professional. Take some time to try out this technique if you’ve never done so before.
When sewing with plaids or stripes, it’s best to purchase a little more fabric than you need. Usually you’ll end up using more fabric with stripes or plaid because you have to match up the fabric pattern correctly. When sewing, the trick is to go slowly and check as you sew, making sure the fabric is still aligned.
- Plaid or Stripe Fabric
For Cut 2 Pattern Pieces:
1. Lay out fabric in one layer. Place pattern piece on fabric with the grainlines matching up.
2. Cut out pattern piece.
3. Turn over the piece you just cut. Place the right side down on the uncut fabric. Make sure that the pattern is aligned correctly.
4. Flip the pattern piece. Place on top of the piece you just cut. Cut out second pattern piece.
For Cut on the Fold Pieces:
1. Place pattern piece on a large sheet of paper. Tape along the fold line.
2. Lightly score the line and fold the paper over.
3. Use a tracing wheel to trace the outline of the pattern piece along with any notches and markings.
3. Fold piece back out and draw a grainline. Do this by matching up a ruler along the fold line and drawing a line on the pattern piece.
4. Cut the pattern piece out along the traced outline.
4. Smooth out the paper and place on fabric. Match up the sides with the corresponding pattern pieces to make sure the pattern is aligned before cutting.
5. Now go ahead and cut the fabric.
These methods can easily be used for plaids, horizontal stripes, and patterns on a grid. While there are several ways to attain matching sides and pieces, this is the one we prefer to use. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please do so in our forum post on matching plaids and stripes!