Sewing Tutorial | Quick & Easy Plaid Matching

Grainline Studio | Quick & Easy Plaid Matching

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about plaid matching since the release of the Archer Button Up Shirt and especially now with Archer Appreciation  Month. Today I’m going to show you a really easy quick way to make sure your plaids match up. Personally I’m of the camp where I don’t worry too much about the general placement of each vertical stripe on my garments, I kind of like a bit of a random look with that, but I do want my stripes to line up horizontally across my shirt from front to back to sleeve. This is a really quick way to make sure that happens. Draw a straight line connecting the underarm points across the front, back, and sleeve. Since the pattern is drafted for these points to meet up this will make sure your plaids meet as well.

Grainline Studio | Quick & Easy Plaid Matching

When cutting plaids I find it best to cut a single layer at a time. Actually I almost never cut double, you can get such a better yield with cutting a single layer! With plaids cutting one layer at a time will ensure that your plaids match exactly where you want to without the excessive time suck of lining and pinning the two layers of plaid together. If you do cut this way though be sure to flip your pattern pieces so you don’t end up with two of one sleeve or anything like that. For the center back and other pieces generally cut on the fold you’ll want to make sure you trace out one half, then flip and trace the other half.

Grainline Studio | Quick & Easy Plaid Matching

This Archer is for my class at Lillstreet so I don’t have any finished photos of how the plaids match, but I do this method for all of my Archers so any previous plaid one I’ve made I’ve cut with this method. The above photo demonstrates how it works out. Pretty nice I think! If you’re looking for something more in depth than this simple method you might want to check out this series Amy over at Really Handmade did on plaid matching. She gets super in depth with it and just had an article inspired by the series published in the current edition of Sew News. Check out her posts here, she has links to all of her previous plaid matching posts, the article, and downloadable templates for if you’re still feeling nervous about plaid matching!

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19 Responses to Sewing Tutorial | Quick & Easy Plaid Matching

  1. tatimaio says:

    Jen, this is so brilliant! I am always looking for easier ways to make things, and this is perfect, I will try it next time! BTW, I followed your tutorial to bag line a jacket, and I just finished my first lined jacket! I never realized how easy it is to line a jacket, thanks a lot for that tutorial! Here it is:

  2. lisa g says:

    this makes great sense! i’ve always picked a spot part way up the armhole, but duh–your way is so much easier!

  3. sallie says:

    Wow! This is so brilliant! I’ve seen plaid matching tutorials before that looked so… scary. But this is totally doable!

  4. Jess says:

    Thank you for this … I have googled every single plaid matching tutorial I could find on the internet yet I am still nervous cutting into my fabric …
    I think it’s because once I tried my best at matching the stripes on my shirt then missed by a few centimetres and now I’m nervous about cutting anything that needs to be matched …

    What’s odd is that I keep buying plaids to make archers … and yet I’m scared of plaids lol …

  5. Kelly says:

    Oh this is awesome, the one time I did plaid matching I pinned the layers together and it was tedious and BORING. I am looking forward to trying it this way and it’s a relief to hear you don’t worry about the vertical too much. I have at least 5 plaids waiting to be made into Archers 🙂

  6. redknitter says:

    Where did you get your fabric? I noticed your photo on instagram last night, and I think I’m making a skirt out of the same plaid! Unfortunately, my grain was horribly warped and my plaids aren’t going to match.

    • I picked this up at Joann before my class and it has to be hands down the worst fabric I’ve ever worked with. I’d much rather do an Archer out of chiffon than this stuff. Epic Joann fail!

      • redknitter says:

        Yep, we’re totally using the same stuff. Glad I chose it for a skirt with only a few seams rather than an Archer! By the way, I just finished my first Archer shirt–thanks for a lovely pattern!

  7. Simple but awesome tip! Thanks!

  8. Oh how I love Beagles. Pat the pup for me please. Nancy

  9. Grace says:

    Hey Jen, I see that you changed the grain for your placket & pocket there and there are quite a few archers with bias cut yokes as well. Do you have an suggestions or tips about this? Does the bias affect the fit of the yoke at all?

    • Yep! I usually cut the outside yoke on the bias and the inside yoke on the straight, that way it negates some of the stretching the shoulders would do on the bias. I’m going to do a little post on that soon too.

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