Monday, February 7, 2011

Directional Prints

This was supposed to be a post about how I made a pretty dress with a one-way directional print, but I think it's going to end up being a post about how I wasted over two yards of beautiful embroidered vintage fabric.  We'll see.

I found this lovely cotton fabric at Antiques on 2nd, a new three-story antique mall in the Walker's Point neighborhood of Milwaukee.  This particular seller had tons of vintage patterns, fabric, notions, clothes, and lingerie.  In addition to buying the fabric, I got a yellow slip, a gold crocheted sweaterdress, a 40's playsuit pattern, and another dress that I didn't buy but came back for the next day.  It's a 60's R&K Original and it's hot pink chiffon with a full skirt and a beaded belt.  I'm going to a wedding next weekend, and it's seems Valentine's Day-ish.  The only reason I didn't buy it immediately was because it was $48 and had a broken zipper.  I couldn't stop thinking about it the rest of the day, so I knew I had to go back and get it.

So back to my fabric.  It's brown, with a tiny blue and white plaid, and white embroidered scalloped stripes.

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$9 for almost three yards is a great deal!  I thought it would look great made into this pattern, which I've been holding on to since May.  I paid 10 cents for it at the Three Holy Women church rummage sale.

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It has some unusual (to me) bodice pieces.

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I cut out my skirt back first, and then lining up the stripes, I cut out one bodice back piece.

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Then I laid the cut piece on my fabric, making sure the stripes matched exactly at the waist and shoulders.

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Two perfectly matched back pieces!

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And two back pieces, perfectly matched with the stripes from the skirt back.

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I marked the center front of my skirt with a pin, and then lined it up with the center front line on the bodice pattern piece.

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I repeated this for the left bodice front, using the same method. My front is looking really nice at this point.

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Then I hit some problems when I tried to do the bodice side fronts.  I thought I could lay it out like this, which is not highly scientific but has worked well for me on non-directional prints.  That piece on the left is my right bodice front.

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On the first try, the stripes didn't match up.  No problem, I had plenty of fabric left.  I managed to cut the armhole facings out of the rejected piece.  Then I tilted the pattern piece (to my left) on the bias, and then the stripes lined up at the bust, but not even close at the waist.  Again, no problem, I used the rejected piece to cut the neck facings.  Then I tried a third time, with the piece on the bias but tilted to the right.  That didn't match up at all, anywhere, and looked generally terrible.

Experienced sewers, do you have any advice?  Is it possible to match stripes on a princess seam or is this hopeless?

2 comments:

  1. I would instead make these two pieces against the norm and cut them on the bias. Let them be the only pieces not matching and at least the dress will be symmetrical. I have a plaid dress coming up that I will have to do the same thing on. Good luck.

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  2. I agree - you need to turn them into a 'design feature'. It will look great on the bias!

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