Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


Matching Helicopters – Are you hoping for a miracle?

This week I had one of those dreaded moments in my latest sewing project. The moment when I realised that I’d bitten off more than I can chew. Perhaps I should have known that this project would be difficult, when I folded out the instructions and discovered nearly 80 steps!

Jordan Jacket

I’m currently sewing the Jordan Jacket from Sew Serendipity. It’s a jacket that reminds me of a denim jacket I loved wearing when I was at university. Perhaps that was the attraction, when I saw the pattern. However, my choice of fabric is certainly a departure from Kay Whitt’s suggestions. No back panels with roses for me! Oh no, I’ll be going for an antithesis of this charming, floral item. Yes, I purchased a canvas echino fabric in grey with helicopter print! I was obviously in a “I can sew, but I don’t have to be girly” mood when I bought this from modes4u, but I think it will look rather chic in a maverick way.

Anyway, my initial enthusiasm for this fabric is now beginning to wane. The Jordan jacket has lots of panels and for this jacket to look even half-way decent I need to at least match the print across the front panels and across the back panels. Needless to say I’m beginning to regret the dastardly helicopters. In fact, they dance mockingly before my eyes as I try to drift off to sleep. I still haven’t cut all my pieces out yet (even though I’ve started sewing). I’ve always been impatient to get on with sewing, cutting out is my least favourite part of the process.

Front panels - helicopters

Now, I have to admit that before I started writing this post, it didn’t really cross my mind to search the internet to find out if I was doing my pattern matching the best way. After all there is nothing worse that giving yourself extra grief when there is an expert out there in the ether. There’s an excellent guide to matching along the seams by Tasia at Sewaholic. However, I had been doing something a bit different, which I thought might be worth sharing.

I start out by doing pretty much the same thing as it the Sewaholic tutorial. First of all, I folded the fabric along its length selvedge to selvedge. I then took an already-cut piece that I wished to match and measured the seam allowance from the edge. I folded this seam allowance to the wrong side of the fabric and pressed.

Next, I lay the piece on the fabric, matching it to the pattern. I marked this line on the fabric, just so I didn’t lose the positioning.

Pattern Match 1

Then I took the pattern tissue, and folded under the seam allowance.

Pattern Match 2

I then lined this up with the already cut piece on the fabric. They should line up with the folds touching.

Pattern Match 3

I pinned the pattern in place with just a few pins and then unfolded the seam allowance on the pattern tissue.

Pattern Match 4

Finally I pinned along the edge. It was then ready to cut out.

Now for the bit I do differently. Because the fabric has been folded exactly in half with the selvedges together, the fabric on top can match for the panels of the right of the jacket and the fabric underneath can match those on he left-hand side. This means I don’t have to match every single pattern piece. Wahey! It’s a little time saver with so many pieces to match.

By the way the post title is an obscure reference to a song and witness to the time I waste surfing the net…..just in case you were wondering.