I am enjoying working with my mint and gray paisley a lot. But it has presented some challenges.
The large paisley motif is on a diagonal, so I have had to be careful about how I cut my fabric.
The fact that my shirt will have a covered button placket makes things a
little bit more complicated, but not much, since the center front of
the shirt will still be in the same place.
Since I know where the center front will lie on both front pieces, and that there will be 3/4" of fabric beyond it (from the CF to the front edge), I can figure out where break in the design is going to happen and how to cut my pieces so that the design will be continuous when I lap the left front over the right front to button the shirt.
The width of the left front button placket (1 1/2") is the same amount that the right front will be covered when the shirt is buttoned (and the two center fronts are aligned).
I want the paisley motifs to look like this, maintaining the diagonal:
And not like this:
I am happy to say that it worked out fine.
On the sleeve placket, I decided not to try to match the paisley at all. It's not a very visible part of the shirt.
The seam connecting the back and the back yoke is curved, but the curve is only on the back piece and not the yoke (to accommodate a sloping shoulder adjustment). I decided to match the motif that's most prominent (the one closest to the center) and forget about the rest, since they can't match perfectly.
Another challenge is that the paisley design motif is directional: it has a clear up and down. The heart shape must come to a point at the bottom, and not the other way around.
I thought I'd made two beautiful cuffs until I finished topstitching them and realized they were upside down. I'll have to make another pair tomorrow. Pity.
I haven't cut the collar or collar stand yet; I'm still deciding what shape I want for the collar -- maybe a rounded (club) collar this time. I also think I'm going to shape the bottom of the shirt so it has traditional shirt tails, as opposed to a straight-across hem.
In closing, if you have any great pattern-matching tips, I'd love to hear them (and I bet others would to).
Speaking of which, I remembered I'd made this plaid Pendleton wool shirt the very first year I started sewing. I'm still surprised I was able to pull this off.
I wouldn't want to have to face a plaid like that today.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!