Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions

A sign of a well-made garment is perfectly matched seam junctions, checks and stripes.  I was reminded of this on the weekend as I dug out some checked fabric to make shirts.  Cutting the checks is only half the job; they need to be matched when they’re sewn as well.

 

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions holding thumbnail on stitching line

To match a check or stripe, place your thumb on the intended stitching line. It really helps if you have thumbnails!

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions flip back seam allowance

Flip back the seam allowance and match the pattern, with your thumbnail still on the stitching line.

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions pin seam

Put a pin through it. Repeat at intervals along the pattern.

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions sew seam

Sew the seam very carefully over each pin, then take them out.

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions finished seam

Behold!  The perfectly matched seam.

 

The same sewing technique can also be used for seam junctions such as underarms, across yokes etc.

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions matching an open seam

Here’s an open seam, matched and pinned.

 

Like or loathe it matching checks, stripes and junctions match a closed seam

If the seam is closed and the fabric is thick, consider pushing one seam one way and one the other.

 

What if you’re overlocking and can’t use pins?  For sure-fire results, stitch the seam first on a regular machine, taking the correct 6mm overlocking seam allowance.  Use matching thread!  Check that the pattern matches perfectly, then overlock over the top.  You don’t have to undo the straight stitching – just pull gently on the seam to pop the stitches if the fabric is stretchy.

 

In factories, the machinists don’t use pins; they match the checks as they sew.  They get a feel for how much the top layer of fabric creeps forward (easier when you handle it all day) and sew accordingly, positioning the top layer slightly back so when it’s sewn it will be in the right place.

 

Cheers!

Leave a Comment