Planning where to place the pattern
Next, I studied the fabric. I knew I wanted the lines going horizontally, as the pattern made more sense that way. This meant that the fabric was going to be cut against the grain. But, as noted before, because home décor fabric is made specifically to resist stretching out of shape in any direction, the weave will go in many directions. So cutting against the grain with upholstery fabric is not a problem. I further studied the fabric to decide on what direction I wanted to place the pattern.
Did I want the dark green boarder at the top or bottom? As you can see, I chose to put the large band with the green background at the bottom for the same reason as I put the extension to the Sherpa coat at the bottom. The darker color would attract attention away from my rear and towards a thinner point of my body. The length of the fabric went longer than the pattern. Because I’m tall and need the extra length, that worked out fine for me.
To resize the fabric for someone who is shorter, depending on how much shorter, the correction could be quite involved or very simple. In the example fabric, each of the boarders allows you a chance to eliminate a section of the pattern without significantly altering the look of the fabric, starting from the top going down. Alternatively, if you want the entire pattern, but just a little shorter, you could cut any excess fabric midway from the red boarder—the longest boarder, and then add cording, or a strip of some other fabric to explain the break in pattern. Because the coat pattern is so simple, you have a number of options in trying to conform the fabric to your needs.
Matching the pattern
Matching the pattern means studying the pattern itself to the fabric. Lay it onto the fabric, all the pieces.
After I have thought through everything else, I will then separately go through a mental checklist on how the pattern will physically match. There are some compromises you will have to make, you will not be able to always match your fabric pattern at all corners. My priority, is the front, back, sides and shoulder.
But first, what priority does the pattern set for the eye. In this case, the focus of the coat design is the collar. That then, will be my first priority in how I align the pattern. And in fact, is another reason why the large green stripe was placed at the bottom of the fabric. As a conductor might do with a fine piece of music, I allowed the pattern of the fabric to build to a crescendo along with the coat pattern, coordinating the fabric pattern to work with the coat design in pulling the eye towards the collar.
Having determined the focus of the coat design, I studied the fabric in light of this priority.
In looking at home decor fabric there are two patterns to remember, the one close up, and than the one you see at distance. This fabric is designed for both views. Therefore, I knew that the "Persian" busyness close up, would not be the pattern people initially see. Instead, the stripes are the dominant theme of the pattern, and thus priority in matching.
Also remember your seam allowance. If, for instance, you are using a 1/2" seam allowance, this will throw your match off by an inch. It is true that you should have allowed for seam allowance when cutting the pattern, however, remember that this part will disappear and that what you are trying to match is a 5/8", 1/4" or 1/2" in. I will try and take a slightly larger seam than usual for just this reason. If I make a mistake in alignment, I have a 1/2" to 3/4" to make the adjustment. After all it's not that big a problem if one seam ends up 3/4" and the other is 1/4."
Generally, I am pretty lazy when it comes to marking fabric and pattern—although I usually mark darts. You will want to mark the button holes and buttons well. Even though I used frogs (those fabric links) placing them so that each is aligned vertically as well as horizontally is very important. Because they are so large, it will be very obvious if they are off, even if just a little bit. So this is something you will want to be “anal” about.
As you can see, home decor fabric may take a little more thought before cutting out the pattern, but, because of the boldness in pattern and color, it allows you a greater opportunity to carve out a look just perfect for you. Thank you for joining me, we will finish the coat, and, move on to Pattern V8780. This is a coat that can transition you into spring. Until then, God Bless.