Those of you who followed along our Cottage Shirt Sew-Along may have wondered why I didn't show my finished Cottage. Well, there I was, getting ready to sew the buttonholes when I realized that the fabric design didn't match in front. And I knew that I just couldn't wear the shirt with a non-matching front.
I rarely use a print that is as grid-like as this one, so mostly I don't worry about matching prints. In fact, the prints not matching on the side didn't bother me at all, but something about that center front being off was just too much for me. So I took the almost-finished Cottage apart and started again.
The trick with matching the pattern on this shirt was realizing that the front button plackets would lie on top of each other. There is a 1¼ʺ double fold facing that is used to make the button plackets. Because of this, the folded edge of the Right Front actually lies on the shirt 1¼ʺ away from the folded edge of the Left Front.
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I decided to try a new, for me, technique to match the design by tracing the print. I re-cut a new Right Front piece. Before I un-pinned the pattern, I used a red pencil to trace the fabric design onto the paper pattern all along the front facing area.
I then proceeded to fold and press the front facing on the Right Front, as instructed in the direction.
Then, I placed the folded Right Front onto the uncut piece of fabric, using the folded edge of the button placket to find the matching print. I used a Chalkoner to draw a thin line along the length of the folded edge onto the uncut piece of fabric.
To cut out the Left Front, I began by measuring over 1 ¼ʺ from the second fold line on the pattern piece and drawing a line. When I placed the pattern piece onto the fabric, I matched this line to the chalk line I drew previously. Unfortunately, the fabric design was printed asymmetrically onto the fabric and my traced lines didn't match the fabric print. If I matched the tracing at the neckline, by the middle of the shirt, the print was off completely.
Instead, I placed the folded edge of the Right Front to the chalk line and shifted the fabric until the prints lined up perfectly. I pinned the pattern piece, checked the placement and cut out the Left Front. Following the pattern instructions, I folded and pressed the center front facing... it worked! I had a perfect print match down the front of the shirt. So perfect that I couldn't bring myself to detract from it with buttons, so I ended up stitching the front plackets together, creating a slip-on shirt.
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