Threads Challenge: Plaids. Finished!

I finally finished the matching plaids challenge from the March issue (number 177) of Threads. I’m not gonna lie– while I was working on matching the plaids I said, often, “I am NEVER going to sew with plaid fabric again!!”

I used a plaid fabric that I had bought years ago and never used because the plaid is so large. I’m a small person and I think this large plaid might overwhelm me. But, since I didn’t really expect stunning results, I didn’t want to invest in more fabric. So I used the huge plaid anyway.

Plaid jacket-3
Just to give you an idea of the size of the plaid.

To match the plaid for all the pieces, I laid the pattern piece on top of the fabric and traced a part of the plaid. Actually, I traced a LOT of the plaid.
Plaid jacket-5

Pieces that would be sewn together were laid out on the fabric and the plaid was matched across the pieces and traced. I mostly tried to match the horizontal plaid lines going around my body. I also tried, when possible, to match vertical lines in the front and back princess pieces.  In another article from a past Threads (October/November 1997), I found a chart of plaid matching priorities, so I knew what I should try to match and what was pretty much impossible.

Plaid jacket-4

Plaid jacket-6

It was kind of a nightmare trying to get everything to line up. If I adjusted one piece it would throw another piece out of alignment. Finally I figured I had done the best I could and cut out the pieces. Gulp!

Knowing how long this challenge was going to take, I decided to combine the plaid challenge with the stay-stitching article in Threads Issue No. 178: Staystitching, p. 74-77 (in case I didn’t have time for a full challenge in May).

Plaid jacket-7

Plaid jacket-8

Sewing the jacket together was pretty straight forward. Surprisingly most pieces matched! I did have to re-cut a couple of pieces that no amount of fudging could make match. Luckily I had lots of fabric.

I recently bought pinking shears and decided to pink the seams to keep them from fraying.
Plaid jacket-9

Once the jacket was sewn together, it was time for the lining. I decided on plain white lining fabric since the outside of the jacket is so busy.

Plaid jacket-11

Here are a couple of photos of sewing the lining together. I decided to put a little extra touch in by sewing a small blue bias strip between the white lining and the plaid facings.


I looked up tutorials on “bagging” the lining and found a pretty good one to follow. It’s a little scary, but it actually worked. I did catch stitch the hems (body and sleeves), before I turned the lining to the inside. (That wasn’t in the tutorial, but I don’t see how the hem would stay in place if you didn’t tack it down.)

So here is the finished project:

Finished jacket-3

It fits really well and is comfortable. I think the plaid goes up a little in the front instead of being perfectly level and if I ever try this again, I would need to be more careful when laying it out on the fabric.

I’m still not sure about wearing it. It is pretty busy for me and needs just the right “calm” things to wear with it. Maybe jeans? I’m going to take it to Becky’s in a few weeks and she’ll tell me the truth about whether or not it is actually wearable. Everyone needs a truthful advisor.


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