Log in

No account? Create an account
28 April 2005 @ 05:30 am
Matching Edges?  
Would any of you very talented people be able to give me an idea of how to match together your fabric on corsets?
This may be very simple or very complicated! I really don't know. I don't think I even have a clue.
When I look at fabric i think it should be simple, but I just don't know how to make it work. Is there some way you could explain is so that I might understand?

The part that confuses me is mostly the seam allowance, I think. It's pretty late so maybe I'm just not thinking straight!

In case I'm not clear I mean how to make the pictures align at the front, or even the seams between panels.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Ashford Wyrdwyrdsatyr on April 28th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC)
Seam matching is an art in itself. To start learning to match seams, you might want to try drawing in the stitching line on your pattern pieces (I usually trace my peices off the original, rather than using the tisue)... and then simply making sure that the stitching line crosses the image in the fabric at about the same place next to the notches that are suposed to match.... You will eventually get a feel for it.
The Enlightened Optimistbritgeekgrrl on April 28th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
Seconded. When I have to match patterns on my corset fabric the "trace the fabric pattern on the tissue paper and match the pieces" method is the one I use. I usually start with the front center panels, and work my way out, on the theory that if things get increasingly inaccurate, at least it'll be towards the back! :)
I'll live my life the opposite of what you areiglowforyou on April 28th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
So if the piece was curved or straight, will this make a difference?
I mean, if you have 2 mirror image pieces, and you match up one point on them, assuming the pattern is at the same point at that spot will the rest line up properly?

I'm sorry if I don't make sense

Thank you for your reply
mrpetmrpet on April 28th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
This only works if the two curves are mirror images (straight seams are by definition mirror images). If the curves are different you need to do a bunch of measurements. You can get a flexible ruler (they look like a plastic snake with inch/cm measurements on them) and bend it around the curve. If you measure down 10 in (for example) down a seam and you point to the same part in the pattern as the corresponding seam 10 in down then they will match when sewed*. If they don't match up then you can play with redrafting the curved seams so as to get them to line up _better_ although a lot of times there just isn't anything you can do to get them to line up perfectly.

I would pick your battles. Making one piece of the pattern repeat nicely across the busk is pretty easy, making the pattern repeat across the bust is very difficult.

* this all assumes that when you sew you either have a walking foot or you are really careful and make sure that the machine doesn't differentially stretch the upper and lower pieces of fabric. Practice on a piece of cheap plaid until you get your machine to behave.
MsToriJonesmstorijones on April 28th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
on a corset I would focus the seam matching at the waist (I was just taught this)

as for pattern matching I just did this myself on a corset

I marked the center line on the pattern pieces and mark center waist on each then found the repeat of the fabric and put that point where it would make the pattern match.

The Enlightened Optimistbritgeekgrrl on April 28th, 2005 04:59 pm (UTC)
Great illustration! Thanks for sharing!

I think this entry just became a memory. :)
(Deleted comment)
MsToriJonesmstorijones on April 28th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
Re: tiny but huge problem
if the pieces are folded on the seam line they would create complete diamonds. I would do this at the center of a diamond but I drew this up in MS Word and converted it to PDF and when I did the image shifted. I will redo it with one that is more obvious to see.
(Deleted comment)
MsToriJonesmstorijones on April 28th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
Re: tiny but huge problem
May I put your text in a document to go with the image? I will actually copy this to JPG file.

electradesignselectradesigns on April 28th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: tiny but huge problem
Sure. Please just put my name under the text. Thanks.
electradesignselectradesigns on April 28th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
That's a much easier to understand rendering. Excellent illustration. Definitely one for the memories.
electradesignselectradesigns on April 28th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
First, I fold the fabric in half, lengthwise, if it has a symetrical pattern. I spend a lot of time making sure the pattern from the top layer is laying exactly on top of the pattern of the bottom layer, and I pin the layers together at key points throughout the pattern. The pattern usually won't match if you just make the salvages meet. To match them perfectly, stab the top fabric with the pin at the tip of a picture, then look to the layer beneath it and stab through the same point on the picture beneath it. Then pin the layers together. Draw seam allowances on your pattern paper. It helps if you can see through the tissue, so if it's printed on a thicker paper, I trace it onto thinner tissue.
Make sure all of your grain lines are perfectly straight. Your will usually have to purchase more fabric than usual in order to pick and choose which sections of the fabric you want to place and where.If it is a medallion, print or weave, I find a large scrolly part to center in the front of the corset. Lay the seam line (not the edge of the pattern) where you want the center of the pattern to be, which means the edge of the pattern will stick out past the center of the picture as much as your seam alolowance is. I use 1/2" seam allowances, so I have 1/2" of the pattern center front edge that goes past the center of the medallion. I then do the same thing with the center back piece. These are the focal points and they will match exactly if the CF and CB are cut straight as they should be. The other panels will branch out from there. Depending on the shape of your panels, you may be able to match at the bust, but in most cases, the panels taper too much and you must use the waist line as the point at which you match the picture across the corset, working from center front to side, and center back to side. if you don't have your waist line marked on your pattern, draw a horizontal line across each piece at the waist making sure the waist matches at the seamline on all of the pieces, and the waist line is perpendicular to the grainline. You can create all kinds of unique shapes by changing the placement of the pieces on the fabric. You will find opportunities to match certain areas to create a design you like. (see my chenille corset on my LJ). cont....
electradesignselectradesigns on April 28th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
Just make sure all of your pieces are on grain, and the seam allowances extend past the part you wish to match. I use a needle or pin, and stick it through my pattern on the seamline, into the tip of one of the pictures, and pivot the pattern piece around until it is on grain. Then I mark a little dot on the pattern piece to indicate where, on that pattern piece, I want to match up with the piece next to it. Sometimes I trace a portion of the picture onto the pattern piece to help me see what it will look like if I matched it to certain pictures on the fabric. With stripes or plaid, I also trace the pictures onto the pattern piece, and usually match at the waist. The waist, on my patterns, is always exactly perpendicular to the grain line, so if I match the pictures at the waist, they will absouloutly meet up as long as the piece is perfectly on grain, and the seam allowance extends past the point I want to match. Due to the curved, tapered shape of the panels, it's impossible to make the picture match at all points along the seams, but it will always match at the waist if the waist is perpendicular with the grainline, and you plan it that way. My best advise would be to draw seamlines on your pattern pieces. Make sure your pieces are on grain (and by that I mean, exactly on grain). Draw the picture on the pattern piece so you will be able to place the adjoining piece beside it and know where you need to place it on the fabric to complete that part of the picture. Don't try to match the pattern everywhere because you can't. Start from the center front and work toward the side seams. Then start at center back and work toward the side seams. Buy too much fabric and don't be too precious about waste. It's better to end up with scraps afterwards than have a corset with a pattern that isn't matched well. You can always use the scraps for some other project.
If your fabric has an asymetrical pattern (see the heron corset on my lj), lay out the pieces in the same way as above, but use one single layer of fabric. Which means you will have to lay and cut each pattern piece twice. You will have a lot of fabric waste in this case, especially if it's a large print. Be especially careful at the center front. Your seamline must be straight and drawn with a thin line. You must be eaxct in laying the pattern piece on grain. Most patterned fabric is symetrical for the most part, so start with that before you move onto asymmetrical patterns. Good luck!
Molly Mayhemwingedcorset on April 28th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
This has been explained well. Also, look in old sewing manuals from the first half of the 1900's. Most will have a section on matching plaids that could be helpful.
mrpetmrpet on April 28th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Also I would invest in a walking foot so that when you get done sewing the seams you will still be matched. Some machines are pretty bad at stretching one layer of the fabric more than the other and you will always be off.
I'll live my life the opposite of what you areiglowforyou on April 28th, 2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
Wow !

You all have been extremely helpful. i believe I understand.
I won't be taking this on for awhile yet, but when I do I will let you know how it turned out!

Thank you so much for all your time. I know that when you take the time to make illustrations and write so much, you are spending time for me that you could have used elsewhere. I really do appreciate how friendly and helpful everyone here is.

And I believe I have a walking foot around here somewhere! Awesome!
MsToriJonesmstorijones on April 28th, 2005 10:46 pm (UTC)
We all learn by others sharing. electradesigns had shared with me previously and I have learned so much from so many on LJ...all because they took a little time to help. This is part of my payback.....later you will do the same for someone.

Miss Tori
justtobeme2justtobeme2 on April 30th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
Ohhh I loved this post. You folks really help me "see" how to do things. I appreciate you!