Pattern Matching Blues (or Pinks!)

Floral Dress Love Sewing Magazine

The upside of moving home is that I had to go through all the boxes of fabric I had stashed away in the loft, there were some beautiful fabrics so I decided to challenge myself to use them up before buying any more.

I had this lovely floral light cotton so long I could not remember buying it! Sometimes I just want to make something without all the pattern adaptation and drafting, so I thought I would use the Love Sewing Kate Jersey pattern again. Of course, it wasn’t quite straightforward, I used the slash technique to add a few inches – as it was a pattern designed for stretch fabric –  I was using cotton I added a few inches around the hips.

Pattern placement frustrates me – I see such beautiful garments on Pinterest, like this beauty currently on sale at Liberty, but they have been specially made with the garment design in mind. I just love the centre panel, the way it reflects across the tummy -a great hiding place for a few pounds, and the cross section reduces the hips – but it is nigh on impossible to do if you are a home sewer!

The fabric stores I frequent don’t seem to have these forms of pattern repeats so I end up turning my pattern pieces in all directions to get something pleasing. The bodice top just wouldn’t work with the large floral motifs of the fabric, I ended up with a flower on one side and half a feather and blank white on the other side.

Not to be thwarted I headed to  the fabulous Eternal Maker with fabric – (I will write a post about them soon). The store is positively heaving with various types of cloth in every shade of the rainbow, but only one fabric would match the colourway: this pink honeycomb design. I tried all the greens – as it would have  been more subtle, but the shade just did not match anything in the store.  If you want to ensure your colours match use the little printed dots on the selvage as a guide.


Pattern matching uses up more fabric – especially with a big floral design – I usually purchase at least 3 meters if I think there might be a problem so there was plenty to play with. In order to bring the two fabrics together, I appliqued one of the motifs to the mid-section of the garment, using the flower that closely matched the colour of the top.

If you are matching a pattern over two pattern pieces it can help to cut out the upper or lower  pattern edges in tracing paper or baking parchment, you can trace the flowers to ensure they match up.

Because of this bold pattern, it was simply a case of choosing a central element, lining  up the feather  to flow from the applique down the central panel of the skirt, I also liked the way the two yellow flowers curved round the hips. I used the nice yellow flower as the centre panel for each sleeve just below the sleeve cap as that would be noticable.

Thankfully the honeycomb was small enough that I did not need to pattern match, although I used pink facing at the front and floral facing at the back of the garment.


I  often wear floral brooches with my clothes – since I had the applique bug, I thought I might add a flower on the right-hand side of the neckline, overhanging the edge, although  I can’t decide if it is a bit OTT, what do you think?

I was thinking about doing a pleated contrast edge at the sleeves and bottom of the dress, but then I thought that was too coordinated, so might just do it at the cuff.

Hmm… with? or without?…

Mr. D thinks the dress is colourful enough, wearing sunglasses to look at it was pushing the point a little far!

Spring is sprung here comes the sun!

ttfn x






6 thoughts on “Pattern Matching Blues (or Pinks!)

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