THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

May 24, 2008

Distinctive Prints: Part 1

Filed under: Designing,Fabric,Gigi,sewing — Gigi @ 11:34 am

There are times when nothing but cutting single layer will do. Yes, we all hate it but we do what we have to to Make It Work! Sometimes it is necessary when we are short on fabric or need to match a print, stripe or plaid. I believe it is the sign of a quality garment when care and thought has so obviously been put into the layout of the pattern. The little bit of extra work will bring you so much pleasure every time you wear the garment. Plus, it prevents those embarassing giant flowers on the bust apex!

I am currently working on a dress using a bold print from Gorgeous Fabrics. The print reminds me of those scarf panels that were everywhere a few years back: large square motifs surrounded by a border. For the last few days I have been trying to work out the cutting in my head. The center motif is large so I allowed about 1.5 yards of extra fabric to give me plenty to play around with. Now this is where a dressform and camera really come in handy! I started with the largest section – the skirt – which took up an entire motif. Then I cut the rest of the front, pinning each section onto my dressform. I find that taking a picture really gives me the best feel for how pleasing and flattering my pattern arrangement is. Once I have the front worked out, the back is easy as are the sleeves which will each be cut from the center of the motif – the white area.



Because the skirt was a little wider than the square motif I wanted to make sure I matched the border at the hemline front and back. Here I’ve pinned the hem edges together to make sure I have a match. The white triangle you see at the bottom is the white selvage.


Once I pin up the hem you won’t see the white part at all.


In order to make a match at the hemline I had to cut the skirt back with a seam. Because the outer edge beyond the border was different on each side I also had to cut the skirt upside down. In the photos above, the outer edge is black – on the other side it is the green print.

I’m so mad at myself that I’m off a little at the center back. The hem edges miter perfectly so the fabric must have shifted a little. If I have enough fabric left I will probably recut this. If not, I doubt anyone will notice but me. I’m just OCD enough to order another length…


Sorry about the crooked photo, I haven’t even had my first martini yet! :-O

I still haven’t decided how I will finish the neckline. I have some of the coordinating beaujolais rayon/lycra that I could bind the neck with and introduce as piping in other areas or I could use the border cut on the cross grain – I’ll work that out as I go. Stay tuned.


  1. Fabulous! I love your layout. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — May 24, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  2. […] how I am working with this bold print over at The Sewing Divas. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Red Sox place Casey on 15-day […]

    Pingback by The mind wanders… « Behind The Seams — May 24, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  3. Oh wow! That is beautiful! Fabulous layout!

    Comment by erica b. — May 24, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

  4. Wow! Gigi, that’s mah-velous!!!

    Comment by Lisa Laree — May 24, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

  5. G-g-g-gorgeous layout!

    Comment by KayB — May 24, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

  6. Wow, that is a stunning dress! I love how you worked with this print!

    Comment by stacysews — May 24, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  7. Wow! stunning! I an’t waiit to see the finished garment.

    Comment by Claire — May 24, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  8. I love it! The fabric is already gorgeous and you’re taking it to another level with careful planning and cutting.

    Comment by Summerset — May 24, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  9. Whoa Gigi – this reminds of a photo of Jackie Kenndy in a brocade silk skirt that was made from fabric given to her by King Saud. Stunning!

    Comment by phyllisc — May 24, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  10. Phyllis – I love that evening dress that Jackie K wore!

    Gigi – Can’t wait to see the finished dress!

    Comment by Carolyn — May 24, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  11. What an incredible job lining up the designs in the fabric! It is gorgeous! I’m in awe! 🙂

    Comment by Gwen — May 24, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

  12. WOW!!!

    LOVE IT!

    Comment by Lisa — May 24, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

  13. OMG the dress is gorgeous! How are you going to engineer the print repeat for production? I’m sure it can be done. The look is so stunning the extra fabric needed and the added time in the cutting room shouldn’t be a problem. A masterpiece.

    Comment by Alan — May 24, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  14. …for a minute there I mistook that hemline “V” mitre for a “V” neckline–it could be gorgeous that way too!

    Thanks for sharing your layout concepts with us, it’s alot of fun to see what you’re doing with that wonderful print.

    Comment by Jen O — May 24, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

  15. Oh my! How gorgeous that fabric and the dress are!!! I am in awe. My patience can be somewhat limited when it comes to such precise work, so I admire anyone who takes the time and painstaking effort to accomplish such beauty!

    Comment by Linda T. — May 25, 2008 @ 12:25 am

  16. I love this fabric and the dress you’ve made. Very nice.

    Comment by deirdre — May 25, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  17. Wow! A real layout tour de force! Your dress is going to be a stunner!

    Comment by kathi sorensen — May 25, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

  18. Absolutely beautiful! Your attention to detail is awesome!

    Comment by Ann's Fashion Studio — May 25, 2008 @ 8:32 pm

  19. Most people would never notice, but if it is going to bother you, I say go for it. It’s just gorgeous.

    Comment by odumnobles — May 26, 2008 @ 7:49 am

  20. The time you spend on this layout makes this garment stand out in the crowd.
    Beautiful done and so well worth to do the fabric justice.

    Comment by Els — May 26, 2008 @ 8:01 am

  21. oh my GAWD, that fabric is awesome!

    Comment by laura — May 26, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

  22. I like the faboulous fabric-and the pattern of course!

    Comment by Maja — May 27, 2008 @ 5:37 am

  23. maravilhoso!!! worderful!!!!!!!!

    from Brazil,

    Comment by marcia — May 27, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  24. That is amazing!!! I love, love, love that fabric!!

    Comment by robin — May 27, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

  25. Absolutely gorgeous fabric & layout. It reminds me of the time I spent getting the layout perfect for a pair of jams for my then teenager out of “rice sacking” fabric – far too much time for a pair of shorts that could be purchased for $10. You, however, have spent time well for your dress.

    Comment by Joycelyn — May 29, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  26. Gorgeous fabric and I love your layout. I never know how much extra to buy for something like this. Using the more open, lighter section in the center and the darker print on the outside is a great slimming effect. A great example of why you need to think about layout on prints!

    Comment by Nancy — May 30, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

  27. The fabric is stunning and your planning and placement awe inspiring. The way the darker green areas land above and below the waist area is very flattering.

    Comment by Bunny — May 30, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

  28. Wow! Absolutely wonderful, Gigi.

    Comment by sewsy — June 1, 2008 @ 7:28 pm

  29. […] Prints: Part 2 June 2, 2008 Filed under: Uncategorized — Gigi @ 1:42 pm The dress is on hold for a couple of days as I await the arrival of an additional yard of fabric. I […]

    Pingback by Distinctive Prints: Part 2 « The Sewing Divas — June 2, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

  30. […] Gigi @ 4:18 pm My extra fabric arrived last Friday so I’m finally able to work on my dress this week. I didn’t have much sewing time today but I was able to assemble the front and back […]

    Pingback by Distinctive Prints: Part 3 « The Sewing Divas — June 10, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  31. […] Distinctive Prints: Part 1 […]

    Pingback by Distinctive Prints: Final « The Sewing Divas — June 14, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  32. wow! the dress looks too gud,the fabric too..

    Comment by nanditha — August 15, 2008 @ 9:33 am

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