Cutting Checks or Plaids – Part 2

Once I’ve planned where my checks are going to match, it’s time to start cutting!

Lay the pieces right sides together, taking particular care that the checks are square, and not skewed – ie they are perfectly parallel and perpendicular to each other like they were designed to be.  Position the pattern piece in place and chalk around it:

Cut out the top layer only:

The reason for cutting only the top layer is clear when you now examine the under layer – see how most of the checks are slightly misaligned?  They need adjusting so that we will have a perfect mirror image!  Nudge the top layer of cloth with your fingers until the checks line up exactly, both horizontally and vertically:

That’s better!

Now cut out the under layer, using the top layer as a guide, so you end up with two perfect mirror images.  Take care that you don’t cut wider than the top layer – or cut part of the top layer either!  Check the dart markings are symmetrical too:

If you do this to all the panels as you are cutting, they will be a breeze to match when it is time to sew them up!
Are you getting tired of this fabric yet?  I hope not, because I have a handy sewing tip for checks coming up next!  Photos of the finished garment should follow soon too – I finally found time to nip into Global today and get some lining.  I got caught in a downpour on the way home though and received a thorough soaking – my lining was practically prewashed for me!
Oh, and I accidentally had my credit card on me and it purchased some new fabric before I could blink and stop it…..
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I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

14 thoughts on “Cutting Checks or Plaids – Part 2

  1. I love your tip about cutting out one layer at a time, while the fabric is in a double layer. Seems that would be so much easier and faster than laying out each piece individually on a single layer.

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  2. I am loving all these tips! Thank you so much for sharing. I should totally have done this with the little striped dress I just finished sewing—I did all right matching stripes on the chevroned bodice, but not at all on the skirt panels.

    Those pesky credit cards! 😉

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  3. I have “accidentally” bought fabric lately too. Do you think it could be some kind of sewist virus? Let's say it is, because then buying fabric isn't our fault. Yeah, it's a virus.

    Love the check/plaid matching stuff, I am so anal about this stuff, it is great to see how someone else does it. BTW-your way is better than mine.

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  4. Accidentally having a credit card at global is a very very dangerous thing. I recently gave a Global gift voucher to a friend who only sews for her kids. She immediately went and bought herself some silk. It's just that kind of place, the place of fantasies.

    I am really enjoying the check tutorials. Perhaps I will make myself some plaid flares after all…

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  5. Yes it is quicker! The designer I first worked under used to say “never do anything twice if you can do it once” and this is an example of that!

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