To Match or Not to  Match Plaids?
Welcome to part six of the continuing series of tips and techniques on how to avoid the "Home-Made" look in your sewing projects. by Janet Pray

Too many sewers shy away from plaid because they are worried the cutting process needed is too time consuming or it could be some just don't know where to start. Let me show you.

Creating plaid garments that are well made all starts with a simple plan.
Take a look at the design lines of the project to see where and how many seams there are. Now decide where the plaids will need to match and where they don't. Let's take a shirt as an example.

To Match: Two of the most important seams will be Center Front and Side seams. You may also want to match pockets. In my opinion it is optional to match the plaid of sleeve to the Front and Back armscye. Although this can be done if there is no ease in the sleeve cap, just keep in mind most patterns have ease in the front and the back of the Sleeve cap. 

Not To Match: Do not match plaids of the Yoke to the Back. The Yoke should be cut on the cross grain not the straight of grain, so unless working with an even plaid it cannot match. As a design feature, I like the yoke being an accent so I don't want it to match anyway. For the same reason, do not match the Cuff to the Sleeve or the Sleeve Placket to the Sleeve.

My favorite look and easy to make plaid shirt cutting recipe:
  1. Match the Center Fronts vertically and horizontally.
  2. Match Fronts to Backs at side seams.
  3. Cut on the bias: Yoke, Cuffs, Pockets, Sleeve Plackets.
  4. Cut both Sleeves as mirror images of the plaid but don't necessarily match plaids to the armscye.

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