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Tweed coat: How to do flawless pattern matching

May 25, 2019


Hello couture enthusiasts! 


Today I'm going to share with you my most recent project, a tweed coat. In this post I will talk about (1.) How to do pattern matching (2.) Show you a construction of a three piece sleeve with a continuous placket. 


I've been dreaming of making a coat for several months now but there were always others projects getting in the way. Finally at the end of March I decided to use every free moment I'd find to work on it. After many short but regular work sessions I finally managed to finish this coat. So without further due let me get into it and tell you more about the process and the details. 


Technical points


There were two main challenges with this project. First of all I had a burning desire to match every line possible and second to make the matters worse I decided to add a little twist to my sleeve pattern and to incorporate a pleat in it which would form a continuous shoulder placket. All this while I had little less than 3 meters of fabric. After a considerable amount of twisting and turning I managed to cut all of the pieces required while respecting the continuity of the pattern. (Please note that it's not possible to match all of the lines e.g. on darts, on curves, gathers etc. Respecting the straight grain should be your priority.)



1. Pattern matching 


Let's start with the pattern matching. By the way this is something that I used to forget to do when I was getting started with sewing. What would happen is that I would rush into cutting my pieces without thinking any further and I would notice the issue only when I had sewn my pieces together. Luckily those days are more or less over and I make sure to plan and to pre visualise my project before cutting anything. 


For this coat I matched the following areas; pockets and pocket flaps with front panels, sleeves with the base of the garment, front panels, back panels as well as the sleeve which was constructed out of three pieces. 


Few tips for you:


1. Start by cutting big pieces (front panels and back panels)

2. Next move on to pockets. Place the pocket pattern on your front panel and draw few lines corresponding to the motif of the front panel. Pay attention to the seam allowances they might confuse you from visualising where the final edge will be.

3. Prepare your pockets and pocket flaps. Pin them in place verifying that the pattern is matching. Sew them on. 

4. Next move on to the sleeve. Repeat the step 2 just with the sleeve pattern, placing it next to the front panel and making sure that the pattern of the armhole is matching with the pattern of the sleeve head. 

5. Finish of your sleeves.

6. Finally before sewing any of the seams I placed pins at the end of each line of the pattern to make sure that they are matching on both sides which will also prevented my fabric from shifting while sewing. 




 2. Three piece sleeve with a continuous placket 


This was the first time that I manipulated a sleeve pattern like this. My goal was to create an illusion of a long shoulder placket that starts at the elbow level and continues in one piece until the collar. To make this I slashed my sleeve at the elbow level and added some value to create a pleat. On the back of the sleeve it looks like one piece while on the front it looks like there's a fold. It took me some toile testing before I've got my sleeve right but in the end I really like the outcome and I think that this fabric hides well the seam. 



Finished coat


So here it is, all done ready to be worn. For a moment I thought that it's not the right season to be making a wool coat but then the weather proved me wrong. On the following pictures you can see how the pattern matching turned out as well as the construction of the sleeves ( the latter is little less visible due to the pattern of the fabric).


This is all for this project. Thank you for reading! 




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