How to Join Patterned Fabric Panels
This tutorial is based on a normal pattern repeat fabric, if your fabric has a half drop pattern repeat please read how to calculate and cut your cut drops HERE, as it is very different.
CUT THE DROPS
- You should have included one extra pattern repeat in your calculations to be able to place the pattern in your desired position on the blind or curtain you are making.
(With a curtain decide where you want the pattern to be at the bottom of the curtain. With a blind decide where you want the pattern to be at the top of the blind. )
- Find the point in the first pattern repeat on the fabric roll where the top of your first FABRIC CUT DROP will be.
- From that point measure down your FABRIC CUT DROP.
- Cut the fabric there.
- Measure down again the ADJUSTED CUT DROP *(a number of pattern repeats) and cut again.
- Repeat until you have all the drops of fabric required.
- The length of the first cut drop will probably be slightly different to the other cut drops, as this first section of fabric included an extra pattern repeat to postion the cut in the correct place and you measured down the FABRIC CUT DROP not the ADJUSTED CUT DROP.
* Note: The adjusted cut drop is a multiple of pattern repeats, so each cut should be at the same position on the fabric's pattern. If there is a slight discrepency measure down in pattern repeats.
- Lay fabric panels right side together, selvedges together (make sure both panels are the same way up), align bottoms and edges.
- Always join on the selvedge.
- At the joining edge lift back the top layer of fabric until you get a symmetrical pattern, then pin, finger press a fold line where the fabric will be sewn (joined).
- Work down aligning the pattern, pinning and finger pressing the fold line.
- To stop the fabric shifting when you sew it, cross pin approx every 10cm at points in the pattern that are tightly matched.
- Sew along the pressed line.
- Press the seams open (No Steam)
- Check the bottom of the panels are straight, if not trim.
MATCHING AND JOINING A PATTERN ALONG A SEAM
Lay your fabric panel on the work surface right side up. Then lay your second panel wrong side up.
As you have cut all your panels at the same point in the pattern repeat, the bottoms should line up nicely.
Level up your selvedges and bottom of the panel.
Now, working along the side of the curtain, down the selvedge edge, fold back the top fabric layer until you have a pattern match.
Continue to do this all along the selvedge edge finger pressing the fabric back as you go. Once you are happy with the match it is time to pin the fabric together.
I tend to start in the middle and work outwards.
Where you have a definite pattern match such as in the photo above where the red lines (antennae and wing of the butterfly) join together – these are the important places to get an exact match. So lift the top fabric up at right angle to the bottom fabric – you may have to slide it back a mm to get the exact match.
Once you are happy, fold the fabric forward so the selvedge edges are together again being really careful not to move the perfect match that you have made. Stick a pin horizontally through the part of the pattern that needs to match up i.e the red line. Continue to do this all down the side using as many pins as necessary.
Use plenty of pins not just at the important pattern points but set further back from the crease line as well.
You are almost ready to sew the fabric together along the crease line, but just to help you along, use your vanishing marker to draw a dashed line along the crease, particularly where the pins are as the crease line can get a bit flattened once you put the pins in.
Now, machine stitch along the dashed line.
Take your pins out and have a look at the face fabric to check your pattern match. Do not worry if there are a couple of places that are not quite right – you can always unpick that area and resew,
Now you have successfully joined your patterned fabric panels.