tips + tricks : plaid matching

We all know that plaid matching is sort of a pain in the ass.  You need extra fabric, spend a ton of time cutting everything perfectly, pin it all together with precision then after you sew it together something is still off.  This is where my super bff comes in…the walking foot.

As your fabric moves through the machine, both the top and bottom fabric are not actually moving through at exactly the same speed. The feed dogs cause the bottom fabric to move through just a fraction faster than the top fabric does (which can be very useful in some situations).

Usually this isn’t a problem, but it’s occasionally just enough to get your plaids out of order and initiate a serious fit of rage.  A walking foot keeps the layers in place and moves the fabric through at the same rate making sure all your meticulious prep work was not in vain.  Lets have a big round of applause for the walking foot, it’s not just for quilters.

*edit to add, this works for sewing stripes as well!

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7 Responses to tips + tricks : plaid matching

  1. martha says:

    oh goodness, I never even *thought* of using a walking foot for plaids! Awesome tip.

  2. Unfurled says:

    Wow, this is a great idea. I've been having this problem even in matching up seams of fabric/lining in my sewing. I'm going to get a walking foot today. If it works, it might never come off.

  3. Melissa says:

    I never would have thought the problem was with my presser foot. Great tip! Now to find some plaid …

  4. simple things says:

    Now I definitely need a walking foot. Genius!

  5. jen says:

    This tip is courtesy of my mom, a woman who once made a 3 piece plaid Pendleton wool suit in the 70's. Ah the days when you could buy Pendleton wool at the fabric store. Hope it helps out, I love this tip and she swears by it.

    Holly – When I'm matching up the seamlines, I always stick a pin through the stitching of each seam, then they always line up!

  6. threadsquare says:

    Such a fab idea! I hate it when the plaid is off, even by 1/16. That might be a bit obsessive [I should just let go :)], but I'm definitely going to track down a walking foot for my machine now. I hate unpicking a million times even more!

  7. Meg says:

    oooh I hate aligning plaids-so annoying

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