Saturday, September 13, 2014

Matching Plaid

Pattern matching is a type of witchcraft I am only beginning to learn.

See how the tartan continues all the way across the bodice, even with all the darts and curved seams? (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1873-1876)
I'm starting a new plaid dress (but more on that soon!), and so I've been taking some time to read up on pattern matching and working with plaids in an effort to do a better job of making my bodice look, well, matched. But I've also been revisiting my historical plaids Pinterest board, and I noticed something: while there are some beautiful examples of well-matched plaid, there are also a lot of examples of plaid that isn't lined up across seams.

They range from close-but-not-quite...

cotton bodice, 1860s
wrapper, late 1860s
silk ballgown, 1812
to not-even-trying.

bodice, late 1870s
Does it matter? Not really. All of these pieces are lovely. But it's a nice reminder that extant garments aren't always "perfect," and mine don't need to be either. That said, I'm still planning on trying my best to match the plaid on my bodice pieces!

a preview!


  1. Good luck with your plaid matching! I agree -- it IS a sort of witchcraft!

    1. Thank you! So far it's acceptable but I definitely need more practice.