Large Print Motifs and Designs

According to my 1970s Vogue sewing book large prints and large print motifs are strictly for tablecloths. I am here today to share with you that they are not! I’m writing about how I used the panel print to make a jacket and sharing other large print garments I have made.

A friend and fellow designer dropped off a mystery box on the back porch last summer. I was so excited to see what was in it that I ripped the box open without a seconds notice. Not only was it fabric, it was fabric with my idol Frida Kahlo w/ jeans knit with coordinates.

Again, I was working with the age old problem in sewing – not enough fabric! I was puzzled at first about what to make.

I knew from other large prints that any box style pattern would do a great job keeping the back motif together. I dug deep through my pattern collection and found one I could hack. Then the magic started.

Sewing with Marie Osman was so much fun. I made just a few very simple alterations to her pattern by leaving off the lapels and darts.

I added the quote to make a pocket on the inside. Who doesn’t need more pockets? I used almost every scrap of fabric or I would have made blue tabs on the top shoulders and binded the bottom in the pink print.

Problems. I do not believe this pattern was ever tested. The back facing did not match up at all and had to be recut. I double checked the pattern pieces and they clearly did not fit. This could be because the garment was meant for heavy shoulder pads but it wasn’t working for what I was doing.

I consider myself lucky, this has only happened to me a handful of times throughout my garment making career.

I decided to add cool copper colored snaps just for fun. I get to hammer these on our kitchen floor! I learned about this the hard way when I ruined a few pieces of good furniture. The snaps leave major indents in wood. Whoops.

Here is the front of the jacket.

Just a few other large print garments I pulled off Facebook.


Best of all the fabric company is from Troy, Ohio. RP Custom Fabrics has been in business for 5 years now serving the fabric community with 100+ rounds of custom fabric! Owner Sara Soto Garcia designed the Frida print and used a quote from the beloved artist to make the panels!
They also have a FB group if you want to join in the fun. I did!

Behind the Scenes~

We had a sold out sewing basics class last week!

I made both of my sisters a dress. I wanted to make them each something special and use up my stash before I head to Sew to Speak!

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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