Have you heard that a well matched plaid is a thing of perfection? That was what I heard when I posted this picture of my next make to social media. Plaid isn’t just for flannels and pajamas.

I hope you enjoy a few stepping stones to get started with plaid fabric. Stick to stripes – just kidding! Plaids can be fun and with a few simple tips and rules anyone can do it.

Here we go!

#1. If the pattern says, “Not suitable for plaid,” believe them.

#2. Start with a small “even plaid,” meaning it is the same on the left as the right. These are easier to match up than uneven plaids. Also called balanced or unbalanced.

#3. Buy extra fabric. Figure out your repeat (how many inches before each print repeats itself) and know that you will need more for a large print than for a small print.

#4. Cut out each piece separately matching them up exactly as you go.

#5. The less piecing – the easier it is. I look for patterns like the blanket coat that has no side seams or I try to eliminate extra seams where possible. (the boxy silhouette of a flannel shirt makes them easier)

#6. Use extra pins to make sure nothing shifts when stitching.

#7. Prioritize what you want to match on your plaid print. Center front, horizontal, sleeves, and so on.

#8. Be aware that you are human and not a robot. Take your time, have fun, and remember nothing nor no one is ever perfect. Mistakes will be made.

Obviously my plaid is not perfect. My top will never match the skirt of the dress’s piecing with the width I needed. I prioritized where I was going to match and did the best I could. I am happy with my work.

Behind the scenes~


We had a great vacation/staycation 2020.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!





Tracy McElfresh
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