Friday, February 22, 2013

Border Dispute

There are two kinds of border prints and the Vogue layout is wrong for both of them.

 There is this pretty Malaysian Batik, with an allover floral pattern and a border on one edge
There is this zebra print with giant zebras in the tall grass om one edge, and the leaves of grass on the other. These are what I will call one border prints.
There are two sided border prints, like this one:,with a border on both selvedges.
Bold Slash Border Knit - Peach/Rose/Greens on Black
These require different layout strategies.
For the one border prints, decide where you want your border: top or bottom. This will determine how you will lay out your pattern. My zebra print is directional, so I don't want upside-down zebras on my chest :bottom it is. The Malaysian batik has no up/down, so it could be either way.
Or you could get creative -who says borders have to be North or South? They could be East West, like we see on Colette's Crepe.

The pictured Vogue has a two border print, but the layout they show assumes one border. It would be incorrect for both kinds. Here's why: See above how they use a single layer, and have all of those small pieces all along the border? They are doing it wastefully. Some of those pieces are linings and won't be seen, so if you were laying them on the border you are wasting fabric. One collar, and two front yokes and one back yoke can go in the middle, as can the belt.. So one 5, two 3s and one 7 can go up in the non-border zone. Move those pockets and the front facing to a middle, non-border zone. Or use a different fabric for the pockets - who will see? I laid this arrangement out on my batik and it was 3 and 1/4 yards- a far cry from the almost 7 yards that Vogue was calling for. Now if I have a border at both sides I can move those small pieces above the big pieces on the left and save even more fabric. Maybe Vogue has an unlimited fabric budget. Most people don't Border prints are both rare and sometimes expensive, so why waste a thread of them if you don't have to? It is unfair to new sewists to give this kind of sloppy layout. They don't know. My mother drilled it into my head that wasting fabric - wasting anything for that matter - was a sin, so I am unable to waste an inch. That's why I have so many large and small scraps. But I digress. You can make this dress for much less fabric than they say. The best way to determine your fabric needs is to get the pattern, make your fitting adjustments (I always have to shorten the sleeves and the skirt), trace any extra pieces that are cut twice and then lay it out on some sample fabric and make sure you have all pieces accounted for. Then measure that, and get that much plus a little bit more, for insurance.I usually get a half yard or one yard extra. Just in case.
I hope that explained my method and please let me know if I didn't answer your question.
If only all border disputes were as easily resolved.


badmomgoodmom said...

I use my scraps for linings, facings and bias binding. In that way, I can get away with much less than the pattern envelope suggests.

Let's face it, I often buy oddly-shaped pieces by the pound in LA. I use my mad tetris skilz to lay out the pattern pieces using available fabric.

I would add 10% shrinkage allowance to the layout, but then subtract for creative cutting (using scraps from prior projects).

Rose said...

i have this pattern and I'm looking forward to seeing how your project progresses.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

The Vogue layout is insane! I can almost always get away with up to 1/2 yard less than called for by a pattern--but being short is so much worse than having a little extra so I try not to take chances.