Basting Methods for Plaids

Checked vestWhen choosing a basting method for throws, consider the complexity of the throw, the texture of the fabric and the design of the garment, as well as your sewing skills. Here are some whitewashing methods that can help you achieve an accurate tile match:

First step

For best results, water with the right side facing up. It is also helpful to stay sewing around the edges of your fabric pieces. This helps maintain the shape of your pieces while you work on matching throws.

Glue sticks and tapes

Glue sticks and water-soluble double-stick tape are easy basting techniques that might work well on some fabrics where, for example, needle pricks would not be appropriate. Place the glue or tape just inside the seam line on the right side of the unpressed section. Line up the checkered bars and press the layers together. Let the glue dry before sewing.

Another easy method for basting is to use drawing tape. Match the color bars and glue the sections together. Then, right sides together, sew on the wrong side on the seam line. (Figure 1).

Brush the blankets
Figure 1

Tip: Before using drawing tape, test to make sure the tape will not ruin the fabric and rip the nap.

Brush by hand

For difficult seams, baste by hand. With the right side facing up, align and pin the sections together. Then use a short slip stitch or drop stitch to baste. Use a contrasting thread color that is easily visible against the plaid pattern.

  • The drop stitch tends to hold the fabric a little more securely; however, on the reverse side the stitches are angled and if you are not using water soluble thread in the bobbin they are more difficult to remove.
  • If you use slip stitch, consider adding security by turning the garment over and putting a second row of basting on the wrong side so that there are no spaces between the stitches.

Brush with machine

Machine basting works well on fabrics that won't be damaged by extra needle holes. With the right side facing up, line up the color bars and pin the sections together. Set the machine for a blind hem stitch (Width: 2″, Length: 2.5″) and loose tension, then sew next to the fold line. Only the zigzag stitch will catch the fold line (Figure 2). Consider using water-soluble basting thread in the bobbin, but remember that this thread could dissolve in hot, wet hands or when wound onto a bobbin at high speed. In this method, it might help to use a contrasting thread color that is easily visible against the checkered pattern.

Matching throws
Figure 2

Brush the pins

Pin the checkered pattern pieces together along the checkered lines, making sure the lines match perfectly. Place the pins parallel to the checkered lines and about an inch apart, then place the pins vertically and horizontally to keep the pattern pieces aligned.

Cutting and notching

When you have intersecting seams, trimming the seam allowances or notching them can help line up the checkered lines more accurately. Make small diagonal cuts (clips) or triangular notches along the seam allowances, taking care not to cut the seam line.

Children's plaid jacket and dress


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