In Progress: Sewaholic Minoru Rain Jacket (Print* Matching)

*Print vs. pattern. For clarity, especially for non-sewists who read my blog, I call the graphic on fabric a print. Patterns are the collection of tissue pieces used to cut out fabric pieces.  With me?

I have been doing a lot of reading up online about sewing with laminated cotton. 2 VIPs (Very Important Pointers) were (1) don’t put unnecessary holes in the fabric and (2) don’t crease the fabric. You can’t iron out creases because the laminate will melt.

When cutting out my fabric I couldn’t use pins with the pattern pieces.  (I can’t use them when I sew either.)  Also, I couldn’t fold the fabric in half to cut out the pieces. Everything normally cut on the fold had to be cut flat so no creases were formed. And dual pieces were cut one at a time.


(My jacket will match my blue leather sofa!)  See the 2 hood pieces cut out from opposite sides of the fabric? My fabric’s print didn’t run straight across but bowed up in the middle so I cut the hood pieces from each side.  That helped ensure that the prints would line up properly.


For the hood I wanted the horizontal print to continue across the hood so I made an effort to cut the pieces as a continuous print.  (See how the drops are laid out in a horizontal “stripe”?)  Once sewn with seam allowance the print won’t match up perfectly but will at least follow the “stripe” of the fabric.


For the sleeves, I cut out one and flipped the piece over and used it as a pattern piece to cut the second one.  I lined up the print so the sleeves were mirror-images.


See how they are mirror-images of each other?  That’s because they will be on opposite sides so, hopefully, they will look somewhat symmetrical.


To make sure that I’m cutting on the straight grain, especially with a print, I measure the top of the grain line arrow on the pattern piece to the selvage edge.  Here it is 10 inches.  Then…


Then I measure from the bottom of the arrow to the selvage.  Oh good, it’s 10 inches also.  You can see that the arrow follows the print all the way down.  (It’s to the right of the centre drop…see that?)  But you can’t always trust the print (this one did bow up in the middle).  Sometimes on fabric the print is stamped on and wonky.  I like to do a quick measurement to be on the safe side.

Do you follow me?  Any questions?  Do you have any print matching tips or tricks?

Here are some other items that I did print matching on.  Steinaway Dress, Polka Dot Jacket (scroll down the post).

What I’m listening to: Marilyn by Bat for Lashes


15 thoughts on “In Progress: Sewaholic Minoru Rain Jacket (Print* Matching)

  1. I love the raindrop fabric. ANd I stopped sewing with pins about a year ago. It actually forces you to take your time and sew more slowly but it end sup saving time…I’m looking forward to hearing how you like sewing without pins.

  2. Seeing the fabric cut out really helps me visualize the coat. I think I was having a hard time with scale before to really “get” it. It’s going to be a great coat and well worth the time to pay attention to where the print lands.

    • Wouldn’t the print be cute for a kid? Hopefully I don’t look too juvenile…
      Actually my purchased rain jacket is black and tan colored. So boring. I hate to wear it. This is the opposite extreme. We’ll see!!

  3. Wow – I’m impressed at your print-matching skills! I’ve never tackled anything where I have to match up stripes, prints, etc…I’m sure I’ll be brave enough to give it a go one of these days. When I do, I’ll be coming back to this post for pointers!!

    • Thanks! I just know the stuff that will bug me in the future. And it turns out that my fabric is super wide so I have lots of room to make the matching work.
      It helps to buy fabric that is usually used in home decor! 🙂

  4. My high school sewing teacher (who is now a family friend!) would kill me if she knew this, but I have not sewn with pins since high school, with the exception of the odd sleeve. I am incredibly lazy and like things done FAST!
    Also, I am so impressed with your print matching! I would never have the patience for that, but it looks SO much better that way.
    P.S. was in Neptoon records on the weekend and thought of you 🙂

    • Wish I had a sewing teacher as a family friend?!
      Lots of no-pinners coming out of the woodwork here. Though I don’t pin when I use my serger…
      Good old Neptoon…I’ll have to blog about my Red Cat Records tray makeover so you can see my handiwork. Spiffied up a serving tray. You’d be impressed!

  5. Pingback: In Progress: Sewaholic Rain Jacket (Lining Things Up) | Falling Through Your Clothes

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  7. When I’m cutting and want a print to match on both sleeves, for example, I trace a couple parts of the pattern with pencil onto the pattern piece (say at the sleeve head and at the wrist). That way, when I cut the second sleeve I can try to match up and get as close to symmetrical as I can 🙂 This also works when trying to match stripes at the seam, where I try to trace at a strategic point like at a notch on both pattern pieces so I can find the right position easily. Just make sure you take into account the seam allowance, because, as you said, this might throw things off just a little bit.

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