Drunk Printing

So this is what I think happened… 

Guy printing stretch cotton: “Whoa, maybe I had a few too many at lunch today.” Unprinted Stretch Cotton: “Step away from me pal!”

Alhambra Clover Print Design: “We like the straight grain, only the straight grain dude!” 

Guy: “This looks ok, maybe no one will notice.” 

Fabric store owner who shall remain nameless: “Maybe no one will notice.” 

Me: “ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 

lame hand drawn graphic


Thank you all for your supportive comments about my recent discovery of some badly printed fabric that I bought way back in 2008.  My fabric was not only printed off grain, but it begins to skew in the middle of the pattern ever so slightly.  Enough that there is no way to match the print at all, no matter what method is used.  See my “graphic” above for my expert visual illustration of this problem (the writing tablet lines are the straight grain of my fabric, the green lines are the pattern printed on my fabric).  I’ve tried cutting in single layers, I’ve tried matching it up on different parts of my 3 yd cut.  I’ve tried inverting the pattern piece. All to no avail.  I have officially given up on this fabric.  Sigh.  I really love the alhambra clover pattern too.  double sigh. 

By the way, I am trying to make Simplicity 2452, a pencil skirt.  I hope it will become my TNT pencil skirt, but that’s a discussion for another post.  

Simplicity 2452


What I’m trying to say is that this is all it took to stop my sewing mojo in it’s tracks for a couple of days.  Last night, in a fit of determination and before Jack went to bed and my closet of sewing stuff/stash was inaccessible for the evening, I looked at all of my fabric for a suitable stand in fabric to learn print matching at seams.  Unfortunately, I have a bad case of good-fabric-itis and don’t want to cut into any of those fabrics yet.  So I resorted to some slightly icky black (subtly striped) fabric left over from my class at Sew Fast Sew Easy.  It’s a stretch cotton.  I wanted to attempt matching the stripes using the Selfish Seamstress’ discovery of the easiest way to match stripes/plaids.  I think my stripes were too irregular and too subtle for this method, but I still recommend it as it looks like it works.    However, I also looked at my patterns for a good knit top pattern to make some tops for my suits.  I don’t have a lot of work appropriate separates and desperately need to grow my wardrobe.  However, after perusing my pattern stash and all of my Burda’s, I couldn’t find anything!!!!  My parameters were easy, work appropriate and attractive.  Can I tell you that it seemed like I was asking too much?  If the pattern was easy, it was shapeless and fugly.  If the pattern was attractive it looked to difficult.  I want knock out a few of these with my printed knits, not spend two weeks on one top.  

If anyone has any pattern suggestions for cute knit top, I am all ears. 

Tonight I am going to attempt S2452 with my slightly icky fabric.  I will consider it my 2nd muslin (the first muslin story is part of the TNT post to come).  

Happy sewing everyone!


7 responses to “Drunk Printing

  1. I like Simplicity 4095 – here’s a link to my review of it: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=38677.

    And LOL on the drunk printing – reminds me of a saying we have around my house about “drunk knitting”. We try to avoid that now.

  2. Sorry about the sucky fabric… save it, though — you can make some bags out of it!

  3. I think your problem is that you are using the wrong kind of material for matching designs. You use the word “stretch” in your description of the material. I think anything “stretch” is going to be a problem. When you make a skirt, top or suit with the right material, you won’t have a problem matching the design. I think “stretchy” material is best suited for casual clothes where it doesn’t matter if it matches up. Just a thought. It’s definitely not you, it’s the material you are using.

    Love, Mom

  4. Have you looked at the Jalie patterns for knit tops?
    Some of them are really nice. I’ve made 2910 and 2806 with excellent results.
    2921 is a very recent pattern and has good reviews. I have seen it sewn up on a few sewing blogs and it’s very flattering.
    Also Butterick 5354 is a really nice top for stretch fabric.
    Hope you can find a nice plaid to work with. Maybe something with even (not uneven) stripes and in a woven and using a simple (like a pencil skirt or simple jacket) pattern with not too many pattern pieces or darts etc for matching to start with.

  5. Marie-Christine

    You could scan that nice print, and get it printed at one of the custom shops on the web? Not original, but if it’s only for yourself there are no copyright problems, especially as you already paid for fabric you can’t use :-(.
    As to knit tops, just one word: Jalie.

  6. Burda 7866 is incredibly easy and very trendy, but might be too trendy for your workplace.

    For a variation on the tee, I really like a cowl neck, either cut on or separate. Unfortunately, both the patterns I prefer are out of print (Simplicity 9626 and S4539). I want to pick up S2580 based in Melissa Fehr’s recommendation of it as a top. A cowl can look weird under a jacket, though.

    B5283 has two twist top variations. I’ve made the asymmetric one and it’s cute and I want to try the other one as well.

  7. You already got a lot of wonderful ideas about adjusting the pattern orientation, so I won’t go there. You could however also toss the fabric into a pot and dye it a solid black. Or grab a broad paintbrush and creatively overpaint it with some dark you-colour, so the alhambra pattern just barely peeks through. If it’s nearly unusable in its original state, you’ve nothing to lose by experimenting with it.

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