How to Join Patterned Fabric

Item # X-HT-300205

You’ve chosen the perfect patterned fabric for your sewing project, but the fabric is not wide enough for your needs. So what do you do? In this short video, we will walk you, step-by-step, through the process of joining fabric panels together for a wider piece of fabric. It’s easier than you might think! Don’t let the fear or worry of matching up fabrics keep you from choosing that beautiful pattern you’ve had your heart set on. Let Sailrite show you how to match up patterned fabrics with this quick and easy video tutorial.

Matching up patterned fabrics to create a wider piece of fabric is easier than you think.

A fabric’s width sometimes needs to be extended when you are making long cushions or wide window shades and curtains. The key to matching up a fabric’s pattern is to take your time and focus on the task at hand. The last thing you want is to finish sewing the panels together, flip the assembly over, splay the panels, and discover that you were off by a fraction of an inch and your pattern does not match up.

To get started, place the panels right sides together with selvage edges almost directly on top of each other. Always match a pattern to the selvage edge. Starting in the middle of the layered panels, you’ll fold the top edge back a little and match up the top panel’s design with the bottom panel. Most patterns will take up about 1/2 inch of fabric for the seam allowance, but it all depends on the fabric’s design. Once both panels’ patterns are matched up, pin the layers together horizontal to the selvage edge of the fabrics, starting at the middle of the panel and working your way to each edge. Smooth the fabric as you go to prevent pinning in any wrinkles and to keep your patterns correctly matched up.

When your panels are pinned together, crease the folded top panel well with a straightedge. Once the folded over fabric edge is well creased, remove the pins and then unfold the top fabric. Use a washable fabric marker to add dash lines along the crease line on the wrong side of the top fabric (Read our blog “How to Pick the Best Marking Pencil” (300011XHT) to pick the right one for your fabric). Then, simply pin the fabrics in place again, this time inserting the pins centered through the marked crease lines so the pins can be left in the fabric when sewing. Once all those pins are inserted, add pins parallel to the selvage edge about an inch away from the crease line to prevent the fabric from slipping around when you take it to your sewing machine.

Now all that remains is to sew your panels together. Choose a needle size and thread weight appropriate for the weight of your fabric to prevent puckering when you sew. Do some reversing at the beginning and end of the assembly to lock your stitches in place. Once you’ve finished sewing, remove all the pins, splay open the seam and press it with an iron. Flip the panels right side up and iron again. You can remove any visible dashes from the fabric pen with a damp cloth. Now your patterned fabric is wide enough for your sewing needs and you can get started on your sewing project. How easy was that!?

Check out our short video tutorial to watch the process in action and for even more details on aligning patterned fabrics and additional tips and tricks on sewing them together.

Have you ever sewn two or more patterned fabrics together to create a wider piece of fabric? Do you have any additional tips or tricks on how to achieve a seamless, invisible pattern match? We’d love to hear from you!