Monday, June 8, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Chevrons

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I had never chevroned, nor wanted to chevron, til I saw this pattern, Simplicity 1283:
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Notice that the chevron is pointing DOWN on Mimi's shirt (foreshadowing).
How hard could it be?  (more foreshadowing)
Cut it on the bias, use the walking foot, and it'll be fine! (even more foreshadowing)

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So how did THIS happen????

The chevron is pointing UP and I wanted it to be DOWN like it is on the pattern envelope.

Signal huge, heaving sigh.

Let's go to the line drawing.
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Yes, the instructions are upside down, but it's easier to see the chevron with pattern piece #1 (the front of the top) with the directions turned this way.

Note the fold and the selvages.

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If your fabric stripes are going horizontally across, from selvage to selvage, then look at what happens, above.  The chevrons will point UP.

Another way to state this is, regardless of fold/selvage, the chevron will be UP if the pattern grain line is perpendicular to the stripes.
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If your fabric strips are vertical, from cut edge to cut edge, then the chevrons will be DOWN, as above.
Another way to state this is, regardless of fold/selvage, the chevron will be DOWN if the pattern grain line is parallel to the stripes.

So I had to cut it out again (with very limited fabric remaining) to get the chevrons to be DOWN:

To wrap my head around it, I drew on my traced pattern piece:
S1283 top
The black lines  on the edge are when the pattern grain line (that diagonal line in the middle) is perpendicular to the stripes.

The red lines  on the edge are when the pattern grain line is parallel.

(The dotted red line is the pattern grain line).
S1283 top

I generally cut single layer anyway, but with stripes, it's a must. Do you see the camoflauged piece??
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I wound up having to cut it out a total of three times:
1.  First time chevrons up.
2.  Second time, chevrons down, but then I decided to cut the armhole in (as a sleeveless, because I was fearing too many stripes and also running out of fabric).  However, when I did that, it was cut in too low and deep on the front.  (Signal another huge, heaving sigh).
3.  Third time, with not much fabric remaining, I got it right.  Chevrons down, armhole cut in, not too low or deep.
S1283 top

It's done!  More pix, and modelled,  tmw or later in the week!

Have you ever chevroned before?  If yes, how did it go???  Do you prefer your chevrons up or down?

Be well!

36 comments:

  1. Oh my, I admire your fortitude! It looks like a cute top!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! If at first I don't succeed, I try, try again!

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  2. Ah…I remember you showing me this when you were working on it. You persevered and now you have a cute top. I'm glad you had enough fabric!

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    1. Me too! It was barely enough. Lots of scrappy baps left.

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  3. Due diligence gets the job done everytime!

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    1. Thanks Faye. Sometimes I'm just beating a dead horse; other times it works out!

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  4. Also, thank you for detailing why the stripes ended up pointing up when you wanted them to go down. I will refer to this post whenever I decide to work on chevrons.

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    1. You're welcome!! It was fun drawing on the pattern layout.

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  5. You are, officially, amazing.

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    1. Awww, that's really sweet! Thanks Kathy!

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  6. Man o' man you are a real trooper. Like Tomasa, thanks on how to do it. Wow ... You are good.

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  7. Pam Erny writes a sewing blog and has a tutorial on making chevron yokes for shirts. I've used it with success so I wonder if the same concepts apply. Lovely job on the dress, btw.
    Oh, her blog is Off-the-Cuff.

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    1. I haven't read her blog about chevrons, but probably it's a similar concept. I love her interfacing and only use hers!!

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  8. I'm with Shannon... I admire your fortitude too... .I'd just go "perfect chevrons...bonus" and leave it at that. I'm glad you had enough fabric to get it how you wanted.

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    1. Thanks! Those "pointing up" chevrons make make a reappearance someday! Maybe the upper bodice of a dress, with the rest in black?

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  9. I admire your perseverance. It's a shame because your matching looks fantastic! I made chevron curtains for my laundry area and some that cover my boys' train table. That was a tough project because I had to match not just the stripes of the chevrons, but the horizontal repeat of them and horizontally match the chevrons across all of the panels spanning my 15' space. As much of a pain it is, you'll be glad for your hard work; your eye goes to the patterns immediately, and when you've done a good job of it, it's a much less jarring visual experience. Keep at it! Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

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    1. 15 feet of chevrons? Wow! That's impressive!

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  10. And that my friend is why I always buy more fabric than I need! Glad you were able to make this work....impatiently waiting for the reveal!

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    1. I bought all they had left--I think it was about 1.5 yards! I agree though that it is best to buy as much as possible--more room for experimentation.

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  11. Oh the sewing frustrations! Great job!

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    1. Thanks Johanna! It can be frustrating but ultimately rewarding.

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  12. Oh the sewing frustrations! Great job!

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  13. Stripes can be a beast but you made it work!
    I personally like to do a small scale version of what I'm making(either with a small piece of the fabric or paper) to see if it works before cutting.
    Also when it comes to stripes, I don't follow instructions anymore because it usually doesn't match the way I want it!

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    1. I absolutely love the idea of doing a small scale or paper striped version. I usually do samples of things I haven't tried before but that beginner's mindset took over--"how hard could it possibly be???" :)

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  16. What a valuable blog post for those of us attempting a chevron! Thank you for going before us. Beautiful work!

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    1. Thanks! It was a fun experiment!

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  17. I've never chevroned, but would like to try it. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. Sure! It is fun to see the stripes align!!

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  18. See...that foreshadowing...it will get you every time!

    I would have totally skipped away with the up chevrons so yay you for making it work! It looks really really good! I haven't chevroned but have thought about it. Maybe soon :)

    I finally had a good look at this pattern and think I'll make the skirt.

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    1. The pants! You have to try the pants from the pattern--they worked SO well for me.

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  19. You have so much more patience than I have, but the result is wonderful & looks great.

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    1. Thanks MaryEllen. Sometimes it's really frustrating but I am learning to just keep going and keep trying to make progress!

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  20. ...I had the same experience with a 4-gore skirt! I didn't want the chevron pointing up toward my butt... so I had to cut it out again too!

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