Cozy Cotton Flannels, Silky Smooth Linings & More
Marcy Tilton Designer Fashion Fabrics
Hello Sewing Friends!

Today I’m happy to bring you some new additions to the PLAID COLLECTION. Some are classic, others contemporary. 

Traditionally known as tartan, plaid emerged in Scotland in the 1700s. The word plaid comes from the Scottish Gaelic word plaide, meaning blanket, which was the first popular use of the pattern. Scots would make tartan blankets to sling over their shoulders in the cold northern climate. Initially a kind of clan couture, this beloved family fashion took on political significance during the Jacobite uprisings. Each particular plaid carried centuries of symbolic meaning for Scottish clans.

Tartan was co-opted from a Scottish family symbol to a military uniform during the 1714 Scottish rebellion against the English monarchy. In response, the English crown enacted the Dress Act of 1746 banning the popular pattern completely in Scotland. The ban backfired big time, making plaid more popular than ever.

When plaid crossed “the pond” it became a primal symbol of rugged American masculinity after an ad man dressed legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan in the pattern. With Pendleton Mills release of their iconic plaid shirts in 1924, plaid took on a new meaning. These shirts were one of the earliest examples of what we now call sportswear. 

In the 1940’s Pendleton made plaid shirts for women, and the rest is history. After that plaid was used widely for everything from car seats to wallpaper. Simultaneously subversive and stylish, plaid then became a kind of counter culture couture for a new generation in the 1980s. Today plaid’s perennial popularity has earned it a permanent place in the pantheon of patterns used in both high fashion and ready-to-wear. Scroll down for tips on matching plaids in a single garment.

 Happy Sewing!
To figure extra yardage to match plaids, multiply the repeat by the number of main pattern pieces. For example, if the repeat is 4" and you have 4 main/large pattern pieces, you would need a minimum of 16 extra inches. To match plaids, cut single thickness, starting with the main pattern piece at center front or back, placing CF/CB centered between (NOT ON), a dominant color or line, then cut one piece at a time, using the cut out piece as a pattern piece for the next, flipping, so you get a left and right side. I draw the plaid on the pattern pieces to match at side seams and notches on sleeves. If the plaid is unbalanced, cut as for a nap. Sew with a walking foot to prevent shifting. Some pieces like pockets, yoke and collar can be cut on the bias.
Marcy Tilton Fabrics
8020 Takilma Road
Cave Junction, OR 97523