There are a few things that just scream “fall” to me: pumpkin bread, apple cider, and of course plaid flannel. After a hot, hot, HOT summer in St. Louis, I’ve been so excited to dig out my fall clothes and jackets! Cozy flannel is one of my favorite things to wear in fall, but I’ve always been nervous to sew plaids. Matching all of those patterns is definitely not my strong suit. But this year, I just couldn’t resist the massive plaid flannel section at JOANN. I knew I was going to have to figure this plaid matching thing out! While I didn’t 100% nail it, this fall plaid outfit is already a staple in my wardrobe and has given me the confidence to try plaid again.
*this post was sponsored by JOANN. the experience and my words are my own!*
Perfect Fall Plaid Outfit
My Tee Shirt
Real talk: I am OBSESSED with all of the fabric I used for this outfit. Separately they’re amazing, but together? It’s like the softest, coziest outfit ever.
I made my tee shirt in this heathered fabric. I actually have it in this gray shade and in a blue shade as well, and I love both! It’s super soft and easy to work with.
The pattern is my trusty old Jeanne shirt from Ready to Sew. It’s tried and true, and my go-to tee shirt. I love how fast the pattern comes together. I can make a new shirt in like forty five minutes. There’s no way that I could ever go to Target and buy a tee shirt that fast! Not because Target is super far away or anything. I just love to spend a lot of time in Target.
It took me years to make my own jeans, and now that I’ve started I cannot stop! Everyone told me “don’t be afraid, it’s easier than you think, just try,” and they were right. So if you’re nervous to make your own jeans: don’t be afraid, it’s easier than you think, just try. Trust me, I’m a jeans expert or something.
These are Ginger Jeans, a pattern from Closet Case. It’s my second pair of Gingers, and they’re kind of a cult classic. After my great first experience sewing jeans with the Ash pattern, I wasn’t sure I’d want to try another! But I really have fallen for the Gingers. I’ll talk a little more about the modifications I made on this pair soon, probably next month.
Honestly, I think JOANN has a ton of great denim for beginner jeans makers, too. I used this stretch denim, which is fairly light. It’s somewhere in between jeggings and 9 or 11 oz denim. To me, this is a good choice for a new denim sewer because it’s going to be way easier to work with! There’s less cramming of denim through the machine, and I was able to use a regular ol’ size 14 needle and not a denim needle. Plus, it didn’t dye my hands black, which is always a plus!
Here’s an extra sneaky denim sewing tip for you: when I was at my local JOANN to pick up supplies for this project, they were out of black topstitching thread. No worries! You can use two spools of regular-weight thread to mimic the weight of topstitching thread. And an added bonus is that you have to change out your thread way less if you’re using the same color of thread to sew seams and to topstitch. Just snip one of the threads and pull it through!
My Flannel Shirt
My plaid shirt is this red buffalo check fabric. I almost hate to tell you what fabric I used because I want to buy it all for myself! Seriously, this is a fantastic fabric. Normally, flannel is fairly thick and heavy. Great for keeping you warm, but it can drown you if it’s a not-super-feminine silhouette! That just wasn’t the look I was going for — I wanted something a little more tailored. This fabric has the softness of flannel, but it’s a shirting weight, so it’s fairly light. Amazing!
This pattern is the Archer Button Up from Grainline Studio. I’ve owned this pattern for years, but rarely use it! Or, rarely used it — that’ll definitely be changing from now on. It’s exactly the style I was going for, easy and oversized, but still feminine. I added 3 ½” to the body, and it is definitely the perfect length for me. Next time I’ll add an inch and a half to the sleeves, but I forgot to this time. I’ll always roll the sleeves up anyways, so I guess it doesn’t matter!
Plaid Matching Tips
Plaid matching has always stressed me out. When I worked for my university’s costume shop in college, I remember one dance concert where we had to make four or five 1960s style dresses in plaid fabrics. I don’t know how I wiggled out of cutting the pieces for that project, but somehow I did! The coworker who ended up being tasked with it had to spread the fabric out all over this massive countertop to lay the pieces out, and it took her forever. It’s scarred me since!
Starting smaller than a retro dress pattern is probably the best option for first time plaid matchers. I’m definitely no expert, but here are a few of the things that I did that made this much easier:
- Start with an easy repeat pattern. Buffalo check only has three “color” options! A more complicated plaid won’t repeat as nicely.
- Pick a few things to plaid match. I chose the back and front side seams, and the sleeves.
- Cut as much as you can on the cross grain! This adds visual interest and decreases your plaid matching work. I cut the inside yoke, the cuffs, and the sleeve placket on the cross grain.
- Choose a reference point to base your matching on. I picked the point where the sleeve first joins the armscye. I lined that point up with the edge of a check on every piece and it made it much easier!