A Couple of Cool Combinations — Butterick 6817

A Couple of Cool Combinations — Butterick 6817 - Marcy Tilton Fabrics
Combining prints is totally on trend and also terrific play. Play is so good for the soul and sewing play provides the perfect entertainment for those of us enamored with the craft.

Marcy and I found a myriad of marvelous prints from our French mill and ordered our favorites with an eye to playful mixing. The two t-shirts shown here are just a small sampling of the potential possible combinations. Imagine…


Combines Corinthian Paisley, Claude and Hamlet Stripe. An amalgam in black and white with just enough added neutrals to keep one entertained.


Combines Auguste, Magma, and Missus Tweedy. A passionate blend of rich colors, fervent pattern and classic design.


Three print fabrics are simple to lay out as I’ve developed a formula. Feel free to follow it or change it (as I do in Paradigm).
  • First decide which print you want closest to your face. This then goes on the right front and becomes #1. I used Claude/Auguste.
  • Second, decide which is the second print by your face. This becomes the left top and is #2. I used Corinthian Paisley/Missus Tweedy.
  • Third fabric is placed on the bottom left front and is #3. I used Hamlet Stripe/Magma.
  • Baroque print placements:
  • Fabric #1 on the lower back and left sleeve.
  • Fabric #2 on the upper back.
  • Fabric #3 on the right sleeve and neckband.
  • Paradigm print placements (veer off the formula):
  • Fabric #1 on the left lower back and left sleeve.
  • Fabric #2 on the right lower back, right sleeve and neckband.
  • Fabric #3 on the upper back.
Sometimes the fabric you are using doesn’t want to follow the formula. In this case I decided to add a seam to the lower back pattern piece so I could use all three fabrics on the back as well as the front. I created a seamline that was off center. If you can’t decide the 1/3 to 2/3s always works.

How much of each fabric:

  • Generally 2 units/one yard of each fabric is enough.
  • If you are smaller or larger than average it is best to measure before ordering or cutting.
  • Separate all your pattern pieces into piles of #1, #2 and #3’s.
  • On your cutting board (which I hope is marked in 1” squares) lay out your pattern pieces within the parameters of the width of the fabric. This will give you the length you need of each print. As with all prints it’s good to have extra so you can utilize more of the design options.

Decision, decisions. Hints on how to decide where to place the prints:

  • Stand in front of a mirror holding each print helps decide which is best.
  • Stand in front of a mirror with choice #1 on your right side and #2 on your left. Have you made the right choice?
  • Try switching sides.
Design choices are of course subjective but I have found that by simply standing in front of the mirror and holding a fabric up around my face, I know instinctively if the color works and/or if the pattern is too bold for me. Experiment and trust your eye. We may love a color or pattern but some things work better on the back.

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