Have you noticed the beautiful and unique border prints in fabric stores lately? I just cannot resist them! But what is the best way to use them to their full advantage? Here are some fun ideas I’ve come up with.
Of course the easiest and most often seen is using the border along the hem of the dress or top. For some directional border prints, this is necessary to keep them upright. You don’t want your flowers or sailboats upside down! Using the border on the hem takes advantage of the straight selvage while usually showcasing the main body of the print and allowing the transition to flow. It is also easy to adapt many patterns to do this by laying the pattern pieces with the hemline along the border print. You can create interest with a basic pattern with the bordered fabric, or just use your favorite tried and true pattern.
In this crepe chiffon example I had so little fabric to work with that I only had enough border print for the hem, with just a scrap leftover for the ties to bring that moss color up near my face.
Similarly, using the border print around the hem of loose sleeves is an easy modification that can add a cute detail and make your garment look so high end!
I love when you can use the border print to emphasize your strengths. You can draw the eye to your favorite feature by placing the border near the face, waist or bust.
Using the print horizontally is also fabulous and unexpected! Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow used a double border print horizontally, while Chuleenan Svetvilas of CSews used different parts of the border horizontally on one side of the bodice as well as the hem.
If you have enough of your border print, try placing them together at the center to make a symmetrical dress. It is a very popular look on the racks of ready to wear lately.
I created this pattern specifically to utilize this double border print and not waste any of the interlocking transition of the border. I just couldn’t bear to chop it up!
The super popular top Rachel Comey Vogue 1247 (out of print) has intricate interlocking pieces that could be joined to create a great effect.
McCall’s 7366 mock wrap is cut with the front seam cut along the grain, so the border would cross over the bodice in a quite a flattering way. There are several wrap front patterns that are cut this way and would take advantage of a border print.
Immediately following my first version of McCall’s 7385, where I used crochet trim to emphasize the seamlines, I imagined another version utilizing a border print. It has a center seam and the side bodice pieces join the peplum at the waist.
I hope these ideas encourage you to sew up all the border prints and create some lovely, one-of-a-kind garments!