I love the look of Chevron details on a shirt or other garment, don't you? I like the added interest they give to the Pockets and the Yokes of the shirts I design, and so do my clients.
But it can get fiddly and frustrating to cut one one piece on the diagonal, then move it (without stretching), to cut its opposite "twin"..all the while trying to cut the second piece so that all the stripes match exactly after it is sewn!
In my studio, getting it right the first time is important because time is of the essence and I don't like to waste fabric. So, I'll show you a method I've used for most of my shirt-making career to create these kinds of bias details.
(You may click any of the photos to enlarge them.)
After laying out the pattern, I find that there is usually some extra fabric left, or that there are large enough scraps after the pattern is cut out. For this method I start with 2 rectangular pieces that are about 10-12" wide, and about 13-16" long--
Then I lay them on top of of each other, right sides together. I try my best to match the grain-lines, but having it perfectly straight at this point is just a goal, not a strict necessity. If it looks good to my eye, (as shown below), it's "perfect" enough.
Now...to decide the angle to cut...hmm. Do I want a 45-degree angle...or Not? It's up to you to decide. There is no rule that a chevron must be at a 45-degree angle. So I don't stress over it. I just place my ruler on an angle as shown below, and cut off a triangle with my rotary cutter--
Now is when some precision is needed. Move the top piece down so that it is about 1/4-inch away from the angled edge of the bottom piece, as shown below. Move it a little bit to the left if needed. The Top piece shown below is now about 1/4-inch away from the bottom piece along their angled edges.
(Tip-- If I am losing you here at this step...take 2 pieces of paper, lay them on top of each other, cut off a triangle through both layers, and then move the top piece down a bit...see? The top angled edge is now also "moved over" and you can see the bottom angled edge...just like in the example in fabric that I show here.)
Look closely at the photo below. Note that the reason for moving the top piece is so that the stripes match almost perfectly along the angled edges. All that matters now are those angled edges. This is important.
Next, take your pieces to the machine....no, don't bother to pin anything. I told you that this is an easy method and it is, I promise! For one thing, there will be no guessing if the stripes are going to match...because we can See them, and since we can See both edges of the angled pieces that are about to be sewn together...Yippee...there is No "blind" matching!
So then, at the machine....start to line up your stripes....and start to sew a 1/4-inch seam on the TOP layer, as shown below. As you continue to sew, shift the layers a bit if necessary, so that the stripes match....and since we can actually see them, it is not hard to match them.
This is what the sewn piece will look like when the stitching is complete--
...and below, a close-up photo of the stitched seam--
(What? It doesn't look like those stripes are matched along the cut edges (seam allowances)? They were when I shifted the piece when sewing, but then afterwards the bias edges relaxed and naturally shifted a bit, while the stitching is holding the matched stripes firmly in place. Wait until you see the finished piece <<smile>>)
Next, press the seam allowances flat, being careful not the stretch the seam. Yes, one seam allowance is bigger (wider) than the other. You can trim it...I usually do. It's just one quick-but-careful cut with my rotary cutter.
Then press the seam allowance open...again being careful not to stretch the seam.
This is what the seam looks like from the Wrong (back) Side, after pressing--
And this is what the entire piece looks like from the Right (front) Side--
...and here is a close-up of the nicely matched chevron seam--
So here we have a piece of fabric with a chevron (mitered/angled) seam running through it, now what? All that is left to do is place the center of the yoke pattern piece along that stitched seam (as shown below), and cut it out! I even had room for a pocket!
And when cut out, there is a lovely bias-seamed chevron striped yoke, ready to be sewn to the rest of the shirt pieces--
Just one more thing....yes, of course you can cut your yoke or pocket or whatever pattern piece so that the chevron stripes are "pointed" in the opposite direction than what I've demonstrated here. If you look at the yellow pocket shown near the top of this tutorial, you'll see that I chose to have the points of those angles run "down" rather than "up".
So, what do you think? Is this fast easy method one that you might try the next time you add bias-seamed (chevron) details to a garment?