Day 5

December 5, 2018

By Le’Darien Diaz

Color-blocking your Berlin

Have you ever spotted a panel that you loved so much that you had to get it, but the only drawback is that it was a kids/panty panel?

If your answer is “yes”, color-blocking is for you!!

Oh, and you can go anywhere from subtle (almost invisible seams) to fun and far out with only 3 LINES. That’s right. 3 parallel lines strategically placed on your Berlin means one pattern has A BILLION possibilities.

What you will need:
A sturdy ballpoint pen
A straight edge/ruler/quilting ruler
Sketch book or scrap paper
Your fabric
Your imagination

“3 parallel lines strategically placed on your berlin means one pattern has a BILLION possibilities.”

Here is how:

Start off by printing and cutting out your pattern. You may have already done this. 🤷🏾‍♂️

Next, select your fabric for the job. Scrap bust!! If you have any pieces that are decent in size, but too small to make a solid garment, that would be golden.

Grab your sketch pad and think of your design. I do this because planning just allows for you me to account for awkward panel and scrap sizes. Note: When planning out your blocking, straight lines and light curves are your friend and are easiest to accomplish.

Grab your pattern piece, ruler, and pen and draw out your color blocking directly on the pattern.

Now, use your ruler to draw 2 parallel lines on either side of your blocking lines. These lines should be equidistant from the blocking line. I recommend ½” (Toby K seams are ⅜”). Note: Make sure to press firmly when you do this.

Decide where you want to color block your berlin and draw a line on your pattern.

When you are color blocking a pattern it is easy to mix up your cut lines. Patterns are already full of lines but if you color coordinate your lines with different color sharpies/pens you will make it easy on your self to always get the right cut line!

Add your extra seam allowance to each piece to recreate the exact pattern. When you color block you can not just cut the pattern and sew. You need add seam allowance or your pattern will be altered which will affect your fit. 

Color blocking can seem overwhelming but if you focus one piece at a time you will be done before you know it!

the middle line will serve as your actual block; however the outer lines are your seams allowance for when you cut and sew the blocks together.

Identify the farthest of the 3 lines from your panel and fold the pattern. Since you pushed with your pen this should fold easily, or you may just choose to trace and cut.

Identify the correct seam allowance line and fold your pattern 

Decide to start at one end of your pattern and work your way across. For example you can start at the top of the pattern and work your way to the bottow. This way you will always know where you to go next.

Place the folded pattern piece on the pattern and cut out your pattern piece. 

Use paper weights to hold your pattern in position. This way your pattern will not shift out of position.

Using the modified pattern’s block lines, cut into your fabric.

Once your pieces are cut, I recommend ironing horizontal pieces on the fold to create a line that can be used to align the pieces when you are sewing them together.

Sew up your pieces (while keeping continuous lines in mind). Now that you have a solid pattern piece, you can proceed with normal garment creation. Remember that normal seam allowance for the Berlin is ⅜”).

“Remember at Toby K. we use 3/8 seam allowance”