I’m not sure how other sewers do it, but I’m the kind of sewer that buys A LOT of fabric whenever I see stuff I like. I do not buy a pattern I wanna make and then look for a suitable fabric.
No. I go to a fabric store to stock up on notions for the projects I have on the go and accidentally end up in the fabric stacks. Or, I go to a new city, and a trip to a new city is not complete without a trip to the fabric shops.
So I have a MASSIVE stash of fabrics. Now, because I don’t buy fabric for specific patterns, I have to guess how much fabric I’m going to need. I know, for someone who preaches sustainability and is into saving the environment I’m not exactly living what I preach. Terrible.
So, this often means that I end up with fairly large scrap pieces, because we’d all rather have too much fabric than too little, right? Enter my quest for patterns which use under 1m of fabric AND that I would actually wear (see, sorttt of sustainable). This is how I discovered the In the Folds Peplum Top made for Peppermint magazine. I’m not that into peplum tops, probably because I’ve never worn one before, so I decided to take the plunge and download the pattern. It is free after all! I also recently discovered a cheap online copy shop which prints A0 and ships to you. Wonderful, I don’t even need to leave the house!
I recently made the Avid Seamstress Day Dress in this toucan print fabric I bought from Leeds when I was meant to be buying graduation shoes. I really loved the dress and the fabric so was more than happy to try and use up the excess I had. Now the pattern calls for 1.2m of fabric, but I only had 90cm. I did manage to fit it all on and it wasn’t really a squeeze so I would suggest less fabric is okay. I’ll be making it soon with more offcuts I have so let’s see how little fabric it will take me (sustainable to an extent see?!). Its pretty easy to try and squeeze on to a small amount of fabric as the back comes in two pieces and the front in four (it has these handy shoulder panel) which made it easier to play Tetris! I definitely would have got away with less fabric if my pattern hadn’t been directional, but I ideally wanted my toucans sitting on the branches, not hanging on for their dear lives. Although, if you look closely at the shoulder panels, they are upside down, but no one has noticed yet.
I was looking forward to making the peplum because even though I’m not a peplum gal, it did incorporate things I hadn’t done before. The pattern calls for making your own bias binding to bind the neck and armholes. I hadn’t done this before, so I was quite looking forward to it. The pattern itself was straightforward and the instructions were easy to follow, it’s a pretty simple bodice with a rounded neck and V shaped back. When it came to the binding I first had to do the fold-y thing with it and then began to bind in the normal manner. I did the armholes first which were easier and then the neck. The neck was tricky when it came to the V as the binding was a continuous loop but I managed it with a bit of fiddling about! In the end it looked really neat! I did double top stitching and I liked how the top turned out.
The other thing about the pattern which I hadn’t seen before was the method of gathering for the peplum skirt. Normally I like to gather either using the elastic method or with two lines of big stitches. However, the pattern suggested using three lines. Somehow this made a lot of difference! I will definitely be doing that in the future!
All in all I’d say this pattern was a pretty easy one and a great one for using up excess fabric if you’re a hoarder like me! My next scrap-busting pattern I’m going to be testing out is the Closet Case Pouff so we’ll see how that compares!