I always end up with leftover pieces of fabric after making a garment. This happens for a variety of reasons, usually it’s because the retailer (online) only sells in 1m increments, half metres if you’re lucky. Another reason is if I bought the fabric with a certain project in mind, but changed tack – or I didn’t know how much fabric I needed, so I guessed and rounded up.
I had enough of this yummy dark blue and off-white viscose jersey from Montreux Fabrics to make my first Stellan Tee. I already have a long sleeved Lark tee and a Uvita Tee from this fabric, and I love wearing it. The Stellan Tee is a free pattern from French Navy, a Cape Town based indie pattern lable. I liked the look of the pattern when it first came out and downloaded it pretty quickly, but didn’t get off the starting blocks as quickly as I’d intended!
It’s a loose fitting, boxy tee, so I sized down when choosing what to trace. I like a loose top, but am fussy about just how much fabric is flapping about. The instructions are pretty clear, and the top goes together really quickly. I skipped the back reinforcement strip because of the fabric, this stuff doesn’t lie flat easily, it likes rolling back on itself and I just don’t have the patience to deal with that and narrow strips of fabric… Sorry Sarah! Next time…
I’m happy with my new tee, and given it doesn’t need masses of fabric, I think I’ll be running up a few more. Actually, this goes well with the new dungarees!
I have two pairs of cropped, wide legged trousers in my winter wardrobe, made last year and worn loads last winter. I also plan to make a pair or two of the Peppermint Wide Leg pants, for myself. From my deep stash, in the winter fabrics boxes, I dug out a lovely windowpane wool that I had bought ages ago from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon. It had been used to make a pair of trousers for Daughter No 1 back in 2013 & I stashed the leftovers for a future project – because past-me bought enough of the lovely stuff for more than just one pair of trousers…
I waved this piece in front of Daughter No1’s eyes recently when she said she wanted a pair of trousers that would sit on or just above her natural waist, and be loose fitting over her tummy. I figured there’d be enough there to make a pair of the culottes from last February’s Burda, which I have used to make 3 pairs for her already! So she knows the fit, etc. It didn’t take much convincing, and I knew they’d look fabulous! (And machine washable!)
I made sure the red lines of the windowpane check were in the right places on the pattern pieces, transfering the marks onto the paper pattern. I cut the 34 and only took them in a tiny little bit (1.5cm) in the centre back once they were fitted, essentially making a dart in that back seam. I shortened the pattern in the crotch depth by 1cm, the upper thigh area by 1.5cm and between the knee and the hem another 1.5cm. I have also moved the zip from the centre front to the side seam, which she prefers. All the culottes I have made from this pattern for her have a side zip. But, this is the first time I’ve made the pants with the belt loops and tie for her. And she likes it!
These are going to look fabulous as part of her winter wardrobe. The photos were taken on one of her visits home, so she only has limited clothing to wear with them here. These pants will look great with boots, smart high heels and of course, these handmade brogues she bought on her travels in Vietnam. I am making her a coat at the moment in a pink/copper colour that will look amazing with the tones in these pants, so whole outfits are emerging!
This is a project I’ve been quite keep to make since spotting the pattern in the magazine. I liked the section seams of the sweatshirt (111 from February 2017), the opportunities for colour blocking and, most importantly of all, the chance to use it to use up some of the left over bits of ponte, quilted jersey and fleece fabric taking up a fair bit of room in my jersey fabrics box. I really do need the space for full lengths of useable fabrics!
I decided to trace the smallest size, the 36. The pieces are massive! On the sheet the front and back main pieces are just half, so I flipped the paper over and made them whole. This means that if I’m using leftovers, I know immediately how much space I need! There are enough of a couple of fabrics for this pattern to work, but I couldn’t make up my mind where to start. So I drew out a couple of tops and coloured them with the colours of fabric I have to try to get somewhere.
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Then I asked Daughter No2 which she prefered. Typically she couldn’t decide either and said she needed to see the fabrics first – in person! But I really wanted to make the sweatshirt. So I laid the pieces out on some of the left over black and white ponte that I’d made my last Uvita Top in, and placed the sleeves and triangular side panels on left overs of plain black ponte from Daughter No2’s long cardigan. I liked the idea of the sides being solid in colour. I figured that if she didn’t like it, I’d offer it to Daughter No1. Once I started actually sewing, I figured I could always keep it for myself – it was that wide!
The essentials of the top are simple enough, especially if you’re not making the version with pockets. But the pocket instructions got me all befuddled. I obviously wasn’t having a brain fully engaged day, because I made a fluff and had to make do in the end. And in the end I realised what I should have done! So here’s a tip, if you’re planning on making this top. The pockets are KANGAROO pockets! If I’d realised that in the beginning I’d have understood the instructions immediately and done them correctly!
Anyhow, I am now pre-warned for the next time!! But will there be a next time? Maybe. It’s definitely going to be fabric dependent. Daughter No 2 was home on Friday for a quick visit to collect her winter coats and take them back to Birmingham. She was initially unsure of the top when she saw it, but decided she rather liked it once it was on! The verdict was positive, but only in a fabric that is fairly soft and has drape. She wouldn’t want it if the fabric had too much body (it would be very boxy) and with that width it’s not what she’d wear. But this one she likes!