I am always amazed when people make garments from small cuts of fabric. I’ve seen savvy sewists cut a dress from a mere metre of material and create amazing items by recycling excess fabric pieces.
Recently, I’ve been optimising my fabric stash and thinking of items I can make from small fabric pieces which have so far included children’s clothing and face masks. When it comes to sewing garments I usually play it safe, ensuring I have enough fabric to generously accommodate all the pattern pieces – which usually leaves me with lots of small pieces leftover!
I’d been holding onto half a metre of this delicate AGF rayon that had become more of a decorative piece of fabric to admire as opposed to something I had planned to wear. Without a clear garment in mind I didn’t want to splurge on additional fabric. But then I thought, ‘could I adapt my Kew dress pattern to make another peplum top.’ Having previously used the gorgeous Kew dress pattern by Nina Lee to make a peplum top, I wondered if I could make some shortcuts and use half a metre for another hack.
To minimise the fabric needed, I shortened the sleeves dramatically using the curved shape of the upper sleeve piece and subsequently attaching this to a long strip of fabric which worked as a sort of sleeve cuff. I also used a plain cotton fabric for all the facings on the inside of the top which incidentally helped give this lightweight rayon greater structure.
When it came to sizing, I cut a size 8 for the bodice and sleeves; admittedly, it’s a little snug but I think the softly pleated hem helps alleviate this a little. I also decided to eliminate the darts from the back bodice to free up some fabric. To create the pleated hem, I cut a piece measuring the full width of the fabric and then created gathers by sewing two rows of gathering stitches and gently pulling on the thread until it fit the width of the bodice.
Once the peplum piece was attached to the bodice, I marked where I wanted the buttons and buttonholes to sit following the guide in the pattern instructions. The wooden buttons are from Minerva and I think they are a really nice match for this material.
Have you tried any pattern hacks recently?