Getting Creative with Small Cuts of Fabric

Getting Creative with Small Cuts of Fabric

Feb 06, 2022Ann Steeves

Have you ever had one of those situations where you have a piece of fabric that's almost, but not quite, enough to make a garment? Maybe you got a piece of fabric, and after cutting the garment you originally intended from it, you were left with an extra 1/2 yard or so. That happened to me this week. 

As a side note, here's a little trade secret: when I list fabrics, I routinely and intentionally list them as having 1/2 to 1 yard less than the actual amount. That allows me to cut generously.

So this week, I had a rayon jersey on the site that sold out. When I measured out the last cut, I saw there was about 5/8 yard left. I decided to bring that home, but there really wasn't enough to make a top (even a tee shirt) with it. In cases where fabric gives you lemons - make lemonade. In this case, I had a 3/4 yard piece of solid rayon jersey at home, also a small cut left over from a previous top, in a blue that coordinated nicely.

Two fabrics: a printed rayon jersey on top of a solid rayon jersey

I had enough of each that I could make a tried-and-true shirt, in this case a hybrid of Style Arc's Ann Tee Top and Riva Raglan Shirt. I used the printed jersey for the body of the top:

I used the solid blue for the sleeves and neckband. Bonus - I have enough left for another set of sleeves.

This is about the 4th iteration of this pattern that I've made, and you can see my thoughts on construction in this blog post: A Hybrid Style Arc Ann-Riva Top. As in the other times I've made this, I used the serger for all the seams, and this time I used Seraflex thread and a straight stitch for the hems. Here are pictures on Shelley:

This is a good way to use up pieces of fabric between 1/2 and 1 yard. To give you an idea of how much fabric is required, 1/2-3/4 yard at 60 inches wide will work for the body of a top for me (RTW size 6, most patterns size 12), and anywhere between 3/8 yard for short set-in sleeves, to 3/4 yard for long raglan sleeves.

So next time you end up with a piece of fabric that might not be enough for a garment, try using it along with a contrast fabric. It eliminates waste, and makes a good looking top with a designer touch.

On a completely unrelated note, tomorrow my Border Collie, Mooshie, turns 2! We are throwing him a Super Soft Birthday Party (for any "Letterkenny" fans in the audience), and he was gracious enough to pose for a picture this morning.

Mooshie's second birthday!
Happy birthday to my Sofa King spoiled dog, and happy sewing!

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