Friday, 31 January 2014

Scrap Challenge with Crab & Bee

It dawned on me towards the end of last year, that I was getting a substantial scrap collection...this seemed a waste of fabric as well as space! Morgan over at Crab & Bee also had scraps on her mind, and was already undertaking a scrap busting challenge for the year.

The time was right for a challenge! We would both make a garment only from woven scraps. Sounds easy? Read on!

Firstly I wanted to make a patchwork peasant top, so I made patchwork fabric from my scraps using this tutorial from Susan at Living with Punks.

Uncut patchwork fabric
It's an excellent tutorial but I didn't follow it to the letter. Turns out I do not have the patience to get very small patchwork lined up just so (pinning every piece would have driven me crazy).

Quilters and patchworkers everywhere cover your eyes...


Worries about fraying led me to overlock the pieces together! 

I failed to appreciate small patchwork pieces + overlocking = quite sturdy fabric, but even I know quite sturdy fabric + peasant blouse pattern = a top that looks like a box. So, I decided on that 'enduring classic', the patchwork panel skirt which also utilised a small piece of left over denim from the scrap bag.


Skirt as originally conceived
Skirt was marginally better worn this way




















Of course this wasn't straightforward, either. Turns out most side panel skirt patterns include side seams (i.e. I would have had to try to pattern match patchwork, and at that point I thought my brain would explode!).

Fortunately, I remembered I had this pattern, kindly gifted to me in the Spring Sewing Swap by my lovely swapee




As you can see it has side panels that wrap around in one unbroken piece. It's designed for knits, so I made the skirt a size larger after pinning the pattern pieces to my tailors dummy and guesstimating it would come out OK (pieces from view A minus the bits around the bottom). There wouldn't have been much patchwork left to play with if it hadn't fit so I'm very pleased it went over my hips.

I orignally cut the patchwork as the larger (side wrapping) panels but the contrast centre looked very strange on. Kind of like having three legs:



OMG NO!!!
Patchwork front and back is marginally better:


DON'T PRETEND YOU DON'T WANT IN
ON THIS TREND!
The thifted boots and top look quite nice although seeing it on a picture made me realise the top is waaay too big. Perhaps it's just as well it developed a hole on the last wash. The boots started to leak today too now I think of it (I have had them 3 years though). In summary: this outfit is not meant to be.

Back to construction. I didn't follow the waistband instructions, I made a pyjama style casing and threaded elastic through (I think this would work fine if the pattern was made for real, too). I also went my own way with the hem (as the skirt in the pattern uses the lining to form the hem, kind of like a bag). I used some shiny blue bias tape that I can't imagine for the life of me why I bought now and am therefore counting that as a scrap too!




I hope you enjoyed reading about my patchwork adventures/disasters. I learnt A LOT! In summary, patchwork is for people who take pleasure in precision. Small patchwork looks best on small people (future scrap garments will utilise large scraps)...and finally challenges are fun because I really did enjoy figuring this out and learning something new. I will treasure my new cushion cover skirt.

THANK YOU MORGAN for being my pal in our scrappy adventure. Don't forget to hop on over to her blog to see the gorgeous and classy garment she made!!!

Happy sewing, 'til next time!











17 comments:

  1. I'm so glad we did a scrap project! You had such an odyssey with your skirt, and I'm a little jealous at how small your scrap pieces were. I lost my nerve to use the tiny scraps! I think the patchwork moved to the front looks pretty nice. Do you think you'll wear it again? If you're not feeling it, one idea would be dyeing the entire skirt so the patchwork would be similar colors - I've done this to many a project!

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    1. That is a fantastic idea as the skirt itself fits fine :) I can say with certainty, that it will not be worn again in it's current incarnation! My husband, who is an extremely broad minded and tolerant (of my off-beat and strange creations) man, had quite a reaction when he saw me modelling this for the photoshoot! Confirmed my fears! One thing is for sure, if I don't dye it and wear it, I'll be reusing that patchwork, even if it's just to cover a book. Too much work went into it to throw it away!

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  2. I love the way you've arranged the coloured squares to make the patchwork fabric. You got that spot on. Hope you find a use for it that you're happy with.

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    1. Thank you - it did take an age, so one thing's for sure, it won't be going in the bin!

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  3. Well, I'm impressed with your patchworking! I could see a cute pair of summer shorts made out of that small patchwork.

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    1. You have the best ideas! That would actually be really cool X

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  4. I don' t think it was a disaster, I think you did a great job. The patience required is monumental enough ;-)
    The skirt looks so much better with the patches in the middle and I think it's very cute.
    Great Job Philippa!

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    1. You're very kind, but trust me in the flesh it really does look rather odd! I confess I have thought about making it into a 'proper' A-line skirt with a zip (I don't think the elasticated waist helps at all). Anyway I'll definitely do something with it but it won't be top of my list. Too much to sew - too little time:)

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  5. Sometimes you learn the hard way! I don't know how often I've done a face-plant like that. ;)

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  6. Well, I think it looks really good! but then I love patchwork clothes. You made fantastic use of fabric you might otherwise have thrown away :)

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  7. I think it's a really inventive use for scraps! I hope you can find a use for it that you love if the skirt isn't to be - your work is too lovely to lie languishing in a drawer :)

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    1. Thank you Danielle :) I'm definitely going to reuse it. I'm really attracted to Lisa Jane's idea of shorts at the moment. I only wear shorts on the beach and for some reason I don't mind how crazy I look there!

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  8. Wow..you are amazing! i can't do patchwork...too much precision for me! xx

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  9. Beautiful skirt! There is such a classic, charming and sweetly homey (in the very best sense of the word) quality to patchwork and it shines through in this great creation.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I had to take a screenshot of the captcha that Blogger presented me with when I was leaving my comment on your most recent post here. When you see the first word, you'll know why! :) Here's that image: http://i.imgur.com/XMEIJx3.png

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    1. That's really funny! Such a co-incidence. But Jessica, I have to thank you. I thought I'd disabled Captcha. I'm such an idiot! The second word looked almost impossible to guess. I'll get on to it straight away. Thank you!

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  10. http://lolanovablog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/snow-skipping.html just saw this and thought of your skirt . Kids csn get away with so much more!

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    1. Now that's a cute skirt! You are so right. I'd like to say I've learnt my lesson, but truly I'm not sure that I have!

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