When you have your heart set on making a certain project with a certain fabric only to find you don’t have enough fabric, creative color blocking can be the solution.
The Thread Top
When I first came across this thread print quilting cotton on an antique outing, I knew I wanted to make a top out of it. My heart was set on the idea of having the ultimate sewing top.
I knew I didn’t have a lot of fabric but I knew that a top would most likely be possible.
The question was what top pattern would be the best fit.
A Quick Mashup
It’s no secret that one of my favorite tops is the 1960’s reproduction top of Simplicity 1364. However, last summer I sewed up Butterick 3286 a true vintage pattern from the same era.
Both patterns were essentially the same top shape. The Butterick pattern offered a few more necklines, though I only had made the boatneck which mimicked the Simplicity pattern.
After having made both these tops in the past, I realized that I still like the Simplicity 1364 pattern more in terms of neckline and length.
At the same time, I preferred the ease and the armhole fitting of the Butterick pattern.
So for this project, I decided to do a mash-up of Simplicity 1364 with Butterick 3286.
Basically, I set both pattern pieces on top of each other lining up certain points, then tracing out the bits of each I wanted to keep. After turing up any grading lines, the pattern pieces were ready.
|Pattern:||Simplicity 1364 & Butterick 3286 Mashup|
|Notes & Modification:||Mashup Simplicity 1364 & Butterick 3286, along with color blocking on back bodice.|
Creative Color Blocking
So I was all set for this project and ready to cut out the fabric. Then catastrophe!
I had just cut out the front bodice when I come to find out there just wasn’t enough fabric for the back. I was short about 4 inches and what I had left couldn’t all be cut on the fold.
Adding a center seam instead of using the fold, wouldn’t be a big issue. It was the missing 4 inches. After racking my brain for a while I came up with the idea of doing a creative color block.
I played around with some blocking ideas and decided to use some black cotton as a color stripe right through the center back.
Once I had a plan I simply sliced the pattern piece and added seam allowances to each.
The Final Look
Color blocking was something I often admired and thought was a neat detail. Though I never really had a project that I thought to use color blocking for.
However, this project was the perfect color blocking project. Not only do I think the color blocking adds another level of interest to the top, it, of course, allowed me to create a top out of fabric that I didn’t quite have enough for.
I’d love to hear if you’ve ever used color blocking in your sewing projects, or any creative ways you managed to squeeze out a project form a minimal amount of fabric.