Tip Tuesday: Refashion it!

Last week, I posted my #failfriday, a dress I had partially cut out and then found myself short of fabric to finish. Many fellow seamstresses commiserated with me about the situation, and offered helpful suggestions on how to salvage the fabric and save the project (thank you!).

I spent the weekend considering these ideas, and thinking up a few of my own. I’m excited to say that I was able to change the dress into a swing top by shortening it drastically, something I had been planning to do at some point anyway, and I love the result!

This top is a (very shortened) mash-up of the centerfield raglan and scarlet swing patterns by Greenstyle Creations- you can check out my original post here, or the full tutorial on Greenstyle’s blog here. I changed it slightly this time by doing a rolled-up hem on the sleeves, which I tacked down at the top and bottom.

I was so pleased with my new tee that I decided to sew up a pair of matching Inspire leggings, also from Greenstyle, adding a yoga waistband from the Lucy Leggings pattern for comfort.

These were initially designed to match the shirt, but I ended up feeling a bit self conscious given how short the top is in the front, so I plan to pair these with longer sweaters and tunics for fall.

They were a super-quick sew though, and got me started on an army of leggings to last me into the cooler months (don’t forget to join the Greenstyle Creations FitCapsule Wardrobe Group for a discount on all athletic patterns)!

If you’ve made a similar mistake, running out of fabric before you’ve cut all your pieces, I have a few potential solutions:

  • Shorten it! I cut off about 6 inches from the dress length to make my pieces fit, and I’m just as happy with my swing top as I would have been with a swing dress. If shortening the length of your pattern is an option (i.e. make shorts or capris instead of pants), I would recommend giving it a try!
  • Colorblock it! If you don’t have enough fabric to cut a pattern as designed, try cutting it apart (don’t forget to add seam allowances!) and adding in a matching contrast fabric.
  • Add a seam. Adding a seam down the back (or front) of a pattern can save fabric over cutting something on the fold, and can be a fun design element.
  • Play with the grainline (a little). Cutting patterns off grain can be disastrous, but in certain situations (ie small pieces that don’t need a lot of stretch, or with a 4-way stretch fabric) I’ve gotten away with cutting a smaller piece on the crosswise grain.
  • Make something for a child (or a doll!) Children’s clothing typically takes a fraction of what an adult item would use, and is cute to boot! Even if you don’t have a young child to sew for, I’m sure a neighbor or another momma would be delighted to get a handmade gift.

Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to lay out your pattern pieces beforehand, to avoid such problems….but let’s be honest here. Its happened once, and it will inevitably happen again, so it’s good to be prepared! If you have any other ideas, please share in the comments!

You can check out my other #tiptuesday and #failfriday posts and tutorials HERE.

Patterns used in this post (don’t forget to join the capsule group for a discount and motivation to “get fit one stitch at a time”!):

Greenstyle Lucy Leggings

Greenstyle Inspire Tights

Greenstyle Scarlet Swing Dress

Greenstyle Centerfield Raglan

Here’s how I get my exercise…she insists on doing exactly what her brother’s do!

And this is the look we get when we run out of cheerios during a photo shoot- she’s pointing in the direction of home!    

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a pattern using these links, a small portion of your purchase (at no cost to you) will go toward keeping my blog up and running. Thank you!

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