Fit a pattern when you are short on fabric
1 sewing pattern used with 4 different fabrics is a fun study that demonstrate how to get diversified looks using the same sewing pattern. I will also demonstrate how to fit a pattern when you are short on fabric, use fabric selvage for neckline finishes and how to copy a garment without taking it apart.
How to copy a garment without taking it apart
I love this ready to wear blouse for it’s simple lines and because I can easily dress it up with any jewelry. These days I am always reaching for it and I thought that it would be a good tutorial subject to quickly draft a sewing pattern since both the front and the back bodices are cut once on the fabric fold.
TRACING THE FRONT PART OF THE BODICE
I found the center front of the blouse by folding the bodice in half matching both side seams and the shoulder seams while keeping the waist band aligned and at the same level. I carefully smoothed out wrinkles. The fold I obtained is the center front of the bodice. I marked the center front with sewing pins.
I traced a long line on the paper and placed the center front of the bodice on that line. I then traced around the blouse and used carbon paper to trace the front neckline. In a previous post I explained how to copy a garment without taking it apart and the post contains a note on how to trace using carbon paper.
I used the same technique to copy the back bodice of the blouse.
As you see in the image above I also drafted the neckline facings simply to have a complete sewing pattern ready for different finishes.
I added 3/8 of an inch (0.7 mm) for seam allowances. I also lengthened the blouse by 2 inches (5 cm) and enlarged the bottom of the blouse by 2 inches (5 cm) on each side seam and brought that line to nothing at the waist.
TESTING (TRUING) YOUR SEWING PATTERN
Verifying the pattern is the important process of checking and correcting my draft pattern before I cut the pattern pieces in fabric. I have to verify among other things that the seams that will be sewn together have the same length, that intersections and joining seams have continuous lines, that corners are square…
If you wish to learn more on how to true and finish your drafted patterns Tessa Elston from Inspired Sewing explains it very well and also demonstrate how to true different type of garments.
I was now ready to cut my sewing pattern in different fabrics, I started by this white and grey polyester fabric.
I like this fabric print because it resembled the Rorschach inkblots do you see it?!
I finished the neckline with a narrow bias tape cut in the same fabric and stitched a 2 inches (5 cm) wide elastic at the waist. I stitched the elastic directly to the fabric, stitching near the elastic edges to mimic a fabric casing.
For the second version of the blouse I wanted to use a yellow polyester crepe but I didn’t quite have enough fabric, here is what I did.
Fit a pattern when short on fabric
Fitting a pattern when short on fabric. The waist is an area where piecing is easy to do. I marked 11 inches (27.94 cm) from the bottom from the side seam to the center fold and cut out the pattern in two at that level (about 1.5 inches (4 cm) below the waist level where the elastic will be sewn). I added seam allowances at the waist on each pattern pieces. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut a bias strip so I used the fabric selvage edge to finish the neckline.
Use fabric selvage for neckline finishes
I sewed a 3/4 inches (1.9 cm) wide lingerie elastic over the waist seam to hide it. In my opinion the raveling neckline and the satin finished elastic make for nice details.
For my third version I chose a floral patterned polyester fabric.
I really liked the neckline finish of the yellow top and decided to again use fabric selvage for neckline finishes. Except that this time I cut the selvage edge of another fabric for a touch of contrast and color. I was also short on fabric and had to cut the fabric at the waist. For this blouse I stitched a 2 inch (5 cm) wide elastic at the waist directly to the fabric, stitching near the elastic edges and in the middle of the elastic (in the ditch of the waist seam).
For the fourth version I used a double weave fabric of different colored yarns.
For this blouse I had enough fabric to cut the patterns in one piece and I had enough fabric to cut 1/2 of an inch (1.27 cm) wide bias facings and bindings. I used the light beige color for the blouse and the reverse brown side for the bias strips (in passing double weave fabrics have two right sides). For this blouse I again stitched the elastic at the waist directly to the fabric, stitching the elastic at three places; near the elastic edges and in the middle of the elastic.
I find that the blouses are quiet different from one another depending on the fabric. What do you think, could I wear them one after the other four days in a row without anyone noticing? I enjoyed to do this study and I hope that it can be of any use to you.
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