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Stash-Busting Sewing: Patterns Perfect for Fabric Remnants and Scraps

As some of you may have noticed, I started a 'Remnants' section on the website about a month ago.  Since opening, the pile of remnants at Splendid HQ has been steadily growing - from a few remnants in a box last summer to (more recently) multiple heaps on several tables.  These are mostly the ends of rolls and bolts: once a fabric has less than 7 quarter metres left, I generally mark it as sold out and the remaining fabric becomes a 'remnant'.  I've always been meaning to list these remnants on the website and, last month, I finally set aside some time to start doing just that.  I've now finished that section and there are a grand total of 67 remnants, ranging from 28 cm to 171 cm in length.  I've grouped them by length and by type of fabric - and they're all being sold at a discount, ranging from 15% off for the longer lengths, to 30-40% off for the shorter lengths and lengths with faults.

As I was unfolding, measuring and refolding all of these remnants, I inevitably started to think about what could be made with them.  A lot of the smaller ones, I thought, would be great for contrasting facings, pockets, cuffs, collars, partial linings, etc.  As for actual garments, the obvious candidates - pencil skirts, camisoles and shorts - sprang to mind.  But anything else?  At one point, curiosity got the better of me: I ended up wandering over to the patterns section of Splendid HQ (it wasn't a long wander - about 5 steps!) and started going through our patterns and looking at the fabric requirements.  I was actually surprised by what I found (good surprises and bad surprises!) and it occurred to me that it might be nice to share my findings with you!  Almost every sewer has a pile of remnants at home and you've probably likewise wondered what can be done with them.  It seems a shame to waste them (particularly from an environmental standpoint).  Hopefully this article will give you some ideas regarding the types of garments that can be made with shorter lengths of fabric!

So, let's get started! 

Knit Tops

Tops designed for jersey can be somewhat fabric-hungry.  However, we have two patterns that require as little as 1 to 1.2 m of fabric!

 

From left to right: Grainline Studio Lark Tee; Liesl + Co. Maritime Knit Top

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Grainline Studio Lark Tee light to medium-weight jersey 1.2-1.5 m cap, short and 3/4 length sleeves 150 cm-wide fabrics only
Liesl + Co. Maritime Knit Top knits of all sorts 1-1.4 m all views 150 cm-wide fabrics only

 

I was pretty surprised that most of our top patterns for medium-weight knits (mostly sweatshirts) required very little fabric.

Clockwise from the top left-hand corner: Named Sloane; Grainline Studio Linden; Named Lexi; McCall's 6992

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt medium-weight knits 1.2-1.4 m all views 150 cm-wide fabrics only
McCall's 6992 medium-weight knits 1.3-1.5 m most views 150 cm-wide fabrics only
Named Lexi Top medium-weight knits like interlock, ponte or scuba 1-1.6 m top only all widths
Named Sloane medium-weight knits 1.3-1.4 m all views 150 cm-wide fabrics only

 

Woven Tops

Now, what about top patterns for woven fabrics?  Well, I was a little disappointed not to find a greater range of tops.  A lot of woven top patterns are much more fabric-hungry than I'd anticipated.  Even some camisoles require almost 2 m of fabric!  However, there are some patterns that very economical in their fabric requirements:

Clockwise from the top left-hand corner: Burda 7509; Burda 7079; Named InariBurda 7200

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Burda 7509 linen, crepe fabrics, lightweight cottons 0.9-1.6 m all views all widths
Burda 7079 satin, cotton fabrics, crepe fabrics 1.1-1.6 m top only all widths
Burda 7200 lightweight cottons, crepe fabrics, linen 1.2-1.3 m top only all widths
Named Inari light to medium-weight fabrics 0.9-1.4 m top only all widths

 

Shorts

While trousers require a generous amount of fabric (legs are pretty lengthy!), shorts are incredibly economical on fabric:

Clockwise from the top left-hand corner: Colette Iris; Grainline Studio Maritime; Named Alpi; Burda 6812

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Colette Iris stretch cotton twill, poplin, suiting, gabardine, pique, wool blends, etc. 1-1.3 m all views all widths
Burda 6812 cotton fabrics, linen, gabardine 1-1.5 m shorts only all widths
Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts denim, twill, linen, etc. 1-1.4 m all views all widths
Named Alpi light to medium-weight linen, cotton twill, etc. 0.7-1.2 m shorts only all widths

 

Woven Skirts

Our pencil skirt patterns did not disappoint: almost all of them are very sparing in their fabric requirements!  However, I also found a few a-line skirts that were equally as economical.

Let's start with the pencil skirts.  First, there's simple pencil skirts like these two patterns by McCall's and Burda:

From left to right: McCall's 3830; Burda 8155

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
McCall's 3830 cotton, linen, wool crepe, gabardine, lightweight woolens, etc. 0.7-1.4 m views D and E (above the knee skirts) all widths
Burda 8155 tweed, lightweight wools, gabardine, etc. 0.9-1.6 m all views all widths

 

There's also more casual pencil skirts with a front fly:

From left to right: Grainline Studio Moss; Burda 6769

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Grainline Studio Moss Skirt medium to heavyweight fabrics 1-1.2 m view A (shorter version) all widths
Burda 6769 cotton, gabardine, denim 1.1-1.5 m all views all widths

 

What about a wrap mini-skirt?

From left to right: Named Nascha; Pauline Alice Safor

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Pauline Alice Safor Skirt medium-weight cotton, gabardine, denim, linen, etc. 1.1-1.4 m view A (above the knee version) all widths
Named Nascha medium-weight linen, tweed, wool, etc. 0.8-1.4 m all views all widths

 

Smaller remnants can also be used to make shorter a-line skirts - such as these patterns from McCall's and Pauline Alice:

From left to right: McCalls 3341; Pauline Alice Rosari

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Pauline Alice Rosari Skirt medium-weight cotton, corduroy, gabardine, linen, denim, etc. 1.1-1.4 m mini length all widths
McCall's 3341 cotton, lightweight linen, stretch wovens, gabardine, crepe, denim, lightweight wool, etc. 0.7-1.5 m views C-E (at or above the knee) all widths

 

Knit Skirts

Got a shorter length of a medium-weight knit?  Why not make a pencil skirt! Incredibly, you need as little as 0.5 m to make Colette's Mabel skirt (admittedly for the smallest size!). 

From left to right: Named Shadi; Colette Mabel

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
Colette Mabel double knit, rib knit, french terry or heavyweight jersey knits 0.5-1.5 m all views all widths
Named Shadi medium to heavyweight knits 0.8-0.9 m all views all widths

 

Knit Dresses

Finally, dresses.  I didn't expect to find any dresses that could be made with a shorter length of fabric (like trousers, there's a lot of body to cover with a dress).  While I was largely right, I did find two patterns for knit dresses that have rather sparing fabric requirements - particularly for their sleeveless and shorter-sleeve versions:

From left to right: McCall's 6886; Vogue 8946

 

Pattern Type of Fabric Fabric Requirements Which View? Width of Fabric
McCall's 6886 jersey, cotton knit, novelty knits, interlock 1.1-1.5 m half of the views 150 cm-wide fabrics only
Vogue 8946 two-way stretch knits 1.2-1.5 m view A (sleeveless version) 150 cm-wide fabrics only

 

 

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June 12, 2016 by Amy Lloyd
Tags: News Remnants
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Comments

George

George said:

I can definitely make a jersey dress out of 1 metre of jersey fabric, and I usually wear dress size 18-20 in the UK. It requires a bit of fabric tetris but I’ve made two jersey dresses using just one metre of fabric, and both have short sleeves and a neckband.

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