Thursday, 17 November 2011

Get that fabric out of here, a couple of very quick projects in knit

There are many approaches to stash management. Long ago, I decided that fabric that one does not exactly like seems to multiply in the depths of the stash until you open the fabric cupboard, carefully holding back the overflowing top shelf, and realise with dismay that there is nothing to sew in there.
I am improving my stash management.
Only a few weeks ago I received an internet order containing disappointing thin, minimal recovery knits. One went out straight away as a trial version of a knit pattern, but the other was a lot more fun. I used it for sewing experimentation.

(Please note the garden hose in the photo, almost as good as a rubbish bin - photo taken before school in a big rush, we have quality pictures here)

I made this last night after dinner. It is inspired by a RTW knit skirt.
I did not draw a pattern, as I was just playing around.
I cut out a semi circle,with the stripes parallel to the diametre, then marked two points equidistant from the centre, each half of the waist width, then cut the sides at a pleasing to the eye angle from the outer waist mark to the bottom edge of the skirt. I folded the skirt in half to check symmetry, trimmed a bit, then cut the waist edge to a slight concave curve. I did not take photos because they would have been lousy, taken- inside dark ones.

The waist is two layers of the knit, cut so that the stripes on the inside match up with the stripes on the outside, as the colours show through the white spaces otherwise.

Construction was
1 Sew skirt seams together - matching chevrons was the only part requiring a little care.
2 Sew short edge of waist pieces together
3 Sew waist piece to waist edge of skirt, stretching to fit (about 5% difference in measurement)
4. Cut strip of elastic to 2cm less than waist measurement, sew short ends together
5. Sew elastic to top edge of waist, right side, then turn elastic over to wrong side, turn waist edge over again and topstitch using 3 step zig zag.
6. Hem skirt.

My daughter is very pleased with her new skirt, and I do not really care that the fabric is likely to wear out after only a few washings, as my time investment in this project was very small.

Unfortunately, there was a garment sized piece of fabric left over. I struggled with this wastefulness on the way to the bin, and my tightwad nature won.

I made a tank top with fold over elastic trim for my older daughter to wear as loungewear/pjs.
It looks better in the photo than in real life.
I guess that was the problem with the fabric in the first place!
Hopefully that will help prevent the ugly fabric multiplication disease in the collection.


velosewer said...

Even a low quality knit can become an interesting outcome. The skirt is actually cool looking.

Carol said...

I like this skirt. There is something very freeing in a project like this; when the pressure is off you can do great things. I bet you end up living in it this summer!

a little sewing said...

oooo I LOVE that skirt!
What a cute stripe.

Handmade said...

Great skirt - so clever - actually incredibly clever!! Cute top - maybe someone should write a book on Stash Management .... and then we'd stash it away with the rest of the stash ..?

Gail said...

Stash management - help please - my fabric fell on me when I opened the cupboard last night!
The skirt is great - make it again in a better fabric. I did the same thing buying a knit online. It looked heavy but was a thin, petticoat weight jersey. yuk!!!

Ruthie said...

Good use of fabric. Maybe some of mine should become napkins, PJs etc.

Janine said...

good save with that fabric. especially since the postage must have cost a bit. your experiment worked out well = will you use better fabric with the same idea?

Mary Nanna said...

Love it! I have a very cute 80's pattern in stash that pretty much replicates your skirt pattern. I would like to try it sometime soon as I also have some knit fabric to use up of a similar persuasion to yours - although since I bought it in an op shop I can't blame the monitor for its lack of opportunity for a good feel up.

liza jane said...

Brilliant! Not sure what I'm going to do with my lot of this same (icky) fabric.

Audrey said...

Both garments are so cute. That is a nice stripe even if it is printed on marginal fabric.

Joy said...

If you hadn't gotten a disappointing fabric, you might not have ended up with such a cool looking skirt. Very clever design!

Tanit-Isis said...

Oooh, I hate disappointing knits! One of the reasons I'm terrified to order fabric online, although even in person I still seem to manage to buy a fair number of them. That being said, I LOVE the skirt, and I am totally stealing the idea if I ever come across a nice stripey knit fabric. Good for you for whipping up the tank-top, as well, it feels so good to get all the bits used up, doesn't it? :)

Carolyn said...

I love both that skirt and the top! I'm sure they are a knockout together...
(and don't you have fond memories of your school uniform? I loved Mary Nanna's plaid skirt for just that reason, and have fantasies of making a plaid skirt as well to go with my sorta "school"ish blouse)

MushyWear said...

Oh gosh, I love this skirt. Too bad the fabric is not high quality, but with a great quality knit you have an awesome skirt pattern, especially for stripes.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

So clever--I LOVE the skirt. So it is a single seam half-circle skirt with the seam placed at center? And the stripes naturally chevron? You are so clever.

kbenco said...

I am afraid I was not exactly measuring the circleness of the skirt, my cutting out was imprecise. I think it might be a 2x 2/3 circle!, with the seams at the front.
The stripes do chevron quite nicely, but part of this is due to a little judicious stretching as one sews, pattern matching is so much easier with a knit ;)
PS My daughter loves the skirt. We are looking for a good quality stripey knit for the next one.

Gabrielle said...

This skirt looks great - brilliant that the stripes line up so well! I totally agree with Carol - and am wondering if you can also apply this successfully tested technique to a piece of fabric that you do like?