This was a project that started with no real goal other than sorting and minimizing my excess inventory of scraps and fabric scraps. So, as I sorted out the larger scraps, I wanted to gather them together to create a fabric I could make a garment out of.
I was originally thinking of making a skirt, but as patchwork grew, I decided that a dress to wear on my vacation to Hong Kong would be perfect.
Making patchwork fabric
The goal was to use only fabric scraps and not cut into any yardage if possible.
The scraps were all cotton leftovers from other sewing projects, like Emma’s dresses and quilt cover. There are some vintage sheet pieces and remnants of business shirts in there as well.
Instead of sewing the squares (about 15x15cm) together with a traditional 1/4″ seam, I used my overlocker (serger) to finish all the raw edges and make the seam more durable for wear and wash.
The fabrics were arranged as randomly as I could, I really wanted it to feel unplanned.
Choosing the dress pattern
The choice of pattern was important and I opted for a simple, loose combination with little seams, pleats and pleats. Minimizing the extra seams was key as I had to consider the extra bulk of the twill patchwork seams and also didn’t want a style that was too tight so those seams wouldn’t rub.
This vintage pattern from my collection, Simplicity 6897, fits the bill perfectly!
You can still buy this vintage pattern from various Etsy sellers here.
I have carefully considered the placement of the pattern to:
Position the patchwork symmetrically
Align the horizontal side seams
Place the darts in the middle of the squares and not in a seam to reduce bulk.
I also eliminated the back seam (which was straight) and folded the fabric.
Some pattern changes were necessary
Vintage patterns don’t always fit modern bodies, especially my wide hips, so I had to make some minor changes.
I widened the hips a little by adding an extra inch to the side seam below the waist and slightly increasing the opening of the skirt.
All coatings and finishes were also leftovers. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough black and white gingham to trim the sleeve and hem, the contrast would have been so much fun.
The finished patchwork dress
I really liked the end result, but my modesty prevented a shorter hem that would give it a real ‘mod’ look.
Check out the full post. Credits to MY POPPET