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Jul 24, 2013

Trying to Squeeze a Shirt Out of Fabric Remnants



In my ever-growing remnant stash is this super-soft cotton stripe I used three years ago (to the month) to make lounging pajama pants (see below).

Those pants have since worn out but I still had some fabric left.

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I love the slightly faded look of the stripe.



The remnant seemed like enough for a short-sleeve shirt, but it wasn't until I'd cut the right and left fronts that I realized that I would only have enough for the back and sleeves if I pieced together the remaining scraps.

So I started piecing.

Here's the back.  You may not be able to tell, but this was put together by attaching three separate long pieces, none of which was wide enough by itself.



While the right sleeve is cut from one piece....



...the left sleeve is cut from three pieces combined.





The biggest problem with this shirt is actually the way the stripes look in front, which had nothing to do with lack of fabric, but rather with forgetting that the left button placket laps over the right.  There seems to be a blue stripe needed dead center -- or am I finding fault where there isn't any?



Anyway, I cut a blue striped strip off the front right facing (which is now roughly 5/8" narrower but still sufficiently wide), and I may stitch that onto the left button placket. 

All I have left now are tiny scraps.  I'll probably just add a collar band to the shirt -- I should have enough for that -- and call it a day.



Readers, have you ever sought to squeeze a garment out of some remnant you had lying around for years and pulled your hair out trying to make it work?  It's a hassle, right?

And speaking of hair and hassles -- my latest second-hand clippers, which seemed to work when I plugged them in two weeks ago, now just hum faintly when I turn them on; I never even got to cut my hair with them.  So yesterday I finally broke down and bought myself a brand new pair.  Which means I now own FOUR pair of non-working Oster hair clippers.

Where does one learn how to repair those things?  It may be time to buy a soldering iron.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

28 comments:

  1. Very nice stripe matching at the back and sleeves! Not sure how you are constructing the left front placket, but if you are folding it have you tried folding it to its final position to see where the stripes land? Otherwise, your idea of adding a strip makes sense.

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  2. That's sad about the front...maybe you could just add a separate placket from light blue fabric? I'm doing a linen stripe shirt at the moment and have been trying to be really careful about my stripes too, but I made a slight error in the sleeve.

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  3. I'd make a crazy quilt piecework band for the center and avoid the whole stripe color question.

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  4. Maybe it won't be a big deal when the buttons are on to break it up? Maybe piping? Maybe make a placket from the remaining scraps, but on the bias? It's situations like this that can bring out your creativity. To be honest, though, if I saw you walking down the street wearing it I wouldn't notice. I think it's fabulous that you were able to get that much out of a remnant.

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  5. Great work!! I just love it when I see some of the techniques that our ancestors used still alive and being used. All of our great-grandmothers just yelled "Bravo, Peter!!"

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    Replies
    1. I can just hear my grandmother Olga yelling "bravo". Good chuckle. But you do deserve some high praise, Peter!

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    2. My GG just yelled, "Have you fed the pigs yet?" Not much time in her life for stripe matching...but she was born in 1884.

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  6. lovely job on matching those stripes =)

    I have to do this all the time for a client. She gives me vintage fabrics, sometimes actual garments to take apart and use. I have to figure out how to cut around stains, tears, & fading while maintaining the look of the garment AND they must be high-end shop quality. I do like puzzles but ir drives me bonkers

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  7. big, bright, blue buttons?

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  8. Maybe you should just make some art out of the clippers at this point.

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  9. I am amazed at your inventiveness in piecing your fabric together.
    As for fixing clippers Seth is forever finding how to info online. Not clippers, but lots of other things he's fixed.

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  10. I've done it. picture 1 picture 2 Bear in mind that this was for a two-year-old. Honestly? That pink band was where the shirt originally ended. And the horizontal stripes were because that was all the fabric I had left! I managed to squeeze this Gracie outfit out of 3/4 of a yard of leftover fabric.

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  11. I think the stripey-ness of the fabric is distracting enough that you shouldn't worry too much about the center front. Great fabric, BTW. The slightly faded stripes evoke the summery charms of window awnings, cafe umbrellas, and beach towels.

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  12. A. Good fabric must be used! Great job in figuring out the stripes, not the easiest thing to do!

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  13. I love the way you matched the stripes ,at first I thought that they were solid pieces of fabric! And I having been in the same situation recently with a dress I made luckily I manage to fit everything with out having to sew up pieces of fabric together to make panels that are large enough.

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  14. Blue buttons! And time for a new series of The Daily Ditch (adored that show); first chuck-out being four pairs of non-working hair clippers.

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    Replies
    1. I came here to say this. Matching blue buttons down the front.

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    2. I'm in the blue button camp too.

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  15. I think you're finding fault where there isn't any. At least none that someone NOT cutting/sewing the shirt would ever notice. We have expectations from our makes and tend to forget no one else would know about them if we keep our mouth shut.

    In other words, to me it looks symmetrical enough to have been planned. Just not what you originally planned. (I always liked that fabric too!)

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  16. I recently made a Sorbetto top using remnants, and I thought it was kind of a fun puzzle to solve. My fabric was striped too, and I think it really helped hide where I pieced the back together.

    I think the shirt looks great and I wouldn't worry about adding a blue stripe to the center.

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  17. Agree on the blue buttons. As for the clippers, if you can pull the head off and expose the shaft on the motor, try a little lightweight oil, stop and start the clippers and see if this frees it up. I've done it with Oster dog clippers.

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  18. Umm...is anyone else worried about what will happen if Peter gets a soldering iron? He'll be constructing skyscrapers in two years! (Wasn't it "to alter a pair of pants" that led him to a sewing machine.)

    Solder on, Peter!!

    -Ellie

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  19. I made my son a knit camp shirt from just 1.2 yards of a really cool, expensive fabric. That also had a blemish I had to avoid. I used a different fabric for the facing and collar. The print was so abstract (like Jupiter's stripes)there was no way to match anyway. Just sew in the same general direction.

    I like to look for fabric with a blemish. The store will usually give you the remaining end. You can usually work around it or it sometimes washes out.

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  20. I made a suit jacket from insufficient fabric. The undersleeve got cut on the cross grain and the facing and upper collar were done from a contrasting fabric. At the end of the day it actually looked better than it would have in the original fabric by itself so I was quite happy.

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  21. As I mentioned in my reply last week, just try pulling the blade off, checking to see if the tines are straight and clean/lube. Sewing machine oil is great.

    Blue buttons for sure, I'm not big on accessories, so adding some contrast within the garment seems appropriate.


    Cheers!

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  22. I am just beginning my learning curve on sewing garments, and I have a question on how you make sure that your fabric is "on grain" when using fabric remnants. Every pattern assumes that you start with a pristine piece of fabric, match the selvedges up and line up your pieces accordingly. However, you end up with a lot of leftover fabric. Also, is there a good resource for constructing garments by piecemeal? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. On most of the fabrics I work with, the grain is visible, so I try to line the pattern up with the whatever straight lines I can see. On a stripe, obviously, this is MUCH easier.

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  23. I say why bother if you are like the rest of us you have hundreds of yards of fabric in your stash

    Some that may even match the fabricyou are working

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