Monday, May 28, 2018

Crazy patchwork with knits? Yes, it's possible!

With an upcoming three-day holiday weekend, I promised myself a longer, continuous, dedicated, hands-on chunk of time with my craft. Starting early in the day yesterday (by forgoing computer work), my mind was fresh. My studio space was flooded with natural light and I was excited to be working with fabric at the sewing machine again.
Knit fabric trimmings after cutting out the back pattern piece for a knit top.
A pile of knit fabric scraps greeted me on the cutting table. After cutting out the back for a knit top a few weeks ago, there wasn't enough fabric to cut out a front. I had considered a color block design, but didn't have fabrics that appealed to me. This is where the project initially stalled.

Crazy Patchwork with knits?
With a fresh eye and inspired by slow fashion, Me Made May, and the zero-waste movement, I decided to try crazy patchwork—with knits... nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? The knit fabric is from Art Gallery Fabrics and has a directional stripe design. If I pieced it randomly, the stripes would go in various directions. Hmmm... this could be interesting!

The scraps were pressed (using spray sizing) and edges cut straight with a ruler and rotary cutter to make the patchwork process easier. I started assembling peices—crazy patch style.
Knit patchwork using a crazy patch assembly method.
There was no intentional matching of the stripes. I just needed to fit the pieces together in the most efficient way to get a piece of fabric large enough to cut out the front bodice piece.
Patchwork bodice front.
There wasn't enough fabric scraps for one sleeve—let alone two. A contrasting fabric (also from another garment) was introduced to the mix.
A contrasting fabric was used for the sleeves.
With all the pattern pieces cut out, contruction began. 
Garment pieces ready for construction.
I love this top! 
  • The random angles of the stripe pattern give it a lot of interest. 
  • The piecing of the knit fabric scraps was not difficult. 
  • As with any patchwork pieces with bias (or stretchy) edges, spray sizing is a good solution.
  • I was able to get another top out of this piece of fabric.
  • I like the zero-waste concept and using up scraps.
  • I have something totally unique and fun to wear.

Patchwork with knit fabrics is possible!
Garment sewing is on the rise
Garment sewing for the home sewer is coming back in vogue. Quilt shops and independent sewing centers are expanding their fashion fabric offerings (including knits!) and are offering beginning sewing and garment sewing classes. So,Zo has a list of indie pattern companies that are offering discounts in conjunction with Me Made May 2018 Challenge.

If you are a quiltmaker, you already have many skills that will apply to garment sewing! I hadn't considered quilting techniques such as "crazy patch" or random piecing for use with *stretchy* knit fabrics, but it worked! Start with a fresh eye and an open mind and you'll be surprised what comes off your sewing machine.
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