Short on Fabric? Colorblock!

While organizing my patterns the other day, I had a “SQUIRREL!!” moment.  You know what I mean.  It happens when out of nowhere, your attention is suddenly diverted and you go haring off in a different direction from what you were supposed to be doing.  Well, it was probably inevitable anyway when going through patterns.  But I came across a top pattern that I forgot I had and seriously wanted to make…right then.  Isn’t this cute?  Hey, it might have been January but it was 73 degrees outside so I was thinking about a new lightweight top!

So I went digging in my stash to look for some fabric and found some black jersey left-over from a previous project.  You could tell where other pieces had been cut out of it but I figured I probably had enough.  Wrong!  Rats.  Of course I didn’t figure that out until I’d already cut the bodice front, facing, and cap sleeves.

I pulled out my Sure Fit Designs bodice front.

Then I laid the pattern’s bodice front over the top of it.  The trick is to match the center front point and shoulder angle to get the fit right.  I’ll add the dart vs. doing an FBA.


I don’t have a photo of the next step but I put tracing velum over the top of the pattern and traced out a new pattern that’s like a blend between the two that incorporates the fit I need with the design elements of the pattern.  That’s the beauty of Sure Fit Designs!  However, once I got to cutting, I realized I did NOT have enough fabric.  Ugh!  Sooooo???  Color block!  If you’d like to color block but not sure where on a garment to do it, just type in “color block” on a search engine and you’ll see thousands of examples of where designers have done it.  Eyeball theirs and go for it.  Also, be creative.  Color blocking doesn’t have to be done with “like” fabrics either – you can use lace, sheer organza, silk, satin, etc.  The sky is the limit!

First, I hacked up the back bodice across the shoulders.

I also had some left over white jersey from another project so I created a double layer for the shoulders and sandwiched the bottom of the back bodice between the new shoulder color-blocked section, kind of like how a back yoke is made on a tailored shirt.  The trick to color blocking is to make sure you add seam allowances on both pieces where they will segment each other.  It’s hard to tell here, but the back couldn’t be cut on the fold of the black fabric (because I didn’t have a big enough piece) so there is a center seam down the bottom back piece where I had to play “Betsy McCall Paper Dolls” with the black scraps to keep it on grain.  I added some featherweight interfacing to the exterior white piece too so it has a nice heft to it and it feels and hangs like a quality garment.

My attention to this project waned at the end so I scrapped the cap sleeves.  Good thing too because the end result was a little big under the arms but I took some of that out with the serger in what I call a blind alteration.  I’ll just serge off about that much. ha ha  The shoulders are not forward as the photo looks below – it’s the way I was standing.   And I really enjoyed using my Janome Cover Pro 900 machine to do the back neckline, sleeves and hem.  I was able to use the cover stitch to go over the clipping I did to allow the curves to lay flat.  On the outside, it looks great!

I’ll probably be wearing this pretty frequently!








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