Using up your fabric stash
The weekend long read
As September creeps closer I'm starting to think ahead to autumn makes. I'm seeing glimpses of corduroy, beautiful heavy denims and wool suiting when I picture my next projects. But before we start to think about autumn makes I wanted to share some ideas for how to create some smaller garments from remnants in your fabric box.
I've held on to lots of lengths of fabric that measure under 100cm. My fabric store is probably half full of fabrics that aren't quite long enough for trousers or shirts but are far too nice to throw away. You can't do a lot with small pieces of fabric BUT there are a handful of options that might appeal and help use up some summery fabrics ready for next year (or the incoming summer for the southern hemisphere!).
As I was writing out the instructions for these DIY tops it did occur to me these types of garments could echo the 'fast fashion' sewing trend on instagram that we were discussing recently. I have only worn each of these tops once as they're more 'going out' tops so they're not items I wear all the time. If this isn't useful for you, ignore them! They're just ideas. Further down this email I list garments I've had HEAVY wear of this summer which are all hacks from our PDF patterns. I hope there are some useful ideas here.
I'm personally coming to the end of a very hectic summer and I'm VERY excited to get settled back into 'normal life' come September. I'm going to focus on getting lots more patterns out over autumn which will be a mix of old Henri patterns and some new ideas as well.
As always if you have any thoughts or questions just hit reply to this email!
DIY Cami Top
I made this cami specifically to go with these silk satin Spring Trousers to wear for a wedding. It was quick and easy to make and used up only 40cm of fabric.
Measure your bust at the widest point and add 8 cm
Chalk a rectangle on your fabric: Width = bust (+ 8cm), Length = your choice (I chose 26cm)
Mark a gentle slope towards the ends as shown in the photo below - you want it sloping down slightly at the back of the cami. Then cut out.
Cut 2 x strips for your spaghetti straps 3cm x 65cm long
Hem the top and bottom of your main top and give it a good press. Then create your back button stands by folding at the end by 2cm and 2cm again.
Stitch your spaghetti straps closed - click here to see the technique I use! (Instagram link)
Try the top on and pin the straps where you want them. Wear it for 10 minutes to see if the straps are in a good place. Then trim and tack them down.
Add buttons or poppers and you're good to go!
DIY Halterneck Top
This halter neck is a real evening piece. Be warned, this piece does need adjusting as you're wearing it. I find myself re-tying the back every so often and the fabric around the bust can move slightly. However it's such a pretty top to wear for an evening out and it's a great way to use up a pesky bit of fabric that isn't big enough for anything else.
I recommend wearing it around the house for your first wear to get used to how it feels as I personally felt quite exposed (but maybe that's just me!).
Cut a rectangle 150cm wide and 34cm tall. This is your base piece (1) that will be tied around the body.
Cut another rectangle 84cm wide and 30cm tall. This is your gathered bust piece (2).
Fold the base rectangle (1) in half lengthways and tie it around the body under the bust.
Hem the second rectangle along both long edges and then create gather stitching along each of the shorter end edges. Pull the threads to form the gathers.
Place this piece (2) around the neck and down over the busts. Pin the gathers to the base piece (1) and create the shape and look you want while pinning it to yourself.
Tuck the gathers in between the layers of the folded base piece (1). Then turn the base piece (1) inside out and bag it out, stitching the gathered ends of the top piece into place. Leave a small gap to the the garment out the right way.
Hand stitch the small hole closed and give it a good press!
Patterns with small fabric consumption
These garments are all hacks from our pdf patterns range. These hacks will either make the whole make easier by cutting out design details or reducing your fabric consumption - or both!
Spring Trousers (shorts hack)
These have been the loveliest shorts to wear this summer. I made these from a cotton poplin so they're breathable and a delight to wear.
Hack | Final length = 52cm including waistband
Consumption | 120cm -150cm of fabric depending on your size (150cm wide)
Worker Trousers (shorts hack)
These are such a classic pair of shorts - they're so practical and durable.
Hack | Final length = 45cm including waistband
Consumption | Less that 1 metre for all sizes (150cm wide)
Worker Trousers (shorts hack)
A second pair! These are slightly longer, perhaps another 7cm in length.