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Have you ever wandered round and round the fabric store and not found the perfect fabric for a project . . . only to have the ideal fabric pretty much jump out at you somewhere unexpected?
This was me looking for the fabric for the Marty Hoodie for the cover of Issue 11. In the end I sewed this Marty Hoodie using some knit I had on hand, an extra large mans tee, a pair of baby leggings and a toddler shirt!
I’m definitely no expert at upcycling but I had so much fun doing it. I wanted to share a few practical tips for sewing with upcycled clothing. For plenty more ideas you definitely need to check out the article by Candice Ayala from issue 11 or this blog post by Irene from Serger Pepper.
Practical tips for upcycling:
- When you’re combining different knit fabrics in a garment it’s important to check that the stretch of them is similar. If you don’t do this you can end up with a finished garment that is too tight in some places and too loose in other places. With the upcycled mans shirt I found there was a large variation in stretch between the ones I had. I ended up using a different shirt to that I’d intended, as the stretch of the first shirt was so much more than the other pieces.
- If you’re cutting pattern pieces in new spots (eg I cut the arm pieces in half) don’t forget to add your seam allowance to both sides of your new pieces. For this hoodie I split the sleeves so I could have two different fabrics in them. I added an extra 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance to the bottom of the top sleeve piece and an extra 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance to the top of the bottom sleeve piece.
- I’m not great at visualising things, so I found it really helpful to lay out my hoodie and move the pieces around till I got the look I was happy with.
If you decide to upcycle some fabrics for your sewing projects I’d love to see! Come show me in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts group on Facebook!