Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Sewing Leftovers: Colorblocked Style Arc Quinn

I was very much inspired by the #sewingleftovers idea that Shauni of the Magnificant Thread put forward. The perfect excuse to dig into the massive pile of scraps of various sizes that I keep because I am incapable of throwing anything away!

On scraps: I find I end up with a fair bit of extra fabric after a project for two reasons. One, I am often more economical in my cutting than patterns suggest, so I often use less than the recommended fabric. I love cutting flat, rather than on the fold. This is a good thing, I think. On the other hand, I also buy a lot of fabric without a specific plan in mind for it. That's less of a good thing. It's a bad habit, actually. I buy in 3-, 4-, or 5-yard lengths and just make it work when I get an idea for that length. I'm often left with small, but not small enough to recycle, lengths of fabric. 1/4 -1/2 yard pieces usually.

In this case, I had scraps left over from several projects all in the same, or similar substrate and in somewhat coordinating shades of blue/green/yellow. The scraps are in fairly big pieces, but none of them the full width of the fabric. Lots of long pieces along the selvage from cutting on the fold, some random large chunks.

It's all linen and rayon blend, some of it Kaufman's Brussels Washer linen, some of it a similar "linen look" linen/rayon blend from Joann Fabrics. You'll recognize the olive green from my Joy Jacket, the pear green from my Lottie dress, the teal from my Hvar jacket, and the golden yellow from my Willow Kimono.

The Style Arc Quinn woven top pattern is a simple boxy top that's pieced together from assorted squares and rectangles... a bit Mondrian. Style Arc's samples for the Quinn are in mixed stripes, which is pretty fabulous, but the pattern also just screams for some colorblocking.

I thought the Quinn could work really well with my linen/rayon scraps. As I played around with the colorblocking and tried to fit the pattern pieces on my scraps, I worried a bit that it would look too clown-ish. When I minimized the yellow in lieu of more of the olive, though, I think it struck the right balance!

Pro-tip for effective scrap busting: your bias tape doesn't need to be on an exact 45 degree angle. It will still work even at a lesser angle, which is what I used here because my yellow scrap wouldn't allow for the full 45 degrees. You can also cut pieces on the cross-grain (unless your print is obviously directional), which I also did, to take advantage of those long scraps along the selvage that often result from cutting out a garment.

This is a straight size 16 Quinn and I am happy with the fit. It's a short, but not quite cropped top. High hip, I'd say? It's got cut-on sleeves and a boxy shape. Pairs great with my high-waisted Birkin Flares!

Sometime, when I colorblock and I am lazy, I just use the same color thread throughout, and I'm then mad at myself because I don't like how the contrasting thread looks. Here, I used the drab/olive color thread for construction. For topstitching the neckline and hems, though, I switched out the top thread color depending on which color fabric I was hemming. I left olive in the bobbin because reality. Worth it! Much more professional this way!

I love how my Quinn looks! Not clown-y at all, I think. It looks cool, fits well, and it definitely feels good to do some scrap busting, too. I foresee myself making more of these Quinn tops from sewing leftovers! Thanks for the inspiration, Shauni!!