Friday, 9 March 2012


Make it in a metre series: Piecing, colour-blocking, accenting and more

Following on from her original guest post on how to succesfully mix different knit fabrics into a single garment, let's find out what Katie actually managed to squeeze out of a metre of fabric...

My name is Katie and I blog over at Kadiddlehopper. I sew for myself, my 3 kids and on occasion, my hubby. We love the easy comfort of knit clothing of all varieties, and I love how fun knitted fabrics are to sew. Amanda was kind enough to send me a meter of the most amazing knit ever, and so I want to show you how to make a meter of a special fabric really go far. There are three strategies I tend to use:
  1. Piecing
  2. Colorblocking
  3. Special Accents
All three of these methods involve mixing fabrics that sometimes don't like to play together. Knits can be difficult to combine, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, they'll be no trouble at all.


One of my favorite ways to make a special fabric really count is to piece it with solids or coordinating prints.

To make a pieced garment, start with a pattern that you already have. I'm using a raglan tee pattern from Ottobre (the 02/2006 issue), but you can draft your own with this great tutorial. First you have to make sure that your pattern is not cut "on the fold", so that you can lay it out in a single layer to cut up. I find the easiest way to make this happen is to treat your tracing paper as if it were fabric, fold it in half and cut out your pattern pieces, just as you would if they were fabric.

Now that you have your single layer pattern pieces, draw lines on them where you would like seams to be.

Cut them up once you like the way the piecing looks and you have your pattern!

Don't forget to add seam allowances to the cut edges when you cut out your fabric. When you are ready to sew, just reassemble the cut pieces to make whole pattern pieces and assemble your garment as usual.

When I piece a garment, I like to use at least three different fabrics. My special fabric (generally a print), a neutral fabric (the white in this case) and a coordinating trim (print or solid - here I used red). I like to pick up a less dominant color in the color scheme for my coordinating color.


This is a hot trend right now, so don't limit yourselves to just kids clothes for this one. Give it a try yourself!

Colorblocking is even easier than piecing, since there is no pattern manipulation involved. All you do is choose which pieces of the pattern you want for each fabric.

For Myra's tee, I used the print fabric for the body, white for the sleeves and red for the binding. As with piecing, I like to use a three color palette and to pick up an accent color from my special fabric.

Special Accents: Pockets, Patches and Applique

This method frequently uses small pieces, so you can use up every scrap of your precious fabric.

For Duncan's top, I used my print fabric to make a pocket in his envelope neckline tee. My pattern is from Ottobre, but you can use this tutorial to draft your own. I also colorblocked the sleeves with my print. You can use any of these methods together to personalize your item.

And then... Make Small Things:

After you've cut out your pieces and color blocked parts and appliques, use those little bits left to make little things. Millie outfitted her whole family with just a half meter!

Underwear is such a perfect use up for small pieces of soft knit. I made mine coordinating, but you don't have to. Who's going to know?

My pattern is the Boy Brief Unisex Underwear pattern from Kitschy Coo. It is perfect for those little strips of fabric that I always end up with. As a bonus, this wonderful jersey has stretch in both directions, so I can cut my bands in whichever direction I happen to have fabric and they still stretch perfectly. Love that.

So the final tally? My one meter cut of absolutely fabulous blue astronaut jersey stretched (hah!) to make one adult dolman sleeve top, one size 6 raglan tee, one size 3 raglan tunic, one size 18 month envelope tee, two pair of underwear (size 5/6 and 3/4) and several appliques. And I still have a few scraps left. Enough for another pair of underwear and an applique or two. So, what can you squeeze out of a meter of fab fabric?


  1. Wow! I am very impressed. You have certainly made me realise there is so much you can do with just one metre of fabric. :-)

    Best wishes, Kim

  2. Fabulous! Love the color blocking especially.

  3. Awesome! Great tutorial. I am totally loving this series and also the knits series!

  4. Brilliant! You are the master! I am definitely going to try the swishy colour-blocking! Thanks for the inspiration!