A friend gave me a neat cotton/spandex panel which features some of my favorite movie heroes. I really wanted to make something with it, but I didn’t have any matching fabric and the design was located inconveniently right in the middle of the small (fat half size) piece.
After ruminating for a while, I thought it was worth a try to just lay out some pieces and see how they fit. That way I would know how best to plan color blocking for the extra material I would need to get.
Since I was really trying to conserve fabric and I also needed some new workout shorts, I raided my pattern stash for the simplest, smallest shorts I would actually wear. I have some fancy patterns with interesting details, but those extra seamlines and pieces take more yardage. I found a very basic leggings pattern with lots of length variations (McCall’s M6360). After just rough cutting the tissue pieces and placing them over the design, I was a little discouraged. It didn’t seem like there was any way to have a logical placement of the design and still have yardage left to cut more than one piece. It was really close though.
I took my measurements and found my pattern size. The outside lines of the multi-size pattern were two sizes above what I needed. Things were looking up!
Next, I carefully placed the pattern tissue for one of the back pieces over the graphic. I was able to get the whole image only if it wrapped around my rear on one side. I can live with that. There was only one way the design was going to fit (okay – I had to cut off a tiny bit of the design), so I cut that piece first.
I figured it was also fine to put the white border inside the seam allowance and hem, so that made my working area a little bigger. With that in mind, I cut two more pieces – the other back and one of the fronts. Now it was really just scraps.
I just wasn’t happy with my options for the last front piece. I knew if I didn’t have the same fabric, any color blocking would risk uneven wear and probably a weird looking result. I’m all for weird, but on my terms.
Finally, I realized that if I carefully used the white border to make horizontal stripes, I would be able to take the odd-sized black scraps to complete the last piece.
With a little more careful cutting and piecing, I had the striped piece ready to go.
Putting the shorts together was super easy. It was all done on the serger using familiar techniques. There is an elastic waistband and coverstitched hem.
I feel quite pleased that I squeezed a whole pair of shorts out of half a yard – and no leftovers!
Well, I’m off to rule the universe. When I get back – more fun activewear!
Thoughts? Leave a comment!