Anyway my point in telling you all of this is because I'm publicly airing some rules I'm setting myself on use of my sewing room in the hope I feel obliged to keep them! They are probably things most of you are already doing, but if you're guilty of breaking these rules then at least you know you're not alone....
1. Clean up at the end of each project. A quick vacuum of my sewing space and a general clean up would probably take all of 10 minutes, yet I'm usually eager to get on with my next project or so over the one I've just completed that I never bother doing it.
2. Pack away at the end of each project. Similar to rule no.1 - I'm very guilty of leaving pattern pieces out of their packets, spare buttons floating around and left over bits of fabric in little piles everywhere. Which leads me to rule no.3....
3. Deal with fabric scraps!!! Last year when I was cleaning out my sewing room I was drowning in fabric scraps. I took a huge bag of large cotton pieces suitable for quilting to the Fabric Cave for resale, a few bags of smaller pieces and dress fabrics went to Toby's daycare centre and Anna's out of school hours care centre for craft activities, and yet I still had to throw out bags and bags of small scraps in the rubbish which I felt terribly guilty about. I'm just not a quilter, a prolific crafter or a maker of bias binding from left over fabrics or any of the other good uses for fabric scraps.
So this year I'm aiming to use up the leftover bits of fabric straight away in another project if possible and not let them linger in large piles in my sewing room. And if not, then I aim to make regular donations of fabric rather than let it get out of hand.
Hence this post. After I made my January Burda dress in the bright purple and green polka dot print cotton I had quite a bit of long skinny pieces of fabric left and since I loved the print so much I really wanted to make it into something wearable. So in February (yes I'm a bit behind in my blogging) I used them to make a shell top which I've made many times before:
I used Vogue 1826, an OOP Michael Kors pattern which is my TNT for a shell top. Because it's princess seamed with a centre back seam, the pattern pieces are long and narrow so I can squeeze it out practically any leftover piece of fabric.
Construction wise there's not much to say about this - I used bias binding around the neck and arm holes instead of fully lining it like I usually do, so it's a little tighter than other versions but still wearable. I also used an invisible zip down the centre back which is actually as the pattern is designed, but I usually make it with buttons down the back because I like that look. The stiffness of the zipper makes the fabric pool a little in my swayback, but I can live with it:
And best of all, it livens up a very dull gunmetal grey suit I sometimes wear when I need to be serious at work!
So I'm off to a great start, but it remains to be seen how long I can keep it up. I once set myself the rule of no new UFOs which in the last year has failed, but then again I also set myself the rule of sewing one Burda pattern each month which so far I'm complying!