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I’d say the majority of the fabric in my stash is in 1-1.5m lengths.  As I’m very lucky and surrounded by lots of real life fabric stores I tend to pick up quite a few bargain remnants when I’m out and about.  These keep my stash topped up and I can usually make a top or skirt from these shorter lengths.  If they’re less than a metre I often have to have a mash up of 2 remnants and let the creative juices flow.

Like this cardigan….. boiled wool and a ponte knit….who’d have thought these would have gone together so well:

#sbcc #cabernetcardigan  5 (1)

And these 2 pieces of jersey fudged together for a Molly Top:


So as you can see I usually have a happy ending when it marry up patterns and fabric.

But the Molly Top from SOI has had me almost loosing sleep.  The grown on sleeves just make it that little big too fabric hungry for some of my remnants that are just shouting out to be a Molly.  Like this wide striped ribbed knit I picked up in Samuel Taylors, Leeds.  I didn’t buy it as a remnant, but when I pulled out the roll it only had 1.25cm on it, but it was in the bargain section at Β£2.50 (I think) a metre.

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But as much as I tried there was just no way I could fit the pieces onto the fabric.  Then I had had an idea.

How about chopping off the sticky out fabric hungry sleeve and adding that to the actual sleeve.

So I had a play around and this is how I worked it out.   The fabric was 42 inches wide (sorry for swapping between metric and old money, I just can’t help it).  So I knew the max width of the top could be 21 inches – that’s why below I’ve marked the new width of the top as 10 1/2 inches.  And I knew the pieces would fit exactly.

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I also wanted the reduce the size of the neckline so compared the opening with the renfrew and 2 other slopers that I’d made.

As you can see the Molly is much wider.  It is supposed to have a band but like my cosy sweater I made I wasn’t intending to add the band to this.   I changed the neckline width to that of the Renfrew.

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So my new pattern pieces fit perfectly.  As you can see I cut the length for the top piece and had just enough for the full length sleeve.  There was no allowance for matching up the stripes of the sleeves to the body but as you’ll see later it turned out really well.

In case you’re interested the length of the fabric for the top is 27″ and the sleeves 22″.

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It was a doddle to sew up – I hemmed the sleeves and the bottom hem in the flat, and when I sewed up the side seams just neatened up the overlocker threads..  This is so much easier, or at least it is for me!  I use steam a seam to hold the hems in place as I sew.

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For the neckline there was quite a bit of head scratching.  But first, as soon as I cut out the pieces I stay stitched the front and back neckline.

In the end to finish it off I decided to add interfacing to the inside….

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trimmed most of it away,

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And a bit more!  (the brown stitching is the stay stitching and the white was when I stitched the interfacing)

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turned and pinned (yes pinned!!! a rarity for me)

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and stitched with a 2 needle coverstitch.

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Then trimmed away back to the stitching with my duck billed scissors.

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Because of the staying stitching and the interfacing there’s no give in the neckline so no fear of it stretching out.

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If you’re thinking of doing something similar make sure it’ll fit over your head!

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Here’s the oringal length of sleeves.  After a few wears and washes I shortened the sleeve to the top of the first blue stripe as it looked a bit big and as if I’d borrowed my dads jumper!

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This is one of my most worn tops.  It’s almost maintained the style of the original Molly Top with the dropped shoulders, but with a lot less fabric.  It has turned out a lot bigger than my other 3 Molly’s, more slouchy, or maybe that’s because I’m shrinking!  I wear it mostly with my jeans but in the summer I thinks it’ll be great as a sweater to throw on over capris and a t shirt.


    • Thanks Robyn, where there’s a will there’s a way! I’ve realised with patterns it’s ok to chop bits off so long as it’s stuck somewhere else! πŸ˜ƒ

    • I actually loved maths at school but never liked biology. It’s strange how I ended up taking the path I did! πŸ˜ƒ

  1. Brill. Thanks for explaining it all. Your boy is getting a dab hand at this photography. Lovely photos K xXx

  2. That neckline treatment is very clever! Will definitely copy it in the future.

    And shrinking in your clothes – how cool is that! The only moment when it’s okay to put up with wrong sized clothing ey?!

  3. AbFab, Dear One! (Am I dating myself?) Love-love-love it with the denims and you’re really top of your game with all those neckline-fixing ideas. I’d be thinking shorts & tops with 1.5m, sheath dresses… πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Del, the ovation is spoiling me with how it behaves, I think it makes me look better than I am! πŸ˜ƒ

      • Don’t you believe that for a second!
        You’ve put in hours of hard labour which I, for one, don’t have the patience to do!

  4. You are full of tricks! Unfortunately, once I start fiddling about with a pattern it doesn’t usually end this well but then I definitely wasn’t good at maths at school. You’ve got a really versatile top there which will look great through all seasons.

  5. Have you been on a photography course recently? Or sent your other half on one? These look great – really sharp and clean. Great colour stripes for Spring πŸ™‚ Can see why this gets a lot of wear.

    • Thank you! The boiled wool and ponte is still one of my faves. I need to make it a bit smaller but I did so much top stitching it would be a nightmare to unpick.

    • Haha…you need to make the most of your ride awake moments – if you’re lucky enough to have them having a limitless one!

  6. Beads and Barnacles says

    I’m so jealous of this fabric. I need to find me some good sweater knits.
    I always cut my patterns flat add I find this is a better way of using less fabric but I think this is a genius way of taking this one step further

    • You’d think pattern companies could thing of better ways to use the fabric more sparingly too. I was lucky to come across this stripy knit, I’ve never seen anything like this before that’s like a proper sweater. πŸ™‚

      • Beads and Barnacles says

        I’ve come across a few before but always in really odd colour combos…
        Yeah. Unfortunately the best layout changes for every size of the pattern…

    • No, it’s looking a bit oversized now, but I think i’ll be able to take in the sides without spoiling it πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad I managed to squeeze it, and have worn it so much. I think it’ll take me into Spring nicely too! πŸ™‚

  7. seweverythingblog says

    Very clever hack. I love to follow sewing blogs by authors in other countries — never heard the phrase “doddle to sew up” before :).

    • We use doddle quite a bit, or I do!! It is funny picking up new words and phrases, even from people in the same country as well as from further afield πŸ™‚

  8. Your jumper is just wonderful! It looks so comfy and I must say, after seeing what you started with, I’m in awe that you managed to reshape and resize the sleeves and make the whole thing fit. Good work! And I just love the gray/red cardigan, it’s so chic.

  9. Pingback: Refitting My Favourites after My #SlimmingWorldSuccess | T H I M B E R L I N A

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