Color-blocked Tees, a.k.a. How to Use Up Knit Scraps

One thing about sewing is that you get to see first hand all the fabric that gets wasted in the garment making process.  Since I am someone who tries not to waste resources (and since I paid for that fabric), I quickly decided that I was going to start saving my scraps and using them to make quilts.  This has been quite successful so far, and at some point I will show my quilt in progress to you.  However, for quilting, you only want to use wovens, not knits.  This left me at a loss for what to do with my knit scraps, especially those that were too big to throw away, but not quite big enough for a whole garment.

Enter the color-blocked tee!

This one is a raglan sleeve (Lekala 5656); the gray is a wool-lycra blend and the blue is a wicking lycra; both left over from tights/ leggings projects.

I am super relaxed about these shirts– they are forgiving knits and they are scraps; if they don’t work out, oh well!

I usually start with a quick sketch to just get a complete picture of the design I want.  Then, I use a ruler to draw the lines on my pattern pieces and cut them apart (I haven’t done any not straight lines as of yet, but the process would be similar).  I don’t bother adding seam allowances to the pattern pieces because since they are straight, I can can just add it as I am cutting with my ruler and rotary cutter.  This also makes it easy to tape the pattern pieces back together to be reused.

Since this one was a little more complicated, I actually sewed the pieces together first and then cut out my front and back.  This one is my TNT t-shirt pattern– a mix of a self-drafted pattern and the free Plantain pattern by Deer and Doe.  For those looking for a good basic t-shirt, I highly recommend this pattern.  I tried several others, including drafting my own, and this one is the best I tried.  I wanted a more fitted waist than it is drafted for, but the armholes and sleeves are taken directly from the pattern.

One thing I do not like about the Plantain is the neck band.  It is exactly the size of the neckline.  In my opinion, knit bands should be slightly smaller so that they are stretched when they are sewn on.  This makes them lay much nicer.

This is my least successful.  The seams and hems come out kinda wobbly.  I used the Kirsten kimono tee by Maria Denmark, another free pattern.  If I use this pattern again, I will definitely add more length to the sleeves.  I will see how this one looks after the first wash, if it still looks bad it may be a wadder.  Oh well, it is all scraps anyway.

After cutting the shirt out of the butterfly fabric, I cut out a pair of panties (which is the other thing that I do with knit scraps).  Once that was done, I had scraps too small to be of any use, and I tossed them in good conscience.  One fabric completely eliminated from the stash!  (Won’t say how many more are left!)

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