Zero waste tops

Megan from meggipeg blog and Katherine from SewBlooms blog and I had a sewing challenge where we were to make the free zero waste t-shirt from (free under a Creative Commons license). I decided to make the cropped tee and found this piece of purple cotton knit remnant from Knitwit Fabrics. I have no idea why I bought it, but it was the exact length I needed, so perhaps that why I had bought it!

We had talked about using the faggoting technique exemplified in the tee shirt on the Make Use website. They faggoted all the seams, but I decided to just do the neckline. As the fabric didn’t fray all I did was interface the front neckline and make two cuts, I stitched them after I made the top, but it might have been easier to do the stitching immediately.

I had a side strip of fabric left over so made it into a hem band to give myself extra length. I cut the sleeves and rotated them by 180 degrees to give that funny shape. I love the back seaming on this tee.

You can see my faggoting in the photo below. I used some beautiful variegated silk thread that came from Martien, the convenor of Fibres West. She got a whole bag full from her buy nothing group.

I even managed to add a label. I used an “Eat Sleep Sew” label from Kylie and the Machine in a side seam. I never quite know where to put the labels…

I absolutely love it with my new Zero Waste Clair skirt.

A shown seated photo – the outfit is lovely to sit around in and will be perfect for some train travel I have planned. Those leaves have now been swept up, it’s that time of the year!

I could not be happier with this combination. The purple goes so perfectly with the skirt – although it has no purple in it – and I love the meaning of the colour purple – wisdom, bravery and spirituality; it’s associated with royalty, is calming and stimulating and fosters creativity (according to my very old psych book). I wore purple to my Dad’s funeral and the rector was most impressed as it can also be the colour of mourning, although I wore it because purple also creates a balance of peace and awareness. Mark’s academic hood is lined with purple silk – I should cut it up! So, I do love purple and don’t wear enough of it.

I then made another tee from some scraps of wool crepe leftover from this suit which I created with Sarah from Pattern Union.

I used house paint to seal the raw edges of the neckline. I used masking tape to create the line, painted with acrylic paint, dried it with my hairdryer and then created another line of paint. I used my flexible ruler to help determine the line.

Then I faggoted over the inner cut to draw the two necklines together. I used the same variegated silk as for the purple top.

I added another label from my Advent calendar, thanks Katherine! I have begun to notice that I am colour coordinating my labels. This was subconscious, but now it’s in my head, I can’t stop!

I was about to cut out trousers when I decided I wanted a winter version of this tee. I had a bit of a deep dive and found this wool which Sarah (of Pattern Union fame) had found at a deceased estate and kindly gave to me. It has got quite a lot of moth holes and thin spots, but I thought I could get round this problem. The fabric is pretty special, it’s natural wool, and when I press it, it smells like sheep, which I love.

The piece was a bit of an odd shape and was probably a teeny bit narrow, but I thought I could actually get a long sleeved top out with some careful cutting. You can see where it’s been cut by its previous owner.

I had a tiny bit of the hem hanging off. The shaped piece at the side is where the sleeve fits in and then I have a small amount of fabric left.

I considered my treatment of the moth holes and finished up needle felting some tiny scraps over the holes. You can just make them out in the photos below:

I made the simplest shape, with a deepish hem band and sleeve extensions.

I also added a pocket from a piece of scrap, the size and shape determined by said scrap, and I even managed a label.

I topstitched either side of every seam to add a bit of interest. The hem is the selvedge, which I was pleased with.

I really like it with red trousers and my naturally dyed crochet scarf. We are looking after Heidi for a couple of days, which has been gorgeous.

The sleeves are quite flared, which I thought might annoy me, but I’ve been in this outfit all day and I haven’t caught them on door knobs or caught them in drawers, so I think they will be ok.

The thing about zero waste is that almost anything goes. I mentioned that Megan, Katherine and I were doing a sewing challenge, so here are the three of us – you can see that we got very different results with different techniques and fabrics. Megan used the painting/faggoting technique for all her seams and fabric dyed with onion skins, whereas Katherine used some colour blocking and machine faggoting on lovely loosely woven fabric. We have had a discussion about the spelling of faggoting by the way, we each spell it differently!

Finally a video of Miss G on a wooden rocking horse that I found in an op shop for $5.


5 thoughts on “Zero waste tops

  1. What a fun sewing challenge you had with your friends! I’m not so much into zero waste sewing but I find your experiments interesting and rather convincing, especially when I look at the very different versions produced by you and your friends. Great job all! xxx

  2. Thanks Sue, for motivating us in this challenge. It was my first foray into zero waste. I love that we all get different results from the same starting point.

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