english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England

Half Metre Tops


Stylish Party Dresses V Mini Dress Top Hack

I’m not normally someone who manages to squeeze projects out of small pieces of fabric. In fact, I normally always buy ‘safe’ amounts of both fabric and yarn, and end up with some left sat in my stash once the planned project is completed.

However, lately I’ve started a few knitting projects where I’ve run out of yarn part-way through (due to using stash yarns, or just not buying enough), and a few sewing projects which have required some creative cutting.

Stylish Party Dresses V Mini Dress Top Hack

During a recent trip to London I treated myself to a visit to Cloth House in Soho (very close to Liberty). I wasn’t supposed to be buying any fabric but couldn’t resist these two fabrics from their knits section (housed downstairs). To keep my shopping to a minimum I bought a half metre of each, assuming I’d have enough for a small top. As you can see from the photos, I did have enough fabric – but only just, particularly as I complicated things by choosing two stripey fabrics.

Stylish Party Dresses V Mini Dress Top Hack

This top is made using dress pattern V, Mini Dress with Raglan Sleeves from Stylish Party Dresses by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I’ve previously made and blogged the dress here. For this top version, I placed the pattern pieces on top and cut to edge of the fabric – which worked out just the right length for a top.

Stylish Party Dresses V Mini Dress Top Hack

I really like the finished top but squeezing raglan sleeves (particularly pattern matched ones) out of only half a metre of fabric was tight, and one of the sleeves had to be pieced. The fabric is a very lightweight knit which feels lovely, but is extremely prone to creasing.

Stylish Party Dresses V Mini Dress Top Hack

For the second fabric, I thought I’d try Grainline Studio‘s free one-size Hemlock Tee. The only change I had to make to the pattern due to fabric limitations was reducing the length of the sleeves. If working with an even small piece of fabric the sleeve pieces could be skipped altogether.

Hemlock Tee

The fabric is a lovely weighty double knit, with raised texture on the white stripes. (I’m pretty sure Zoe used the same fabric for this tunic). The body of the fabric means that it emphasises the boxy shape of Hemlock, and I’d like to try Hemlock in something slinkier for a closer fit.

Hemlock Tee

I currently work in an IT department with mostly male colleagues. They aren’t always the best at compliments (one day when wearing a red dress and lipstick, I was told by one colleague I looked very red, and I’m pretty sure that was supposed to be complimentary). The first time I wore this Hemlock to work a different colleague told me it looked like two tea-towels sewn together!

Hemlock Tee

The next tee I fancy trying is Fancy Tiger Crafts’ Adventure Tank which definitely looks doable in 1/2 metre of fabric from my stash.

Hemlock Tee

Hemlock Tee


Author: Charlotte

Sewist, crafter & blogger, based in Birmingham, England. I'm spending the year growing and gathering to create natural dyes and enhance my sewing projects. Find me at www.englishgirlathome.com

6 thoughts on “Half Metre Tops

  1. Nice! And dear me, Cloth House is a dangerous place. Both locations! I seem able to spend my entire travel budget there each time I go to London.

  2. I love stripe-y tops and it was great you got them out of 1/2m each! You must be tiny.
    I have worked in IT for many, many years and I know exactly what you speak of!

  3. I have been learning over the years how to estimate the amount of fabric I need. For my first makes I used got the recommended fabric amount, now I like to base the amount on an estimate of the amount I need, using what I needed for a previous make that’s similar. I get far less left over and I’m not good at using up left-overs -although I try to use them for pockets and contrast bits and pieces.

    I’m in IT too, bless our male colleagues – they are lovely but rarely manage to socialize except using the computer as an interface. I can spend whole days at work and only have a real world conversation when I go to the shop to buy lunch!

  4. Two tea towels – that is outrageous! I love that fabric – I used it on a course at The Fabric Godmother – and it holds it shape so well. My partner is an IT bloke but is thankfully pretty forthcoming when it comes to complimentary remarks on clothing! You look lovely in both your tops.

  5. Your tops look lovely. I particularly like the second one. I am tempted to try it myself. Oddly its the shape of the sleeves that have drawn me in!

  6. I love both these tops! I taught IT at university when it first became a degree and the boys (there were no girls) turn up like that, and become worse over the three years. I was very lonely!

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