Sunday 18 December 2022

Scrap Busting Apollon Sweatshirt

I can't remember precisely where the idea for this project came from, but it has served to solve two issues. The first was Mr SoZo running low on clothes, and the second was my own excess of sweatshirt scraps. In many ways, it's an extension of the scrap busting jersey T-shirts I made for him and our daughter last year. This project follows the same principles and largely the same technique. 

I was becoming aware that my collection of sweatshirt scraps was taking up a sizeable chunk of space in my fabric stash. I started out by getting all my sweatshirt scraps and remnants out and getting Mr SoZo to pick out any that particularly appealed to him. We then messed around with combinations until we had developed a pleasing colour palette. Some of the scraps came from sweatshirts I'd made for him previously, so were already within his existing wardrobe colour scheme. However, having made him the very wild scrap T-shirt that he is happy to wear, I knew I could push the combination further than many people might be comfortable with!

Here's some things I've learned about scrappy garment projects:

  • Make sure you're using a TNT pattern. You need to know that the fit will be spot on: now is not the time to try something new that may require tweaks. The pattern I used for this is the Apollon sweatshirt for men by I Am Patterns that I have used at least six times for him previously.
  • Limit your colour palette, unless you're really doubling down on the scrappy look.
  • Keeping the scraps large results in a bold look, reduces the amount potentially-annoying seams in the inside, and makes the process of piecing MUCH quicker.
  • For this project I kept an eye on the direction of the grain line of each piece, and tried to keep them vaguely in line with each other. However, with sweatshirt fabric you can probably get away with ignoring grain lines altogether.
  • Keep joining scraps until you have shapes large enough to fit your pattern pieces on. Keep your pattern pieces to hand so you can keep checking. 
  • Be aware that the additional seams create additional bulky bits inside. It doesn't bother Mr SoZo at all, but when I made a pieced sweatshirt fabric cardigan for my daughter, she refused to wear it because she found the seam allowances on the inside uncomfortable. If making tighter fitting garments, or garments for kids or sensitive folk, top stitch down the seam allowances as you go to reduce the bulk. 
  • When you have made sections large enough to fit your pattern pieces on, try flipping them 180 degrees to see which way looks best. I tried this and found the upside down version of what I'd been creating looked way cooler. 
  • If your combination of scraps is pretty bold, using one colour for any neckbands, cuffs and waistbands can create a nice 'frame' and make the whole garment look more intentional. 

If you're interested in creating something along similar lines, I hope these pointers helped. And above all, have fun!!!!! Pieced fabric garment projects are more time consuming than 'regular' sewing projects that use a length of virgin fabric, but can be so much more creatively fulfilling. 

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