Last week I had two pieces of silk lying on the cutting table after making a custom nightdress. I stared and stared at them, in the midst of a dilemma, not wanting to put them aside for ‘Later’ as from my experience ‘Later’ never happens.
At last, inspiration was upon me, I sketched and then cut the pieces for a half slip from the remnants. I do admit that it didn't quite fit as it lacked a corner at the hem....what to do?
I was not going to be defeated!
This was simply remedied with a little tailoring trick. I inserted what is known as a ‘godet’ into the gap.
noun: a triangular piece of fabric, often rounded at the top, inserted in a garment to give fullness.
This wonderful little design feature was prominent in 1930s fashion and is a great detail to use when using Bias cut and draping fabrics.
You will be pleased to know that I have also cut out the pieces for a pair of knickers, from the same remnants....As you can see...I hate waste.
I have always had this problem…
An early memory of this habit is from my school days. When my Royal Blue school jumper became faded and worn at the elbows I had a method. I simply un-picked and detached the sleeves, turned them inside out, swapped them and re-attached (Worn patches now located on the inside of my elbow)…I only ever had one jumper throughout my school years.
This skill for waste saving continued in my career. In my days of designing evening dresses at Bernard Freres, I used printed Sari inspired fabric, with a different design at each side. I designed my dresses so that nothing was wasted within the length. They loved that!...particularly in cost-effective terms!
I often create pieces from odds and ends from the cutting table. Those little pieces of fabric can inspire some interesting results. Recently I put together some Art-Deco inspired panelled pieces, in various ice cream colours.
It’s astounding the amount of clothing is discarded (though hopefully to charity shops) and we live in a very 'throw-away' culture. There is certainly a rise in the idea of 'up-cycling' within fashion that hopefully will continue. I often suggest one should look to pay a bit more for quality items that will last longer and in the long run will mean you will buy less. Add to that, a bit of knowledge, basic sewing skills and imagination, one can re-invent a wardrobe time and time again.
A Bias View
Blog by Keturah Brown Lingerie. Heritage brand designer of exclusive lingerie for over 45 years..