Use your fabric scraps to make a top

March 19, 2019

Where do you find inspiration for sewing from?  Dare I confess to sometimes catch myself staring at a garment a person is wearing wondering how it is made?! Plus of course Pinterest. On televisions, I am slowly watching Project Runaway on Netflix, and on UK TV The Great British Sewing Bee.

The Great British Sewing Bee is made up of three sewing challenges per episode, last weeks program focussed around “reduce, reuse, recycle”. We learnt that home sewer’s on average throw away 30% of the fabric they purchase. With it taking litres of water to grow the cotton for one t-shirt it seems only fitting to make the most of the fabric I have.

One of my friends challenged me to make an item of clothing from my fabric stash/scraps. For some time I have been inspired by Susan Eastman’s colour block tops which I discovered through Pinterest. If I combine all these factors it is time to rummage through my fabric stash and have a go at my own colour block top. You may remember I refashioned a dress into a colour block top as part of a refashion swap exchange, I was rather reluctant to part with the top I made!



Sew a staple boxy top for your everyday wardrobe using your fabric scraps to add your personality. Learn how to adapt a standard pattern to include blocks of colour. #colourblock #refashion

So if you fancy having a go yourself (I hope you do as its a great way to combine your favourite fabrics) then this is how I approached the project. Using The Boxy Top (from issue 54 Simply Sewing Magazine) I started cutting out the main body of the top, folding up a panel of the pattern along the bottom of the top.

This panel is made up of bright fabrics scraps. The fabric scraps are of similar cotton weight and are cut to 6 1/2″ depth with a variety of widths. 

Once sewn together the panels are carefully pressed then sewn onto the bottom of the front top piece, and the back top piece.


With the front and back made, it was time to consider the sleeves.

I decided to add a strip of colour to the edge of each sleeve. I repeated the process, cutting the body of the sleeve out, adding a panel, pressing, then adding the pattern piece to finish cutting it out. As I am using the remains of navy fabric from someones else’s stash (see original picture) it was a juggle to squeeze the sleeves out. An alternative approach would be to sew your colour blocks, add to your base fabric then cut the pattern pieces out.


This top is not quite my usual style but I have not taken it off! Sometimes it is good to stretch oneself and try something new.

Sew a staple boxy top for your everyday wardrobe using your fabric scraps to add your personality. Learn how to adapt a standard pattern to include blocks of colour. #colourblock #refashion

I have paired the top with a T Shirt necklace – find a video tutorial for the necklace on my you tube channel.

6 comments so far.

6 responses to “Use your fabric scraps to make a top”

  1. Janene says:

    Very inspiring Vicky. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Patricia Cash says:

    Cute, thank you.

  3. Alison says:

    What a lovely and very original top! Thanks for sharing – I feel inspired to have a go too !

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A passion for sewing, upcycling and caring for the environment - the perfect excuse to haunt charity shops for bargains!

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