I got this question from Liz:
Q: I have a not so much a question, but I am having trouble finding a pattern.
I found this great fabric in my mother's salvage box, however she only had about a meter of it. My question is, do you know of a dress pattern that only uses one meter of fabric? I've had a look around and can't really find anything I could make with it.
I'm rather thin and I like short hems so anything you could suggest would be great.
A: That’s a great question—and I’m definitely one to try to stretch my fabric as far as I can, and I often make things with just barely enough fabric! I think in yards, but luckily a meter is almost the same size as a yard, so I can tell you my experience with one yard projects.
If you’re looking for dresses in particular, I’ve made some short summer dresses with a yard, easily. I have no idea what your fabric looks like, what texture it is, etc. but I can offer my fave shapes and silhouettes, and you can use whatever pattern you have at home or have an eye on.
The easiest shape for a small piece of fabric is probably this style for the bodice--just strapless, very simple, and then make a skirt (gathered is super easy, to whatever length you want—it may use up the rest of the fabric!). And add skinny straps if you want!
Here are some others that would work:
This one, if you used a similarly colored fabric for the facings if you don't have enough of your outer fabric:
Or go very simple and plain, like this dress:
You could make this without the sleeves:
Depending on your size, you might be able to make a dress like this:
Or this, but the skirt could be very short!!
You can easily mix and match skirt and bodice, to work with the amount of fabric you have. And of course, no matter what you make, think about adding a coordinating fabric as a hem band, waistband, the bias binding around the neck and armholes, whatever. And, plan to use another fabric for the lining if you choose a dress with a lining.
For fun, you also may want to look at this book: One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects. I don't remember how many clothing projects are in there, but it's a great way to think about how you can cut up that fabric in an efficient way!
Hey, readers, I'm sure you have some ideas for Liz! What have you made in just a little bit of fabric??