Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sew Weekly Challenge: Patternless or "I look like a Waffle House sign"

Friends, I think I may have taken the easier road on this challenge. First, I pinned a piece of waffle knit fabric onto Emma until it made the shape I wanted.  I cut a hole for the neckline, pinned on a back piece, and trimmed and altered until I had two pieces that were similar and had hems the same length.

You'll see that it's yellow waffle knit, which means my brain automatically goes to smothered and covered...

Picture from this article where a guy was living on the roof of the Waffle House.  I guess he was really serious about those hashbrowns!

I worked on, dreaming of the tasty goodness which cannot be found in Chicago, and before I knew it, I had a t-shirt.

You'd think with my first attempt at draping (if it can even be called that), I would've tried for something a little more ... exciting.  In an effort to bust more of my stash, I cut up an already scrapped yellow t-shirt and used pieces around the neck, armholes, and hem.

It is completely unsurprising that this is one comfy shirt, but I was shocked when I realized that it took me about an hour (from beginning draping to finishing the armholes) to complete this project.  I imagine it would've taken me at least half that time for measuring and pinning if I had used a pattern.  This shirt makes me feel as though my time was well spent.  I can't lie - it was pretty invigorating to be working without a pattern and have no idea if the outcome would be wearable.

Close-up of the waffle knit and sleeve and neckline trimmings.  I don't know why it never occurred to me to use scrapped t-shirts as bias tape for other projects, but I am definitely going to incorporate this new knowledge into other projects down the road!

Since I didn't think this project was going to turn out very well, I didn't mind that the fabric had a red stain on the upper shoulder blade.  Oh well ... it gives the shirt character.  Maybe I should turn it into a pseudo-tattoo that is a heart with "Mom" written over it.  Or not.  Whatevs.

Now that the first patternless project has turned out so well, I might be persuaded into pushing myself a little farther next time.  I really enjoyed the adventure of seeing what was coming next and how it was going to turn out - it got the creative juices flowing!! ( ... and possibly made me hungry.  For waffles.  And hashbrowns.  And really awful coffee at 3am.)

Friends, have you ever gone patternless?  Share your links in the comments - I'd love to see what you've been up to!!


  1. yellow is still my my second favourite colour so this top has to be a winner!! ok Green is the first, I am not going patternless this week but hoping to squeeze in a dress for next week!! well done Meg. x x x

  2. So cool! There's nothing quite like a load of grease and sugar at odd hours of the day and night. :)

  3. I'm from chicago too, and every time we'd go on vacation, I'd beg to go to wafflehouse. Wafflehouse was a mystery, a fantastic, sugary haven for everyone outside of illinois, and I was the only one who felt that way. When I finally convinced my mom to go to one with me while on a road trip, I found less sugar and more second hand smoke. Still, I think that wafflhouse will always be a place of wonder.

    I like the shirt! I've never been brave enough to go patternless; the few times that I've come close, I have a pattern in my head, and trying to keep all my shapes and numbers straight means that nothing turns out like it should. Good for you for being successful!

  4. Applique a tiny Waffle House sign over the red stain. Or a tiny waffle ... I lived in Chicagoland for six years, am now back home in the Southland. Isn't there a Mr. Waffle chain in the Midwest? I do love me some Waffle House ... patty melt, hash browns, and they do a decent waffle. Used to be the only restaurant open on Christmas Day, which was handy for long highway trips to visit the family. [pause] Haha! the word verification is "panlit."

  5. I've only gone patternless with skirts or things I traced from existing garments. Now that I have SNAH to drape on, I may give this week's challenge a try as well. Or make a gathered skirt. Depends on my energy level.

    (verification = babhot, as in, "You are one hot bab in that draped shirt!" :)

  6. i just got caught up on all the extreme grandness and i am ALL HOLIDAYED UP.

    and itching to sew! i love that friggin yellow top! the pic of you and your parents is so awesome! when ruggy saw the rainbow brite dress, he said "i like your friends"! only not with an exclamation point but it was inferred!


    love, oona.

  7. You look fabulous in yellow, my friend!

  8. Hehe, nice one! The waffle fabric looks comfy and I love the idea of re-using old t-shirts!
    I frequently go without commercial patterns in knit garments, using an existing garment as pattern (fold in half and trace works astonishingly well for t-shirts, dresses, skirts...). I haven't tried draping yet, though. It sounds like fun!