Colour-blocking in sewing is great for so many reasons! My top ones:
- Sustainability. It’s a great way to combine your fabric leftovers and make a unique piece of clothing out of something you might have thrown away. Keep your fabric scraps, go through them from time to time and you might be surprised about the lovely colour combos you suddenly have in your leftover stash.
- Modern. Colour-blocking is a recurring trend in fashion. It was first introduced in the 1940s, had its glorious days in the 60s and was reinvented in the 80s with bolder combinations and retro neon colours. It’s modern at its core and never out of style.
- Fun. Playing around with different colour combinations, puzzling pieces together while still creating a comprehensive look is just so much fun. There’s no limit to your creativity in this process and you will be rewarded with a piece of clothing that is truly unique.
Given the above reasons, I was excited to find some matching scraps in my stash and decided to colour-bock them together. Here’s how I’ve done it.
Step 1: Choose Your Pattern
I wanted a pattern which is simple in its shape so that I have a great basis to play around with the colour blocking pieces. The Odgen Cami from True Bias Patterns, one of my all-time favourites, is perfect for this.
It’s easy to sew, has a loose fit which means you don’t have to worry about fitting and straightforward design which allows you to play around with your fabric scraps.
Step 2: Prepare Your Pattern
I have used the Odgen Cami pattern in the past and had all the different pieces already cut out to my size. The front and back pieces are supposed to be cut on the fold. This means that you:
- fold the fabric in half
- pin the pattern piece on the fabric
- line up the edge with the mark “cut on the fold” along the fold of the fabric
- cut out the pattern piece except for the side that’s on the fold
- remove the pins and unfold the fabric
The actual piece you cut out is then double as big as the pattern when you unfold the fabric. The reason it’s cut on the fold is so that both sides are symmetric.
However, as I intended to work with a colour-block pattern across the top, I wanted to have the entire front reflected in one pattern piece to then take it apart in its different colour pieces.
So I used tracing paper, outlined one side of the front top, then vertically mirrored the pattern and traced the other side.
Next cut out your front pattern piece. This now is your ‘playground’ to come up with your own design for the colour blocking (so the fun part!). Here’s one of my initial drafts:
One thing to keep in mind when designing your top: there might be seam allowances included in your pattern pieces. For example, a 2cm seam allowance for the hem or 1.5cm for the side seams. Factor these in when playing around with the different colour-blocking pieces so that your finished top looks well-balanced.
Once you’re happy with your design, cut out the different pieces (in my case here there are 3). Next, and this is important, add a 1cm seam allowance to both sides of the cutting lines. This is needed as you afterwards sew the different pieces together.
Then repeat the same for the back piece.
Step 3: Sew Together Your Colour-Blocked Pieces
Nice one, your pattern pieces are ready! Pin them on your fabric and cut out all your pieces in different colours.
Before you can follow the regular sewing instructions, there’s one last step you need to take: sew together the colour-blocked pieces.
For this, place the pieces onto each other right sides facing, pin and sew with a 1cm seam allowance. If needed, overlock or zigzag the edges of the fabric and press the seam open.
Step 4: Follow The Instructions To Finish Your Top
And that’s it from a colour-blocking perspective! Just follow the regular instructions to sew your cami top and make sure the side seams match nicely if you have a design across them.
I hope this blog has been helpful and can’t wait to see your colour-blocked tops!
If you share your make afterwards on social media, make sure to check out this post here about sewing hashtags to gain followers in 2020. Or if you’re looking for free (!) patterns to keep your sew-jo working, check out this link.