Sewing Leftovers: Reeta Shirts

I have a trio of totally game changing shirts to show you today, all made and worn aplenty during (Me Made) May - if you caught my round up posts then you'll have already seen them pop up a number of times. As ever, I realised my desperate lack of tops early on in the month, so whipped up my first cropped hack of the Named Clothing Reeta Shirt Dress with some #sewingleftovers. Then came another, also in leftovers, and finally a third version in fabric bought from Stoff & Stil on a recent trip to Berlin. It's a really easy, quick and versatile hack, and a new-to-me wardrobe staple.
Reeta Shirt in white crepe
Reeta Shirt in leftover suiting fabric from a recent project

Fabric: The white one is made of a leftover crepe/poly mix that's been in my stash for years and the black pinstripe version is a cheap suiting poly/viscose

Original garment made: The white fabric is leftover from a failed attempt at making something for someone else, and the pinstripe is leftover from my absolute fave M7661 trousers (I was given lots extra as it has a few faults to it)!

Leftover fabric amount: Just over 1m in both fabrics (this hack takes about 1m)

Sewing Leftovers make: Named Clothing Reeta Midi Shirt Dress, hacked into a cropped shirt

Leftovers-wise what did I learn?: Skip details to save on fabric - I left out the pockets and turn up on the sleeves. The back yoke can be cut as 2 separate pieces rather than on the fold if you're restricted by the length of your leftovers (I actually did this by accident for one of mine and it turned out fine)! I also learnt the great joy that having matching separates can bring to your life/wardrobe (scroll down for more on that)!

About the make:

White crepe Reeta with corduroy Landers
Funnily enough, I don't like my Reeta Shirt Dress and I hardly ever wear it. It's a combination of the length, sleeves and waist gathering that just don't sit quite right with me, which is pretty disappointing as it seems to look great on everyone else! After seeing a Reeta Shirt hack by @craftwerking, I was inspired to make more use of the pattern, and I'm really pleased that I've finally found a way to make the Reeta work for me!

My pattern was already cut out at a size 42 so I stuck with this. I could have downsized, but I opted to keep it bigger for a sort of boxy, oversized fit. To make it shirt length, I cut the pattern 3" below the waistline (marked out for the waist casing/gathering on the dress). Once hemmed, this is a pretty good length for me - let's say a 'gentle crop' - which can be worn loose or tucked in without too much bulk, depending on the mood/outfit. 

Back view of the white crepe version
Losing the length was obviously the big fabric saver for these shirts, but simplifying the sleeves also helped. I really dislike the longish turn up sleeves on my Reeta Dress - so much so that I recently cut them off to try and make it more wearable. The turn up is quite bulky when made in anything other than lightweight fabric, so it wouldn't have really worked with my mid-weight leftovers either. I cut the sleeves as long as I could, and hemmed them much shorter after trying on the nearly finished garment. I now know that I prefer the sleeves pretty short, so this should help to minimise waste at the point of cutting for future versions!

The original version worn over a Nettie top, with Landers and Doc sandals
Finally, I skipped the pockets as they're just too fussy for me, particularly on a boxy cropped shirt. Each finished shirt took around 1 metre of fabric, and could probably do it in slightly less with some thoughtful pattern tetris.

*I got a tripod, hence the funny angles of these pics!
If I find a pattern that I really like, I'll make repeat versions of it quite quickly. Perhaps this is down to the pattern being fresh in memory when I'm out fabric shopping. I've tried to limit my fabric shopping and concentrate more on my stash and leftovers recently, but as these two Reeta Shirts worked out so well (in cheap leftovers), I decided it was fine to treat myself to this beautiful Stoff & Stil wiggle print cotton for version 3.

Version 3, in wiggle print cotton
Worn with a particularly bold pair of B6178 culottes
And finally, I wanted to show you my favourite way of wearing my original Reeta Shirt hack - and the real reason that I made this shirt in leftovers. I've always wanted matching separates, but never had either the right length of fabric or motivation to make it happen. I'm over the moon that I've finally managed it with my matching Reeta Shirt and M7661 trousers. I guess I'm biased, but I think they make THE BEST faux jumpsuit around!

Reeta/M7661 faux jumpsuit
Reeta/M7661 faux jumpsuit
The cropped hack of the Named Clothing Reeta goes with pretty much everything. Though each shirt carries a slightly different quality - the white version is a bit more boxy as the fabric is thicker, the wiggle one is lighter and more summer-y - they all serve the purpose of filling a huge wardrobe gap. I couldn't recommend this simple hack more, particularly if you can squeeze it out of your #sewingleftovers.

Which version is your favourite?

Check out #sewingleftovers on Instagram for loads more inspiration!

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Sewing Leftovers: Community Inspiration!

Hi all! I'm seeing a real shift in makers working towards being more sustainable, and #sewingleftovers is just one small initiative amongst the many, so thanks to anyone who has shown interest and to those of you who have taken the time to join in! Speaking of those of you who've joined in, the response has been phenomenal with over 400 posts using #sewingleftovers shared on Instagram in the small amount of time it's been out in the world! I thought it was definitely time to do a round up based on some of the fantastic shares and suggestions offered up by the community, so here we go...

Links to all patterns and original posts can be found below
Of course, the patterns we choose for our leftovers can be limited or determined by the amount of fabric we have - leftovers can be anything from tiny scraps to huge chunks - but here are some of my favourite makes from patterns that work with limited lengths.

1. Marilla Walker Maya Top by @heritageninja
2. Workroom Social Tate Top  (FREE pattern!) by @ofchemists
3. Grainline Studio Willow Tank by @sixyardsunder
4. True Bias Lander Shorts by @craftwerking
5. Kitschy Coo Barrie Briefs by @susanna_and_katyarose
6. Named Clothing Inari Tee by @projekt.kleiderschrank
7. République du Chiffon Juliette Shirt by @mariasyrgrejer

Links to all patterns/original posts can be found below
I looked at uses of pleather in my last plans/inspiration post, mainly with bags in mind, so here are some more bags and accessories suited to different kinds of leftovers. Thanks to Sam and Natasha for recommending the perfect patterns to remedy my need for a circle bag - question is, which one do I try first?!

1. Circle handbag from Love Sewing Magazine issue 48 (recommended by Sam)
2. Noodlehead Wool and Wax Tote by @michelleofatime
3. Sarah Kirsten Fennel Fanny Pack by @wellfibre (and suggested by Craftwerk)
4. Kylie and the Machine Ida Clutch by me! (A shameless plug but I love it so much and it's getting so much use - you can see my blog post about it here)
5. Carolyn Friedlander Nest Egg Tote (recommended by Natasha)
6. Headband and tutorial to make your own by @thegirlwhomakes

Mix and match
Links to all patterns and original posts can be found below
Because we can't always have the perfect big chunk of fabric left at the end of each project! Here's some inspiration for trying to incorporate those smaller leftovers into a new make, and a bunch of patchwork patterns that will do the work for you!

1. Papercut Patterns Kyoto Tee hack by @sewuthinkucan
2. Ready to Sew Juliette Skirt by @io_e_carlotta
3. Pretty panelled top by @lejditea
4. Style Arc Quinn Woven Top by @cookinandcraftin - Meg wrote a great blog post on this make here
5. Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch M7132 Patchwork Kimono Jacket Pattern
6 & 7. Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic Pullover and A Frame Skirt (recommneded by Barbara)

And if you needed any more inspiration:

Listen to Love to Sew Episode 42, 'Sustainability and Sewing Part 2' - #sewingleftovers gets a mention alongside tonnes of other community-sourced bits of wisdom, projects and inspiration! Thanks Helen and Caroline!

Watch Craftwerk explore sustainability in sewing practice and question 'who made my fabric?' and offer some great stash busting suggestions in her vlogs.

Check out these incredible patchwork jeans by @mariasyrgrejer. She beat me to making my own pair which I talked about in the last #sewingleftovers inspiration post and now I'm feeling truly inspired to crack on with mine!

Browse #sewingleftovers on Instagram for loads more inspiration!

Stay in touch!

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