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Creative Patchwork makes for a Marvelous Mika Sweatshirt

Sometimes making a sweatshirt can be all about using smaller pieces of fabric to create a one of kind garment. That is how this Mika sweatshirt using Zelouf fabric samples came to be.

Sewing, slow fashion and sustainability go hand-in-hand. So, when Zelouf Fabrics asked me to try a sample sneak-peek "Fabric Scrap Box" they are developing, I was thrilled to help out. Zelouf Fabrics is a family run international fabric company based in New York. For more than 35 years Zelouf has been a leading supplier of cost-efficient, quality fabrics, working diligently to be socially responsible and sustainable.

My ‘Fabric Scrap Box’ was selected based on colour. Of course I went with my favourite It arrived packed with a large variety of fabrics that could be mixed and matched. Some pieces were smaller pieces, which I set aside for crafting and quilting. Other samples were much larger. There were 3 long pieces of neoprene that I loved, but they weren’t wide enough for larger pattern pieces. They all matched in weight and colour, so I decided to patchwork them together.

The edges of the fabric were already pinked so I used this edging as part of my design. I patchworked the two darker pieces on either side of a lighter teal to create a large piece of fabric. Neoprene is a made from recycled plastics and it is a medium weigh fabric with good structure. To ensure that the seam allowance would lie flat I topstitched each side to create a flat felted seam. Initially, I had planned to use the plain topstitched seam as the right side, but the topstitched pinked edges looked so nice I decided to use them as a feature seam on my garment.

I chose the Mika Sweatshirt from Fibre Mood because it is a classic sweatshirt with simple lines. This is one of my favourite sweatshirts. Mika is a wardrobe essential. It is a crew neck jumper with a classic triangular insert and raglan sleeves. It is loose fitting without feeling too oversized. It is great to pair with a skirt, trousers, jeans or your favourite lounge pants.

Once I had the "patchwork" scuba completed I laid out the sleeves and back pattern pieces so that my now 'decorative seam' was a feature. For the front bodice I choose a matching piece of crepe. As a woven fabric it has no stretch but coupled with the looser cut of the Mika and the neoprene there was enough overall stretch. For the cuff and classic sweatshirt insert I used a sparkle neoprene in a coordinating green, adding a bit of subtle glam. I used a piece of dark green double knit for the neckline and waistband. Seven different pieces of fabric scraps slowly became a one-of-a-kind patchwork sweatshirt.

All in all, I think this really is a marvelous Mika. It feels great to be able to use fabric samples creatively and environmentally. ‘Fabric Scrap Boxes” are another one of Zelouf’s sustainable initiatives. They will be available soon for order by colour and they will be sold by the pound. Each box will include a variety of fabrics, a few larger pieces and lots of smaller pieces perfect for smaller projects. I still have some amazing cotton camo print left that will be showcased later this spring/summer. It will be perfect for a woven t-shirt!

After all... there is Sew Much To Design!

Creatively and Sustainbly Yours,

Lou Sheffer

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