Scrap challenge camisole

Last year (it’s still weird calling 2013 “last year”), Philippa and I challenged each other to make a project out of scrap fabric. After sharing some inspiration and putting some thought into it, I decided to try making a camisole out of my bag of silk scraps. I had ambitions of piecing really tiny scraps, but given my relative inexperience with silk I decided to go with more substantial chunks left from my wedding dress.

Another obstacle was feeling overwhelmed by possibilities – a camisole is a simple garment but the piecing options are limitless! In the end, I focused on a piece by Tocca that was close in color to my fabric.


I used Simplicity 9296, a vintage camisole pattern, as a base. All the views are intended to be cut on the bias, but I didn’t have enough fabric. I’d used the pattern once before and knew that there was enough ease for me to cut on the grain.


My original plan was to make a stripe of habotai going through charmeuse. When I actually finished my French seams, I liked it much better inside out! The seams created an interesting line, and I just didn’t like the charmeuse. Now the dull sides of the charmeuse show, and I think it’s really pretty. | simplicity 9296

Instead of making a facing, I lined the entire camisole with habotai. I didn’t have enough charmeuse for the back, so I used habotai there as well. | simplicity 9296

The light was waning as we took these pictures, so they’re pretty grainy! They give you an idea as to how the camisole looks on me, though. I’m really liking the V-neckline with spaghetti straps. | simplicity 9296

I’m wearing my jeans, of course, and that “Worst of 2013” cardigan that I can’t seem to quit.

Even though I used matching fabric, this project was truly a challenge! The layout was dependent on the size of my scraps, and I had to cut carefully because I didn’t have any spare fabric if I made a mistake. I wanted to get a bit more experimental with color-blocking, but my scraps didn’t look good with one another. I think the uncertainty and required forethought made me procrastinate on this project quite a bit, too.

Now that I’ve completed it, however, I’ve been considering another pieced scrap project! I’ve certainly got the supplies for it.

Have you seen any beautifully pieced garments lately, from sewing blogs, RTW, haute couture? Please share! And go see what Philippa’s been piecing together over at Gloria & Me!


47 thoughts on “Scrap challenge camisole

  1. How beautiful and delicate-looking your camisole is, and all the more special for being from your wedding dress scraps! A camisole really is an ideal piece for all those ‘too big to throw away, too small to patchwork’ type scraps. Thanks for joining me in this challenge, and showing me how it’s done! It’s been so much fun x

  2. It’s really lovely! It’s nice that it turned out opaque with the two layers, so that you can wear it on it’s own as well as underneath other things!

    1. Thank you, Gillian! I was actually holding up layers of silk over a print in the mirror to make sure I could get away with wearing it alone. I still feel a bit nude in it because of the color but maybe I’ll feel more bold in the summer!

  3. Often my favourite projects are those made out of scraps. The scraps seem to force more creativity than a huge swathe of fabric.

    Your camisole is really lovely.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I had to save the project somehow – I wish I’d taken a pic of how it looked when the seams were on the inside. I’m glad it was an easy fix.

  4. I absolutely love this! Silk camisoles are on my wishlist, and this particular one couldn’t be better. The seaming is lovely and the color couldn’t be better!

    1. They are very luxurious! I actually had never thought of wanting or owning one, but the scraps and the pattern presented themselves at the right time.

  5. Thank you for sharing this top! I have this pattern at home and have been unable to use it SEVERAL times due to the bias layout and fabric limitations. I’m going to try it straight on the grain! Your camisole is gorgeous!

    1. The one thing I should have mentioned about cutting this on the straight grain is that it’s on the shorter side and you might not be able to extend the length without widening the sides. I left mine short, thanks to the very decent rise on my new jeans, but just wanted to let you know! This is a great little pattern – have fun!

  6. This is so unbelievably gorgeous! It looks beautiful inside and out. Now I want to make a silk camisole out of scraps! Your projects are always so inspiring.

    1. Ack! That vest is so cool. Reminds me of Japanese boro – have you seen any examples of that? I’ll bet you’d love it if you haven’t seen it already!

  7. So inspirational! You tackle the trickiest fabrics and patterns fearlessly, Morgan. Love the cami, love the fact that it’s made out of scraps, love the color so much!

    1. I think working with scraps helped the fear factor. You should have seen me sweating when I cut into $40/yard silk I’d bought for a special dress….

  8. Yay, inside out!! I’m a huge proponent of having either reversible clothing (2 in 1!) or at least having the inside look as good as the outside. And, you’ve done it! I love the french seams, they add a lovely textural graphic to the camisol.

    1. Thank you, Ida! I spent quite a bit of time looking for the perfect vintage camisole pattern. This one has a lot of options and works nicely.

  9. Seeing this camisole just made me want to rush into my sewing room, start digging through my silk scraps and produce a week’s worth of gorgeous camisoles, for sleep and play….I didn’t but I wanted to.

  10. So inspiring to see you give create something so lovely out of mere scraps. I have been thinking a lot lately about ways use scraps. Gorgeous!

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