Have you ever gotten a crazy at the fabric store? Did you ever buy a bunch of patchwork fabric you had no idea what to do with? We all get starry eyed for certain prints and later find it hard to fit them to a clothing design that is suitable, especially with quilters cottons.

I picked out this lovely collection from Little Shop of Stitches in Miamisburg. I believe I bought four yards total of each of the coordinate fabrics and one panel of the large print fabric.

Tip When buying fabric check to see what it looks like from far away. This is what people will actually see. It’s never the same as what you see in the store. Our eyes pick up details and not an overall look.

I drew up a design on Procreate that I thought would be super cute. I was so WRONG!!

I spent an entire Friday night playing patchwork tetris on my living room floor with what I had already spent two hours cutting. I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of fun matching and moving blocks around. I see why quilters love precuts.

Unfortunately, once I surged all of my pieces together, row by row, and hung it on the dress form I saw the fatal flaw. This cotton material already has a slight stiff body and when sewn together with a serger it was even stiffer. My dress was not happening. Once again I was sitting on a project and learning valuable lessons the hard way.

Originally when I walked into the Little Shop I wanted to make Jam pants. These were wide leg, bright colored cotton fabric pants that were very trendy in the 1980s. I never had a pair because my mom didn’t believe in buying anything new.

It’s not a dress, but I could salvage this project with a simple pajama pant pattern. I took one of my PJ pant patterns and redrafted it to have no side seams. I did this by pinning the front pieces to the back piece and tracing around it on new tissue paper. As strategically as possible I cut my print to have no critters near my crotch line.

I took the two top and bottom pyramid pieces and made an a-line top. I was lucky, incredibly lucky in fact, to be winging it and making it work! Well… sort of, the top is no where near perfect.

I used the final scraps and made a band casing for the PJ pants. Boom, once again zero waste!


This project was all labor but well worth it. I can tell you from experience it is better to try and fail than to let the fabric sit on a shelf. If something goes wrong I can always buy more fabric! Little Shop is always there for me.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!



Tracy McElfresh
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