I’m all for zero waste, but the last time I attempted a zero waste garment it didn’t turn out so well.

What can I say. Not great unless you are after a Japanese look.

This time zero waste wasn’t my intention, but this is all that was left of 2m of batik, 120 wide. Not quite zero, but pretty darn close!

We are about to treat ourselves to a holiday in Vanuatu, after a very stressful and extremely busy year. Once upon a time I had 3 weeks off for my Christmas summer break, but this year it appears not only to be late, but to have shrunk as well. Still, one week is better than nothing. I am so tired I intend to veg and do nothing but eat and sleep. Forget sightseeing, culture and shopping, I intend to be almost exclusively in the pool or in the horizontal. (Well, maybe a bit of fabric shopping, if there is anything interesting.)

What I thought was needed to swan around the resort, on my way to meals, was a tropical style caftan. Not the sort of garment I need in my everyday life or will wear once back home, but I had some batik left from my last Bali trip and was going to give it a go.

I started off tearing a 6cm strip off along the end of my fabric, for the shoulder strap. Then I sewed the fabric length into the round with a French seam and topstitched that. I made this the side seam opposite the draped side and used a bodice pattern piece (Eva dress) to cut the armscye. I didn’t bother to make the front and back armscye different, just layed the back piece onto the doubled fabric and cut the armscye and shoulder with a rotary cutter. I sewed up the shoulder seam and finished the armscye with a bias trip in a matching colour. This resulted in a rectangle with an armscye in the top corner, worn on an angle.

The shoulder strap had to be placed carefully to hide my bra straps and this would have been a great deal easier with some help. But DH was at work, as he always is right now, and I eventually managed to get the straps in the right place. This took longer than all the rest of the sewing time on this garment! Then I sewed up the open fabric below my armpit and let it drape down.

All that was left now was to use the cut off piece from the armscye to make a tie to gather the straps on the top of my shoulder into a sort of simulated bow and hand sew this in place. Mission accomplished!

…and some location shots…