Choosing my Fabric and Making Toiles

For my grown top, I wanted a material that would be thick enough to hold the weight of the plants that are growing on it and would retain moisture, so the plants always have access to water whilst also being biodegradable. Through a lot of searching, I found a material made out of flax that is used to grow microgreens, although it was only available in 20cm x 100cm pieces. To see if it would be a viable material, I made a toile using two sections of 20cm x 100cm fabric I had cut out. To fully utilise all of the fabric, I cut each piece equally into three and then sewed each of the three pieces together to make two panelled pieces of fabric. To make my top pattern, I used a fitted bodice block and manipulated the darts on the front to under the bust to place them out of the way. I then copied the front and back patterns onto each of the panelled pieces, only copying the shoulder darts at the back, as I want my top to be quite loose fitting. I then sewed the shoulder darts and seams, then hand tacked the side seams, as I plan to do that with my final top so it can easily be taken on and off without disturbing the plants. From this toile, I found that if I were to make the top out of this fabric, it would be too short and revealing, so I discounted the flax fabric and looked for something else.

The second fabric I found was 100% organic bamboo wadding, which came in 1m x 2m pieces, which was more than enough, so I ordered it, and when it arrived, I made a similar toile to my first attempt, cropping and widening the neck-hole once I had cut the pieces out and sewn the shoulder darts and seams. I changed how I sewed the side seams shut by overlapping the fabric to fit snugly under my arms and using string to loosely sew them together. I am happy with how this toile turned out, it was a bit rough around the edges as I marked out everything in pen, and didn’t worry too much about marking everything on the inside, but it means I can make the final top much neater than this first try.

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