Another adventure. This time in modern zero waste sewing.
I have 1.4m of 150cm wide medium weight linen, with a few barely noticeable weaving flaws, purchased from the remnant bin at Darn Cheap Fabrics. Also 40cm of dark teal light weight linen fabric, also from the remnant bin. I had found myself drawn to the lightweight fabric for the breathtaking colour and was happy no one else had swooped on it, even for a scarf, which was my original idea.
Total fabric cost 18AUD plus 4 AUD.
Zero waste has been part of human clothing since the first person managed to felt or weave or fashion a garment out of the materials available to them. Our forebears had no resources to waste. All the fancy construction methods we have now are a reflection of our relative wealth and the benefits of mechanisation. But here we are, with zero waste back in focus. Good.
I will be using a pattern I have drawn up from Zero Waste Sewing which I borrowed from my Guild library. I have already shortened the pattern and redrawn the side seams as I have so little fabric. I’m not tall and my tape measure tells me I will be fine for length. What is less certain is how the drape will be, especially considering a full bust adjustment is a standard step in most garment construction I do.
I also did not follow the described cutting layout with the shoulders lined up to the selvedges because of that constraint. I have a vision that includes using to stunning teal green linen.
These 8/2 cotton towels were a 2020 four shaft finish. Somehow I didn’t manage to write a blog post at the time, perhaps because I made them as end of year gifts and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.
I found the draft in an article online and it’s still available. The author describes them as teaching towels, where learners are encouraged to work with different colours and then compare notes. I followed this approach solo, by using one of the four different warp colours as weft for each towel.
I held one towel back for myself as it had a treadling error that was, to me, unfixable. It provided a good chance to test the absorbency (pretty good) and performance after several washes (fine.) I had been fearful that the long floats would catch on things, but that hasn’t been a problem.
I am very drawn to the Box Pleat Dress by The Assembly Line but it’s a big dollar investment to buy the pattern, especially while I have a drawer full of unused, unsewn patterns, many of which came from a charity shop. The Assembly Line allow you to sign up with them and receive a free downloadable pyjama pattern, a perfect way to get a taste of how they construct their patterns and put their instructions together. I decided to make the pyjamas to get a feeling for fit and ease of working with their patterns.
I am impressed. The pattern was easy to print and I experienced no print formatting issues, unlike the Wilder Gown which I made recently, where the only way I could get the pattern to print to the correct scale was to pay extra for the staff at the print shop to do it for me. No amount of fiddling with the settings worked for the Wilder Dress. So The Assembly Line got a big tick straight out of the blocks.
The instructions were easy to follow with a few minor English language translation issues along the way but nothing that slowed me down in getting the job done. I was glad I had printed the instructions out as I would otherwise have missed the note to use a 5mm seam allowance at the neck. Phew!
The instructions are very efficient and ‘production like’, a definite plus. The assembly does rely on having an overlocker/serger and I would have made some minor changes if I was restricted to a zig zag sewing machine only. I did also add a patch pocket to slip my phone into and to visually bring the top and pants together.
I chose Size L to make the pyjamas but had a change of heart and went for Size XL shorts after comparing the Size L pattern piece to a pair of pyjama pants that are a good fit. Turns out I was being over cautious as the shorts are roomier than they need to be. Oh well, that was the purpose of the exercise.
I will likely make the top again in Size M with a fba, to reduce some of the width at the side seams and get an improved silhouette. I am happy and will feel confident in The Assembly Line when the time comes to buy that Box Pleat Dress pattern.
This project using B6429 was a great demonstration of how fabric selection can transform an otherwise dull looking pattern.
I got the elephant fabric at a charity shop and assume it had previously been a sarong. The elephants were so cheery I couldn’t resist bringing them home. The sarong length wasn’t enough to cut the full tunic so I had to source extra fabric for the neck/front band and sleeve as shown in the photo. I first bought orange fabric for these components but fell out of love with the combination after I had cut it out. Instead I dipped into my stash for some blue broadcloth but retained the orange for the inside facing.
Being unisex, the sizing is generous. Next time I makethe tunic I will use size Medium again but will cut 5cm of width out of the yoke and front and back body pieces.
I have since made the XL pants as loungewear for my beloved, adding a deep pocket. Again, the fit was generous. For extra challenge and entertainment I drafted and added buttoned fly front. But that is a story for another day. Many lessons were learned.
While I do recommend the pattern, makers should know that it’s easy except for attaching the front button band and neck, which does take a bit of precision.