|Zero Waste Patterns / Birgitta Helmerson
London: Quadrille, c2023.
I've been looking forward to this new Zero Waste book by Birgitta Helmersson, and was happy to find it in my library. I enjoyed looking through it, and reading her background to how and why she got to the Zero Waste pattern making stage. I also enjoyed the layout; logical structure and lots of nice large photographs of various models wearing the projects.
The subtitle of the book is "20 Projects to Sew Your Own Wardrobe". There are 20 projects by virtue of variations on 5 basic blocks - Tee, Trouser, Singlet, Skirt and Shirt. They are all in the traditional zero waste aesthetic - natural fibres, no prints, very loosely fitting with not many shaping options in them. And elastic waist skirts and trousers. If you like this aesthetic or can see past the oatmeal/beige colours, I think this will be a great book for you!
The instructions are well laid out, with cutting diagrams all fairly large and clear, including coloured notations for folds, slits or other special things to note. There are a handful of actual patterns for facings, pockets etc but these are so minimal that they are all printed inside the front and back covers (double fold covers) to trace off. She also explains the sizing of each pattern and the limitations when using the width of fabric as the base for a pattern (sizes are UK 6-30/US 2-26). There are suggestions given to enlarge a pattern when needed, by adding side panels or other ideas. But the fitting is pretty loose on most of these items also.
Unfortunately for me personally, I'm not really a fan of this kind of really oversize, boxy clothing. There is one variation on the shirt block that was interesting to me, as it has longer gathered sleeves and a bit more interest in detail. But I don't think I'm that likely to try any of these out very soon. I appreciate this book, though, and can see how the right reader will find this very helpful, as it not only has pattern charts but quite a lot of information on the zero waste approach. And it's pretty!
I was glad to have the chance to read this through my library, and appreciate the availability of this kind of sewing book.