Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Zero Waste Sewing


My Envelope Dress

This month our Stratford Garment Guild speaker was Liz Haywood, all the way from Australia (the joys of Zoom!) She shared her vast knowledge of zero waste sewing, and really inspired us. Zero waste is a new area for me and so it's all really fascinating -- how it means you have to think about design differently, and the potential for a lot less wasted fabric, not only for home sewists but for the industry. So much to think about. 

The only zero waste pattern I've made thus far is the Envelope Dress by Criswood Sews I used a thrifted fabric for this one and used nearly all of it. It was a fun project and since the summer of 2020 when I made this one, I've seen many more zero waste patterns released. There are so many options to try out! I've ordered Liz Haywood's book Zero Waste Sewing for more info as well. 

There are also great podcasts on the topic to investigate if you're interested in more on this subject. You can listen to them and find all sorts of links on their show notes pages. 

Sew and Tell had a very recent episode on zero waste with lots of fun banter.

Check Your Thread, a podcast all about sustainability in sewing, had a solid episode on this theme last November. 

Love To Sew had a zero waste episode last spring, and the show notes are extensive.

And Sew Organised Style, an Australian podcast, featured a full interview with Liz Haywood on this topic last year. It really is a cool topic to explore -- I hope you'll have fun with it!


  1. Melanie, that dress looks beautiful!! I am so sorry I couldn't join your Group when Liz was speaking. I really wanted to. When you get Liz's book, the first shirt, 'the tie front top' is a really lovely make. And some very interesting sewing features.

    Something that has been on my mind though, and your previous post reminded me of this, is that I haven't actually worked out how you can add textural detail to ZW patterns. You can use these techniques to make pieces smaller in areas, eg pintucking in a bodice, but if you only want it for embellishment without change in size I wonder how it can be done - because the iterlocked pattern pieces drawn on fabric are not really negotiable. Just something to think about.

    Did you ever look at any of Lois Ericson's books? She was also a great one for texture and lots of other quirky ideas.

    1. Yes, there are limits to the Zero waste layplans I think! But there are good parts to any technique too :)

      I will look up Lois Ericson, I don't know her work but now I am intrigued.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!