Let the fabric inform the design direction

Let the fabric inform the design direction. What does that really mean, practically? It sounds a little nebulous and mysterious, like a departed guru appearing in a dream and bestowing wisdom in that echo-y voice they use in the movies, something like: You must listen to your inner voice, or Use the Force Luke, or…

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The Dressmaker's Companion

The Dressmaker’s Companion has just turned 4 and I thought I would share part of the writing process: the index. I hope that doesn’t sound too dry and ordinary! (You can read my whole publishing story here.) I had always (mistakenly) thought of an index as a kind of expanded table of contents, but it’s…

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Mompei trousers

Weaver Kaz Madigan of the Curiousweaver studio alerted me to a free pattern on her website for making mompei trousers, a traditional Japanese pattern. The pattern was originally published in Curious Weaver mag 25 years ago and is ideal for narrow widths of handwoven fabric. A Japanese friend said her grandma used to wear them.…

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Last week I finished sewing the zero waste Kiabi windbreaker, and this week I have a tutorial on how to add a fold-away hood concealed inside the collar. This would work for any anorak/windbreaker that has a stand collar. I’ve distilled the instructions down to one page, with notes and photos to follow: Some notes……

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Yay! I finished it! Or rather, them. It’s been a slow but fun process constructing Zero Waste Design Online’s Kiabi windbreaker (read the first post where I started this project). Last week I decided to make two separate windbreakers rather than one double-layer reversible one, and this week I finished them. How much time did…

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Serious sewing has begun on the Kiabi windbreaker, a zero waste pattern which you can read about in last week’s post. I’m in familiar sewing territory with this project, because I used to work in a factory that made similar things. Don’t envy me; it was during The Great Parachute Tracksuit Era, circa early 1990s.…

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The Kiabi windbreaker is a gender-neutral zero waste pattern originally developed by French brand Kiabi in collaboration with Mylène L’Orguilloux, co-founder of Zero Waste Design Online Collective . It’s been adapted into a pattern that can be sewn at home. The pattern is available here. Here’s a short video showing the design process (4:23min) The…

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I’ve just whipped up a fleecy top using the new zero waste Xanthea t-shirt pattern. The pattern comes with a long sleeve option. The Xanthea pattern is in my shop with 25% off for the next two weeks. If you’re thinking of making a fleecy top from a Xanthea pattern, here’s the ribbing measurements based…

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During the week I made a couple of heat bags designed for the neck and shoulders. I made them out of scraps. Wait a minute, don’t I only do zero waste? Why am I doing things with scraps? Yes, I do generate scraps, but now they’re all of the useable rectangular type. Typically they’re the…

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Xanthea in stripes worn by Liz

Thank you All, for your positive reception to the zero waste Xanthea t-shirt pattern last week. A couple of people asked to see what it looked like in striped fabric. If you’re reading this with a view to making a Xanthea in stripes, here’s some details… Here’s an exclusive excerpt from The Dressmaker’s Companion on…

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