Making a zero waste Kiabi windbreaker

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)
It’s in French – click on “captions” at the bottom right for English subtitles.

The windbreaker is reversible (ie a double layer) – you can swap the pieces around to colour block or make it in a solid colour.

The windbreaker has some nice details. Often these come about during the zero waste design process.

Detail of Kiabi windbreaker's collar
(Photo source)
Kiabi windbreaker pocket detail
(Photo source)

I’ve been keen to try this but the project has had a few false starts. I took the files to the photocopy shop to get printed but they were under new management and temporarily closed. Then we had school holidays. Then we had a snap 7-day lockdown. Then I was too busy getting the Xanthea t-shirt pattern finished, and I sort of forgot about it.

It came back on the radar as I was browsing the zipper aisle at Clare Fashion and Fabrics and saw they sold reversible zips, and I remembered the windbreaker needed one. (This shop continues to surprise me. It’s a descendant of the “country drapery” and sells quilting supplies, ladies clothes and menswear, all good quality. They also stock unexpected things such as curtain header, a single roll of gold lame, and the latest American craft books. I didn’t think they would have reversible zips though.)

Fabrics for the Kiabi windbreaker -nylon ripstop in black and ORANGE!
I dug around for some fabric at home, and surfaced with some nylon ripstop originally from the op shop. I have an eye-shattering neon orange and plain black. Actually it should be pronounced “ORANGE!!!” Not what I would normally wear, but I want to wear this for bike riding so the hi-vis orange will be perfect.
Reversible zip
Here’s that reversible zip.

There’s quite a bit of reading to do to before charging in with the scissors and sewing machine but the pattern instructions are easy to read. I can certainly appreciate how much work it has been to develop this pattern for home sewing. There’s support and advice on Zero Waste Design Online’s forum.

There are two options for the pattern – either to print out a complete cutting layout for your size (which is what I did) OR print out all the pieces in graded nests and make your own cutting layout according to the suggestions.

Cutting out the Kiabi windbreaker
The pattern prints out onto 48 x A4 sheets, and I’ll admit that taping them together was a major marathon. I did it in two sessions.
It fitted quite well on to the nylon ripstop with a small border on each side. There are helpful ideas in the pattern for maximising fabric use if you have different width fabrics.
You need table space for cutting out this pattern!
If you happen to be reading this and making one, I’m making size C and I cut Unit 1 & 2 in black and ORANGE!!! and Units 3 & 4 in black only.

It’s all been fairly smooth sailing so far. This is def no “5-minute make” – there are 71 pattern pieces – but I’m looking forward to sewing it together during the week.

The Kiabi windbreaker all cut out
So this is where I’m up to – all cut out and ready to sew.

Until next week!



  1. Michelle Cahill on August 12, 2021 at 12:29 am

    That looks rather intimidating I must say. Awesome, but intimidating.

    • lizhaywood on August 12, 2021 at 8:50 am

      Haha! It does look intimidating at a glance but it’s been OK step-by-step.

  2. Sam (Frugalisama) on August 12, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out Liz

    • lizhaywood on August 12, 2021 at 10:01 pm

      Me too:) I’ve seen one on ZWDO’s slack forum made all in white and the maker was very happy with it.

  3. Brenda on September 29, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Absolutely loving the concept of this. Will look for some fabric and give it a try.

    • lizhaywood on September 30, 2021 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Brenda – I do recommend this pattern 🙂

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