New pattern: the zero waste Cendre Top

Cendre Top zero waste

Hello Everyone, I have a new zero waste pattern: introducing the Cendre Top.

It’s in my little Etsy shop now; please enjoy 25% off during November.

zero waste Cendre Top with tie front

This pattern comes in 12 sizes, from an 87cm/34″ bust to a 142cm/56″ and can be made in bigger sizes if needed.

The pattern pieces are drawn straight onto the fabric, so there are no patterns to print out and tape together. This top is actually fairly simple to cut and sew – it would be a good first zero waste pattern if you haven’t tried one before.

It features gathered balloon sleeves, optional bust darts and pulls on over the head. It has a tie neck.

It has options for two other types of necklines, which take the same amount of fabric; they’re just cut and sewn differently.

There’s a frill neck:

zero waste Cendre top frill neck

and a boat neck with a belt:

zero waste Cendre Top with boat neck and belt

The pattern is designed for 110cm/43″ wide fabric, but it can be a bit wider or a bit narrower. Suitable fabrics include cotton lawn, Liberty Tana lawn, quilting cotton, broiderie anglaise, cotton gingham, poplin and chambray. Light, crisp fabrics work very well. For warmer fabrics, choose from baby cord and soft cotton drill.

I can’t resist florals! Here it is in a floral fine cotton lawn.

zero waste Cendre Top in cotton lawn

The Cendre Top was a pattern I originally developed for Zero Waste Sewing, but I never 100% resolved the neckline, and as it turned out I ran out of room in the book anyway. The sample for Zero Waste Sewing was made in a lightweight floral and I wore it in photographs with the Smith Pinafore:

low waste Smith Pinafore

But wait! There’s more!

By adding a simple dirndl skirt (instructions included), you have a two piece dress. The skirt is gathered onto a waistband with a back zip. It can be made any size.

zero waste Cendre Top dress in pink floral closeup
zero waste Cendre Top with skirt in pink floral

Cutting it as a two piece dress allows you far more flexibility. You can use any fabric width and choose any length for the top and skirt.

zero waste Cendre Top with frills as dress

Of course it has pockets!!! Good, deep pockets!!!

zero waste Cendre top as a dress with pockets



  1. Barkat on November 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Beautiful dress & design. Good job. New pattern for the zero wast fashion.good look.

    • lizhaywood on November 13, 2020 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you Barkat!

  2. Lisbeth on November 14, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Hi Liz.
    What a nice top!
    I like dropped shoulders so much.

    • lizhaywood on November 14, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Thanks Lisbeth!

  3. Molly Tinsley on November 14, 2020 at 11:17 am

    What a fabulous, interesting top ! I love the sleeves, and the ruffled version.

    I spent the day yesterday sewing doing the initial sticking the pattern together, and cutting it out, and sticking it on the fabric, and cutting that out, without ever actually quite getting to the sewing bit. I think I’m going to try this pattern, and just go straight to the cutting and sewing of the fabric !!

    • lizhaywood on November 14, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you Molly 🙂
      This is a simple layout and a good one if you haven’t tried these type of patterns before.
      To be honest, initially I found it a bit confronting to draw straight onto the fabric and then cut out, but then discovered it boosted my overall confidence.

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