New Pattern: Xanthea Zero Waste T-shirt

Hi Everyone, I have a new pattern: introducing Xanthea, a zero waste t-shirt.

It’s in my Etsy shop now; please enjoy 25% off for the next month.

The Xanthea t-shirt comes in nineteen sizes, to fit a 86cm/34″ bust to a 177cm/70″. The fit is loose and slightly boxy.

Xanthea zero waste t-shirt front and back sketch

It’s designed for knit fabrics such as t-shirt knit, jersey and French terry. Knit fabric versions feature a zip in-seam pocket.

The pattern can also be made in wovens such as linen, tencel, viscose, lawn, chambray and boiled wool.

Included is a long sleeve option which isn’t zero waste; it’s low waste and designed to leave you with useable rectangular offcuts.

Xanthea zero waste long sleeved t-shirt

Xanthea has an unusual construction. The body hangs on the bias with an X-shaped seam across the front. The pattern comes with a little paper model to cut out and tape together to understand how the pattern is constructed:

Xanthea paper model
The paper model is too big for Barbie but it might fit Ken 🙂

I think I might have two world “firsts” with Xanthea. I believe this is the first modern zero waste sewing pattern to go up to a 177cm/70″ bust and the first to feature a plus-size model in the primary image.

Here’s a gallery of Xanthea tops:

Xanthea top in linen
It’s lovely in linen. This is washed linen and it hangs and drapes beautifully.
Xanthea t-shirt in animal print
In a funky animal print mash-up knit.
Xanthea in peach recycled poly/cot
Here’s a long sleeved version in peach cotton/recycled polyester. You can clearly see the pocket.
Xanthea seated pose
A seated pose of the same top.
Xanthea top in shibori indigo
In woven fabric – it’s actually a piece of old sheet I dyed with indigo at the fibre craft retreat we went to a couple of months ago.
I already knew the dimensions of the top and specifically dyed the fabric for it.
Xanthea with exterior seams
This version has exterior seams, with the edges roll-hemmed on my overlocker.
Xanthea in boiled wool
In cosy boiled wool – there are special pattern notes for sewing the top in this fabric.

This pattern sprang from an online zero waste workshop I attended which was hosted by Zero Waste Design Online. The presenter was Danielle Elsener (who you might remember developed a zero waste scrubs pattern last year). It was worth getting up at 3am for!

I find “everyday basics” such as t-shirts, jeans etc difficult to do zero waste, because there’s an expected outcome. In the workshop we walked through a design process to identify attributes of a t-shirt, which ultimately resulted in a design brief to make something that’s recognizable to anyone as a t-shirt. The process could apply to any item.

Original sample of Xanthea top
This is the original sample I ran up after the workshop. I sewed it with exposed seams, but I got sick of my children telling me I had it on inside out!
Xanthea top original sample finished off
Later, I finished off the sample with a pocket and shortened the sleeves. It’s being worn by one of the “inside out” police.


UPDATE: see this pattern in stripes and as a fleecy top.


  1. Juliana on July 14, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Awesome! Spread the word! Can‘t wait to try it out!

    • lizhaywood on July 14, 2021 at 11:50 am

      Many thanks Juliana 🙂

  2. Deepa on July 14, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Lovely design. I love the narrative too 🙂 inside out police 😀

    • lizhaywood on July 14, 2021 at 11:53 am

      Thanks Deepa – I don’t think they knew about exposed seams 🙂

    • Barkat on November 9, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      Very nice Idea. Good job work I like.

      • lizhaywood on November 11, 2021 at 2:23 pm


  3. Anne D on July 14, 2021 at 7:40 am

    Love it. Off to buy the pattern !!

    • lizhaywood on July 14, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks so much Anne 🙂

  4. Tracy Henwood on July 14, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Beautiful design

    • lizhaywood on July 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks Tracy 🙂 I wondered if this could be a good candidate for hand woven fabric?

  5. Anthea Martin on July 14, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Great blog today, Liz.
    Well done and keep up the good work.
    Photos are great.

    • lizhaywood on July 14, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks Anthea, and thanks for all your help.

  6. Barkat on August 11, 2021 at 11:20 am

    So beautiful design. I like nice job work. Nice photo.

    • lizhaywood on August 11, 2021 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks Barkat 🙂

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