New pattern: zero waste bag duo

Hi Everyone, I have a new zero waste pattern. Actually it’s two patterns, both bags.

It’s in my Etsy shop now; please enjoy 25% off for the next month. Both patterns are together in the same listing.

They’re very suitable for walking, cycling….or making as presents for the walker or cyclist in your life!

Zero waste bags

Both are designed for the same types of fabric: denim, canvas, oilskin or upholstery cloths.

Let me tell you a bit about each bag….

Waist bag

What do you call these? Bum bag? Fanny pack? Waist bag? I chose the least offensive-sounding name!

How I came to make this pattern:

My husband bet I couldn’t make one zero waste. I bet I could 🙂

I won.

Original sketch for zero waste waist bag
Here’s the original “pass me that sketchpad” drawing. The layout didn’t quite turn out like this in the end, but fairly close.
Zero waste layout for waist bag
It turned out like this.

Because this bag is cut in modular units, it can be cut from smaller pieces of fabric to fit what you have – maybe you have pieces of denim left from another project (such as a Smith pinafore?). It would be very suitable for old jeans or other recycled fabrics.

Denim waist bag
When cutting a single bag, the layout yields a bonus coin purse which is designed to clip inside.
Zero waste waist bag showing loop inside
There’s a loop inside the bag to clip your keys etc on. Or you could clip the coin purse on (but I didn’t put the loop on this coin purse).
Back view of waist bag
The back has a zipped pocket, ideal for spare masks, $100 notes, whatever.

Velo bag

UPDATE: this pattern can be converted to a small backpack here.

This zero waste bag is my own invention but it was born from a 25 year old memory of a bag that a cyclist friend had. I think it might have been a prototype for a now long-gone outdoors brand. I thought it was pretty neat at the time but I never saw another one.

So I used the memory as a starting point. I recalled the bag was shaped like a mini backpack and had a handle at the top.

Mine has two interior pockets and one exterior zip pocket. It can hold 3 waterbottles. It’s designed to be worn while cycling and is equally good for walking, and unlike a backpack, the bag can be easily accessed while riding along.

Zero waist cyclist bag
The grey on the front is Scotchlite reflective tape, harvested from some overalls I got from the op shop.
Sanderson fabric zero waste velo bag
I also made one from an offcut of upholstery linen I bought ages ago at the op shop. It’s not Liberty – it’s William Morris Roses in Arthur Sanderson fabric. It was an odd L-shaped piece. This fabric was a dream to sew and press, and is surely the prettiest piece of cycling gear I now own!

The velo bag is two bags in one: it becomes a smaller waist bag if you fasten the handle’s buttonhole to the button at the back.

Smaller waist bag from zero waste velo bag
Zero waste velo bag worn as smaller waist bag.
Zero waste velo bag showing interior
The interior pockets, as seen when the bag is a smaller waist bag.
Zero waste velo bag layout
As with the waist bag, the pattern pieces are modular, so if you have smaller pieces of fabric it can be cut in separate units to fit what you have.

I’m really happy with this bag and I had a lot of enjoyment from making and then testing the prototype.



  1. Alison Marshall on September 29, 2021 at 1:19 am

    Fabulous and what a great idea. A x

    • lizhaywood on September 29, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Alison!

  2. Carol in Denver on September 29, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Both are very attractive and appear to be highly functional. Congratulations on skillful creativity!

    • lizhaywood on September 29, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Carol, the samples have already had a bit of use in our household already.

  3. Frances on October 1, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Love them, functional, zero waste and stylish. What more could we want 🙂

    • lizhaywood on October 1, 2021 at 1:39 pm

      Cheers, Frances 🙂

  4. Margaret Davies on October 1, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Already printed and added to pattern stash!

    Do you have any idea what’s next on the drawing board?

    • lizhaywood on October 1, 2021 at 2:54 pm

      Many thanks Margaret!
      I’m currently extending the size range of the tie front top in the Zero Waste Sewing book. 3 years on I’m more confident with zero waste to attempt more sizes 🙂

      • Margaret Davies on October 1, 2021 at 6:34 pm

        Happy dance from me

  5. Savita Raj on October 1, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    What a lovely pair of patterns! Thank you.

    • lizhaywood on October 2, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      Cheers Savita!

  6. Barkat on October 1, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Beautiful zero waste sewing bag

    • lizhaywood on October 2, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you 🙂

      • Barkat on November 9, 2021 at 3:45 pm

        You are most welcome.

  7. Karin van Bruggen on October 3, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    What an attractive pattern, so clever to be able to fold it!

    • lizhaywood on October 3, 2021 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks Karin; it’s had lots of use already 🙂

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