New zero waste pattern: Lillypilly Dress

zero waste Lillypilly dress short

Hello All, today I’ve released a new zero waste pattern, which I feel very excited about but at the same time a little bit sad. It’s one of the projects I was going to present at a workshop at the Australian Sewing Guild’s convention later this year, which like most gatherings is now cancelled.

The Lillypilly dress is made from woven fabric, cut in a simple A-line with a cowl neck, pockets and bound armholes. It pulls on over the head; there are no closures.

It could possibly be the perfect working-from-home dress. A flattering cowl neck for teleconferences…and leggings underneath!

I would have liked to show a variety of models in this dress, but due to isolation you’ve just got me 🙂 Fortunately I tested and fitted the dress on other bodies last year when I prepared the convention proposal.

The dress can be made in three lengths depending on the width of the fabric: 115cm, 130cm or 150cm (45″, 51″ or 59″).

Lillypilly dress all views

I’ve tried this dress in several types of fabric:

Lillypilly dress zero waste blue dress
It’s lovely in 100% linen.
Lillypilly dress zero waste short dress back view
This is thick wool boucle – it’s so warm! Boiled wool would also be good.
Lillypilly Dress long dress
The long dress is in a wool blend that has drape.
zero waste Lillypilly dress in curtain fabric
Just for fun, I tried it in some curtain fabric.
(I made my sister a beach bag from the same fabric, so I’m reluctant to wear this dress to family beach gatherings!)

There’s a choice of pockets: patch or in-seam, using the same pattern pieces.

Lillypilly dress zero waste patch pocket
zero waste Lillypilly dress contrast pockets
I really enjoyed making these pockets.
Lillypilly dress zero waste inseam pocket
The in-seam pockets get larger as the dress size gets larger (such is the nature of zero waste).

The cowl neck can be worn in three different ways: loose, folded and pinned with a brooch or gathered with a cord.

Lillypilly dress neckline

The format of this pattern is similar to the projects in Zero Waste Sewing and the free scrubs pattern. The pattern pieces are drawn straight onto the fabric and there’s a template for the armhole. There are no pattern pieces to print out and tape together. The instructions are in metric and imperial. Sizes are 8-28 (to fit bust 87cm-137cm/34.25″-54″) and bust darts can be added to improve the fit for large busts.

The dress pattern is in my Etsy shop. Please enjoy 25% off this pattern during May.



Take a look at SewingElle’s version here.

Kate Price’s is here.


  1. Linda Northcott on May 11, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Elizabeth,
    What a fantastic pattern. Is it an Acrobat PDF or a Zip file?
    Thank you,
    Linda Northcott

    • lizhaywood on May 11, 2020 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Linda. It’s a PDF, one is 16MB and the other is 7MB. Had to split it into two parts for Etsy.

      • Linda Northcott on May 12, 2020 at 3:07 pm

        thank you very much. will be putting in my order quick smart.

  2. Filambulle on May 23, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Have you tested the patterns on someone with large shoulders? Cowl neck do flatter me (usually lower and without the high back) but the overall a line I am unsure would do anything for me.
    So now I am wondering what I could do with the excess fabric if I modified the neck. This no waste way of sewing is inspiring!

    Thank you for your comment on my blog (for the brown/green hat). I should post photos of the two harem pants my (14 and 16) boys made with your no waste pant tutorial (and some help from their mother) to wear during the confinement. They are VERY colourful! We used old 70s bedsheets I had bought second hand.

    • lizhaywood on May 23, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      Alas no, we didn’t, only average or sloping shoulders. The cowl neck can be shortened without wasting fabric, which would make the dress length longer and require slightly more fabric – one thing affects another with zero waste. To make changes I recommend making a paper pattern before cutting.
      I’m mega impressed with your boys’ sewing adventures. Yes, I would love to see what they made.

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