The Kiabi windbreaker: change of plans

Serious sewing has begun on the Kiabi windbreaker, a zero waste pattern which you can read about in last week’s post.

I’m in familiar sewing territory with this project, because I used to work in a factory that made similar things. Don’t envy me; it was during The Great Parachute Tracksuit Era, circa early 1990s.

The Kiabi windbreaker is a reversible top – it’s essentially two windbreakers, one inside the other, with shared collar, cuffs and waistband. Both sides are almost the same but one has a front zip pocket and the other has a patch pocket. I’ve used black nylon ripstop for one side and neon orange (pronounced: ORANGE!!!) for the other.

During the week I was thinking….I’m going to change it to be not reversible and instead make two single-layer windbreakers. I think two layers will be too hot to wear here, and since I’m planning to wear it on my bike, I’d like a cycling top to fold up really small when I take it off.

I know some of you are “following with interest” on this project but are intimidated by the 71 pieces involved, so maybe a single-layer windbreaker is a more reasonable plan.

So now I’m making two windbreakers, one black and one ORANGE!!! The shared parts in the original were in black, but I had a strip of ORANGE!!! left over which is just enough to cut a second set of new collar, cuffs and waistband. I’ll see at the end if there’s enough for a pocket. I bought a blue zip and cord for it.

After a day of sewing, I had an ORANGE!!! windbreaker far enough along to try on.

(The black windbreaker is partly sewn but still in pieces, not enough to try on. Alas, I stuck a too-hot iron on the front – looks like the black fabric isn’t quite as robust. Cool dry iron, please!)

Kiabi windbreaker in ORANGE!!! laid flat
Zero waste Kiabi windbreaker modelled by Liz
Zero waste Kiabi windbreaker sleeve length
I haven’t cut the cuffs and waistband yet but I don’t think I need cuffs…..
Sleeve length on Kiabi zero waste windcheater
….the sleeves are long enough to just make a hem and thread elastic through.
Side pieces on the zero waste Kiabi windbreaker
The windbreaker has a side gusset that runs the length of the sleeve and body. It has pleats as part of the design, but I’m omitting the pleats and using the extra fabric for pockets.
The collar on the Kiabi zero waste windbreaker
The collar looks great worn open however I think I’ll make a few tweaks when I sew the black windbreaker.
I’ll make it 1″ lower at the front (I have too because my zip is too short!), 1/4″ lower at the back, and at least 1/2″ bigger so I can wear a scarf underneath. Btw, these are in no way faults with the pattern at all, just my own personal quirks.
Back view Kiabi windbreaker
Here’s the back view.
Mr Haywood modelling the Kiabi windbreaker
Out of interest, I tried it on the ever-obliging Mr Haywood.
Of course it’s too small for him – this is a size C, the smallest size, and he would wear a D or an E.
On me it has 9″-10″ ease; on him it’s only 5″.
The sleeve length and depth are quite good on him.
Back view of Kiabi windbreaker

Join me next week!



  1. Barkat on August 17, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Amzingood zero wast sewing idea.

    • lizhaywood on August 20, 2021 at 11:07 am

      It is, and it’s a clever pattern too.

  2. Victoria Moore on August 18, 2021 at 3:37 am

    This is exciting. Practical makes are extra inspirational. As a cyclist, looking forward to seeing a pattern.

    • lizhaywood on August 20, 2021 at 11:08 am

      I haven’t tried it out on my bike yet but I think it’s going to be very good. The zip is long enough to take it off without taking my helmet off.

  3. Deepa on August 20, 2021 at 10:47 am

    This is cool. Your windbreaker looks superb. What’s the 7th picture? I quite did not get it. By the way the layout of 71 pieces is for making one windbreaker or two layers? Would it still be zero waste and use rectangle fabric if we make one layer? curious to know.

    • lizhaywood on August 20, 2021 at 11:13 am

      It’s got side gussets, and they’re pleated horizontally as a design detail. Without the pleats (I sewed mine in without the pleats) the gussets are much longer so I plan to just cut off the excess and use it for pockets.
      71 pieces (not actual pattern pieces; it’s 71 cut out pieces of fabric to assemble) is for making a windbreaker with two layers, so making one single-layer windbreaker has almost half that. Yes, it would still be zero waste with one layer but you’d have two pockets.

  4. Elaine on August 24, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Well there will be no missing you out and about. It is definitely ORANGE!!! And I quite like the contrasting blue.

    Elaine in Brisbane

    • lizhaywood on August 24, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Elaine 🙂 No motorist will be able to say “Oh sorry, I didn’t see you”!

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