The zero waste coat that makes me look like a Jedi

zero waste coat with light saber

Yep, it’s funny how an idle comment can change your perception of a garment….

Over the past few weeks I’ve been making some of the clothes from Zero Waste Sewing in different fabrics, and this week I made a coat.

Zero Waste Sewing has couple of coat patterns. One of them has a matching dress and the coat is lined with the dress fabric (Chanel liked to do this – here’s an example). I’m making the coat on its own.

Here’s the ensemble in the book:

Tessellated coat and dress

Here’s the sketch:

zero waste coat sketch

It’s a very simple shape. The coat and dress in the book are cut from the same pattern and constructed differently.

Here’s me wearing it:

zero waste coat and dress

I think the coat looks good on its own too. I’ve always liked long-line coats and cardigans worn over trousers; it’s a very relaxed look.

zero waste coat worn with trousers

I cut a pattern two sizes bigger which fitted neatly on 150cm wide fabric with a handy 5cm to spare at the side (which got used for a front facing). The fabric is wool coating, heavier than the lightweight denim used in the book.

The pattern pieces are tessellated – they fit into each other perfectly.

zero waste coat cutting out

I found some odd-shaped scraps of lining to give it a half lining. The lining could almost be used as a jacket on its own.

zero waste coat lining
zero waste coat without collar
zero waste coat with lining

I tried a few different looks for this coat:

zero waste coat no collar and belted
Belted. Not bad.
zero waste coat V neck

What if I cut a collar? I cut a selvedge-to-selvedge strip of wool, 33cm (13″) wide. I pressed it in half longways, wrong sides together.

I cut a deep V in the coat’s neckline and sewed the strip to it.

zero waste coat collar diagram

This collar idea could be used on any coat.

zero waste coat with collar attached

I took the partly-finished coat along to a sewing class for show & tell. They all thought I looked like a Jedi, but (being Star Wars fans) quickly added that that wasn’t a bad thing, y’know.

Jedi or not, I do like the collar and I love how I feel when I wear this coat.

I added a belt and extended the sleeves to full length. Not so Jedi now.

zero waste coat belted

There are a couple of outstanding things to finish: hem, pockets of some sort, stitch down cuff bands (realised interfacing is needed in these) and see if I can use the V pieces I cut off the fronts, in the interests of zero waste.

I wonder if some deep red handstitching would look good?

With cold weather still months away, finishing it off will be done at a leisurely pace.

zero waste coat


UPDATE: I revisted this coat later and tweaked it to perfection 🙂


  1. Kim on March 3, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I love this, and the collar looks as though it would make a snug and cosy seal against cold winds!

    • lizhaywood on March 3, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you; I think that’s what I like most about this coat.

  2. Fadanista on March 4, 2020 at 9:46 am

    This is an amazing hack, I love it!

    • lizhaywood on March 4, 2020 at 9:56 am

      Cheers Sue. Easiest collar ever!

  3. Sam Jacka on April 21, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    I really like the jacket Liz, especially with the collar

    • lizhaywood on April 21, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks Sam. Confession: I still haven’t finished it off – with warm autumn weather still here, motivation has slipped but will return suddenly in a week or two I predict!

  4. sara mcintire on October 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    just recently got your book – have made two dresses, working on a third. the most comfortable thing I have ever worn/made. just realized the jacket will be just the right thing for two fabrics I’ve had for (ahem) a “while.”thank you for this brilliant work

    • lizhaywood on October 5, 2021 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Sara, thanks for your lovely comment and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book 🙂

  5. Judy on November 16, 2023 at 4:45 am

    I love this coat, it is on my list. Starting experimenting with zero waste patterns a couple years ago…this is just great. will send picture when I am done

    • lizhaywood on November 16, 2023 at 10:02 am

      Cheers Judy. I wear this coat a LOT – actually wore it this morning to slip outside for a chore. Would love to see a picture of yours.

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