Zero Waste Resources

Welcome! This page lists resources for zero waste patternmaking (mainly my own but some others too) and every zero waste pattern I’ve published.

Blog Posts

The post that started it all: Considering Zero Waste Fashion

Zero waste and fabric economy (do zero waste patterns really use more fabric?)

Making a zero waste pattern

Compostable clothes

7 Challenges of Zero Waste Patterns

6 Things I didn’t predict with zero waste patterncutting

My zero waste adventure (a guest blog for the Sewcialists)

How I came to write the Zero Waste Sewing book

Thoughts on zero waste toys

Changing a silhouette with unexpected armholes

Tips for writing sewing patterns

Tutorial: zero waste inseam pockets

Zero waste and bias cutting

Interview about zero waste in Thread & Needles blog/forum (in French), with accompanying review of zw culottes pattern (also in French).

Attempting a zero waste hat pattern here and here.

Cutting zero waste sleeves from triangles here and here.

How to adjust a zero waste sewing pattern

“Making” posts (where I make someone else’s zw pattern):

Making Wendy Ward’s zero waste trousers

Making Holly McQuillan’s spiral trousers

Making the zero waste Jones trousers by Goldfinch Textile Studio

Re-creating the Tuta

Making Magi trousers

Making low waste mittens by Process of Sewing

Making Danielle Elsner’s zw scrub top

The hug-me-tight experiment

Making Mompei trousers

Making the Kiabi windbreaker

Behold my zero waste jeans

Wearing a Square jacket from Pattern Magic 2

Underpants by Zero Waste Wardrobe

Birgitta Helmersson’s vintage shirt and slip dress both from the Zero Waste Patterns book.

Leggings from Stefanie Kroth’s book Zero Waste Nähen.

Nancy Zieman’s bias spiral

Making Holly McQuillan’s Arc T-shirt from the Zero Waste Fashion Design book here and here.

Books and Zines

There have been four, almost five, books published on zero waste patterns.

Zero Waste Fashion Design (2016 – second edition 2023) by Holly McQuillan and Timo Rissanen, Zero Waste Sewing (2020) by me, Zero Waste Nähen (2022) by Stefanie Kroth and Zero Waste Patterns (2023) by Birgitta Helmersson. A Year of Zero Waste Sewing by me is due to come out on March 11th 2024.

Zero Waste Sewing has its own separate page with a gallery of every pattern.

A Year of Zero Waste Sewing also has its own separate page.


Zero Waste Legacy Sewing hosted by Twins N Needles. An on-demand class where I look at 3 historic zw patterns and show how they can be used today.

A lecture on zero waste, hosted by Create and Sustain.

Making the Grade, a course on grading strategies for zero waste patterns, hosted by Zero Waste Design Collective. Also, take a look at their course Shifting Mindsets: From Conventional to Zero Waste Design.

Zero Waste Pattern Directories

Zero Waste Design Collective has a library of zero waste patterns, updated by pattern designers.

Zero Waste Pattern Database is a collection of zero and low waste patterns. A spreadsheet can be found here.

PDF Patterns

Bryer skirt. Read more here. Here are some ways to wear this skirt.
Clair skirt. Read more here. 6 ways to wear a tartan Clair skirt here.

Taking good photos flat lay
Sawyer hoodie. Read more here. Read a review by 3 different makers.
A set of blog posts on the making of this pattern: week 1 an idea in a sketch book; week 2 prototype and fabrics; week 3 sample sewing; week 4 illustrating the instructions; week 5 photography week; week 6 knit fabric experiment.
Xanthea top. Read more here. Making it in striped fabric. Making it as a sweatshirt. Here’s a dress version (free update). Using indigo dyed fabric.
Smith pinafore. Read more here. Making one out of old denim jeans.
Cendre Top zero waste
Cendre top. Read more here. Blooper reel here.
Ursa dress. Read more here.
Compact backpack
Compact backpack. Read more here. @sewandrew did a 2 hour sew-a-long for PfaffUK, showing how to convert the front pocket into a pouch to hold the folded-up backpack.

zw tie front top in lyocell/linen
Tie front top – extended size range. This pattern was originally published in the Zero Waste Sewing book in 5 sizes – this new revision has 20 sizes. Read more here and download a neck template.
Here’s about the original one from the book.

Magazine and Zine Patterns

Optimatium dress, published in Tauko magazine Issue #9.
Modular jacket from March zine worn by Liz, front view
Modular jacket – March zine from A Year of Zero Waste Sewing. Read more here. With added sashiko stitching and cut from a blanket. In fake fur for a book week costume. A denim one from old jeans.
Little satchel – May zine from A Year of Zero Waste Sewing. Read more here.
Eura dress – July zine from A Year of Zero Waste Sewing. Read more here and here.
Bias cut top (or dress) – September zine from A Year of Zero Waste Sewing. Read more here.
Pleated top (or dress/tunic) – December zine from A Year of Zero Waste Sewing. Read more here.

Free Patterns

This is a mixture of single-sized, experimental, drafted-from-measurements and multi-sized patterns.

Free pattern zero waste Ruffle tank
Ruffle top
As a sundress here
Oven mitt. Read the full drama: here, here, here and final pattern is here.
New zero waste undies cut out
Full briefs and here with bonus period pad
Bra. Original posts here and here. Then I revised the pattern here and here, with the final 8-sized pattern here.
Zero waste trousers with gusset
Trousers with diamond gusset. A better pattern, based on this one, comes with the scrubs.