Zero waste tie front top

zero waste tie front top 2

I’ve been sewing (for me) one of the projects from my forthcoming book Zero Waste Sewing – the tie front top. Here’s what it looks like in the book:

zero waste tie front top from book

And here’s mine:

zero waste tie front top 6
zero waste tie front top 4

This is the fourth version of this top I’ve made; some of my sewing students have made it too.

For this one, I used Japanese lawn from Spotlight. I originally bought it to make THE sample for the book, and I was going to style it with green tweed zero waste trousers. However, the trousers got pulled from the book (ran out of space) and I thought it was important to show the top in a striped fabric since it’s cut on the bias. The white dobby stripe we used instead looked lovely on the model.

This top is very economical on fabric: it takes a 115cm x 115cm (45″ x 45″) square of fabric for all sizes (8-16, but a 16 top will also fit a 18 and 20 body, just with less ease). I’ve noticed that zero waste patterns tend to use the same amount or less fabric as similar non-zero waste garments.

My sewing students easily made this top in 2 x 3-hour classes (and they were working from an early version of the pattern, although they had me there. Their feedback certainly tightened up the instructions).

The top pulls on over the head, so there are no fastenings and the only notions required are thread.

The pattern is drawn straight onto the fabric from measurements given in the instructions. This is a different way of working for many of us, and it can feel confronting to just draw and cut, but I was surprised to notice that working this way gave me a confidence boost that transferred to the rest of my sewing.

zero waste tie front top cutting out
Here are the bits. The tie is obviously at the bottom and the sleeves are at the top. The neckline has yet to be cut.

I’ve tried various samples of this on quite a few different bodies now and it always looks good.

I’d planned to wear it to a book talk on the weekend (with brown linen Burda trousers) but the weather turned chilly and I wore my Tuta instead, with a full suit of thermal undies underneath. So while I didn’t end up wearing this top, I had an extra sample to show and an enjoyable time making it.



  1. Fadanista on October 28, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    I really like this top, particularly the sleeves.

    • lizhaywood on October 29, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Thank you – the sleeves are what I like most about this top.

  2. Deanna Van Velsen on December 3, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    It looks great. I have just ordered your book, bye from Deanna in Brisbane

    • lizhaywood on December 3, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      Many thanks Deanna, I hope you will enjoy it.

    • Peg on October 15, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      Your book was in my post box on Monday night and have been devouring in any spare moment since then. After seeing this beautiful floral version of this top I think it might be my first make from the book. Great book and blog. Thank you, Peg

      • lizhaywood on October 15, 2020 at 7:49 pm

        Thanks Peg, and many thanks for reading 🙂

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