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Marta & Leaf Try Zero Waste

Our whole staff was so enamored by Brigitta Helmersson's new book, Zero Waste Patterns, when it arrived at Fancy Tiger Crafts, we knew we couldn't just make one sample from it! With the arrival of Robert Kaufman's lovely Waterford and Antwerp linen, Marta and Leaf instantly knew it was a match made in heaven. Using zero waste pattern blocks was new territory for both Leaf and Marta, so read on to learn about their experience tackling their first zero waste projects!

Marta's Zero Waste Trousers 

Instagram: @_martooth
Pattern: Zero Waste Trousers from Zero Waste Patterns by Brigitta Helmersson
Size Made: 5xl
Materials Used: 1.91 yards (69”) of Waterford Linen (54” wide)

Modifications: Shortened legs by 13” so not quite zero waste on my first try 

When we received Zero Waste Patterns at the shop, we all began to buzz a little bit! It was definitely the hot topic of conversation for days as we all had a chance to look through it and decide on what projects we wanted to try first. I love to wear pants, and because of this I end up making a lot of them, so it only seemed right that my first project would be the Trousers!The construction of these pants is simple and straight forward, and I can see my self making many more variations of them in the future. I struggled a bit with the cutting layout since I’ve never made a zero waste garment before and wrapping my head around how it would work was a little conceptual compared to simply using a fully pre-drafted pattern. I think that as I make my way through the book though, the math and shapes will get easier to visualize. I also found it challenging having to flip back and forth between pages to look for measurements and instructions. I think in the future I may take the time to transcribe all of the information and measurements that I need for whichever garment I’m making onto one sheet of paper to make this easier on myself.Brigitta notes that the pattern pieces for the trousers are very straight, making for a very square garment. She has written in a variation for doing a small amount of waist shaping by taking in a 1” wedge at each side- I opted to do this variation, and I’m glad that I did. I love the fit of these trousers. The pockets are made from the waste created by the crotch curve, and because of that they are gloriously huge! Definitely big enough for both phone and wallet, and I’m not worried about either falling out as I walk. I also had to shorten these by a hefty 13”, so not quite zero waste on my first try. I obviously did some math wrong, since I don’t think that these were supposed to need quite that much taken off. But you live, you learn, you trim 13” of length off your pant legs. At least I have some matching scraps for mending these when the inner thighs inevitably start to give out, so maybe still zero waste after all! I chose to use a heavy weight, undyed linen for these, and am really happy with the results. The weight adds some heft and structure, while still keeping the rumpled linen look and breathability that I love so much. Next up I’m definitely going to try making the Singlet tank top from the book, as well as the Gathered Dress- which has been on my “to make” list for literal years now, but has been moved up the cue again because of how successful these trousers have been!

Leaf's Zero Waste Vintage Shirt 

Instagram: @manic_twink
Pattern: Vintage Shirt in the Zero Waste Patterns book by Birgitta Helmersson
Size Made: NA
Materials Used: Robert Kaufman's Antwerp Linen
Modifications: Minimal due to it being zero waste so just a bit of fitting  

Zero waste patterns is a book I was so excited to get in. I think the designs are beautiful and I really like that there is zero or in my case minimal waste.  Because the fashion industry is so wasteful and damaging to the environment I often wonder about my own foot print. The Zero Waste book helped me be more connected to the process and pushed me to think about my waste and how it’s used if at all. For my project I made the vintage shirt which is basically the block shirt. This project is zero waste but I found I wanted a bit of a better fit so I made some adjustments and added a side seam. That being said, I think the boxy fit of the garment make it nice for a wide range of bodies!The project was over all pretty easy and fun! I loved the limitations and would like to try other projects from the book. I love the feel of the linen I used. In the book the shirt is made from a vintage table cloth and I think I’ll be on the hunt for one of those next!  As far as how it fits into my wardrobe I’d say it’s more of a want than need. I think the process and trying something new was on the forefront of my mind here. Overall it was fun and not too challenging I’d suggest this book to anyone looking to broaden their slow fashion wardrobe!

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