Zero waste is a term which has slowly percolated through the sewing community in the last few years, but it’s been around for as long as clothes themselves, with bog coats and authentic Japanese Kimonos possibly being the most common examples. Fabric was once a precious commodity and both utilitarian and luxurious garments were made with minimal waste, using squares and rectangles. Many of the modern zero waste patterns for home sewists utilise this same technique and it works well. However, once people desire more shape and therefore curves, zero waste becomes problematic and requires more creativity and lateral thinking.

I am going to focus on the home sewist rather than commercial garment design as that is the target audience for this post, and examine the concept of creating clothing that is both useful and environmentally sustainable.

Zero waste, as the... [read more]