Simple, functional zero waste patterns are an integral part of the slow sewist's #MeMade wardrobe. If you're yet to try this waste-free method of sewing, the Block Pant from Birgitta Helmersson is an excellent pattern to start you off! Zero waste patterns are a bit like puzzles, so you'll need both time and patience up your sleeve for a project like this.
Zero waste pattern making requires you to utilise an entire length of fabric end-to-end and edge-to-edge, by strategically planning your pattern pieces and their layout, so that all of your fabric is used. This pattern is essentially ‘paperless’ meaning that no printing of large pattern pieces is required. Instead of using full scale paper patterns, you use measurements to draw your pattern pieces directly onto your fabric with the aid of a cutting plan and templates. Intrigued? Read on for our review of the Block Pant project, kindly modelled by Olivia from our HQ team!
The Block Pant features an elasticated waistband with front pleats, which lends it a semi-tailored look. Seam lines run across the back seat, and these help to maximise fabric usage. Concealed in-seam pockets at the front and patch pockets at the back complete the pattern. This style comes with a skirt hack too! The Block Pant is described as Advanced Beginner, which we'd agree with. Although the construction method is simple, it'll help immensely to have a little understanding of how zero waste patterns work before you begin. The pattern calls for a recommended fabric width of 140cm - 155cm. We used 1.4m of our Upcycled Cotton Twill – Blue Fade fabric, which is 148cm wide. This fabric is on the wider end of the recommended width, which meant our hems ended up being quite large. Our size called for 23cm of Woven Elastic 50mm - White and about 10cm of Fusible Interfacing - 50gsm / White.
We also chose to add a button fly to our pant, which required a little extra time spent reading this tutorial here. For the button closure, we used three of our Recycled Paper Button 15mm - Light and one Recycled Paper Button 25.4mm - Light.
Choosing to hack the fly meant that our instructions were interlinked across four different booklets, so we had to flick back and forth a fair bit. If you choose to do this too, we'd recommend reading through all of the instruction booklets first, and marking where/when you need to switch to a different instruction manual. Overall the diagrams and photos were very clear and super helpful!
Our Upcycled Cotton Range
The New Denim Project create this range of woven fabrics by collecting and sorting post-industrial cotton waste from local garment factories and grounding these scraps back into fibre. These fibres are then spun into new yarns again, to weave and upcycle into the collection of upcycled cotton fabrics you'll see in our stores. Isn't that incredible?! The cottonseed and lint from their upcycling process is then passed on to coffee-growers, Finca San Jeronimo Miramar, to use as compost to cultivate specialty coffee in the highlands of Guatemala. Upcycling this waste back into local production systems maintains it as a reusable and valuable resource, serving as food for new organisms. Yum!
The upcycling process minimises water and energy consumption and uses no dyes, chemicals or synthetic fibres. The lack of dyeing gives these fabrics a truely special finish which we love. You'll see a little speckle of history visible in the texture and colours of these fabric, particularly the denims. For this project, we used our midweight Upcycled Cotton Twill – Blue Fade.
Shop Upcycled Cotton in store and online today!