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Pattern Reviews — Zero Waste Gather Dress

Pattern Reviews — Zero Waste Gather Dress

We love the concept of zero waste patternmaking as an inherently sustainable approach to making clothes. It can be quite a complex process producing zero waste patterns and Birgitta Helmersson has done an amazing job of this with her Zero Waste Gather Dress. The Gather Dress looks so dreamy in our Bold Gingham Linen; a perfect throw-on dress for warm sunny days and easy to layer up with tights in cooler weather.

Keep reading below to see how we got on with this project, kindly modelled by Steph from our HQ team!

Pattern Review

Birgitta Helmersson Zero Waste Gather Dress

Zero waste garments are produced with little to no textile waste thanks to some clever pattern manipulation. There are loads of handy articles about how this type of patternmaking works available online, including this one from our friends at Seamwork Magazine.

This Gather Dress pattern comes in two size ranges and due to the zero waste nature of the pattern each size has slightly different variations in the design. Check out the variations here. We opted for size One for Steph, which Birgitta suggests will fit sizes AUS / UK 8-16 and is designed to fit a 145cm wide fabric.

The Size One Gather Dress features a drop shoulder, cropped sleeve, and also comes with a few hacks. We chose Hack 1, which is the version with a shortened button placket as we thought it would suit the scale of our bold gingham perfectly! We used 2.5m of our Bold Gingham Linen - Duck Egg Linen which is exactly what is specified for this dress.

It’s important to note that this Zero Waste downloadable PDF pattern is not technically a 'printed pattern' but rather an instruction manual and list of measurements to mark directly onto your fabric. The pieces are broken into simple blocks that are easy to modify - if you require a longer length or you need to adapt to different fabric widths.

The Zero Waste Gather Dress instructions were simple to follow with advice on how to make adjustments and style changes, a section which we definitely recommend reading. Birgitta Helmersson also has several tutorials on her website for this Zero Waste Gather Dress and related hacks.

This pattern is classified for an Advanced Beginner Sewer and we agree with this as although it was straightforward overall, the general planning of the pattern and details like buttonholes and pockets would require a little prior sewing knowledge.

To purchase this Zero Waste Gather Dress pattern PDF download, visit Birgitta's website here.

Fabric Recommendations

Birgitta Helmersson recommends using linen or cotton fabrics for this pattern, and our Bold Gingham Linen turned out to be a perfect choice! As this dress has a full gathered skirt, light-midweight fabric is preferable. Think Vintage Finish Linens, Gingham Linen, Liberty Tana Lawn cottons, or even a Japanese Wool Cotton Gauze would make up beautifully in this oversized silhouette!

See some other suggestions below from top to bottom Fine Stripe Linen Rainbow, Tiny Polka Dot Cotton Shirting, Liberty Saville Poplin Pirouette / C, and Crinkle Linen Paprika.

This dress was super lovely to sew especially in this textured Bold Gingham Linen and extra satisfying knowing there was no fabric waste at all! Check out a previous review of Birgitta Helmerssons Zero Waste Coat pattern here.

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