It all started last week when I first saw a video from Zero Waste Fashion label Tonle.
I just loved this concept and couldn’t help but wonder if it was possible to achieve the same zero waste outcomes in a home sewing setting. It is reported that home sewing generally produces around 30% waste – surely I could do better than that?? So this week I gave it a go.
First thing I did was spend a little while playing around with the pattern pieces from a pattern I am working on at the moment. The aim was to see if they could be re-arranged and altered very slightly to take up a smaller amount of fabric.
Here is a pic of the final layout I came up with
When cut from the rectangle, and including all the serger tails and threads from sewing the garment up, this layout produced an 8% waste by weight:
Then I set my mind to how I might use up the small pieces. I settled on cutting thin strips, sewing them together where needed, and using them to make some ‘Nautical Knit Fabric twine’. I can use this for another project as a waistband or hoodie tie or the like.
Finally I used the final scraps the same way they do at Tonle – making paper.
I mixed 3 of the sheets of paper that I had printed the pattern pieces on, mixed with the fabric scraps to make 3 lovely textured pieces of paper. Here is a quick how to if you want to give this a go.
Here is how mine turned out – I love it!
I had a fun day on this project, but I would get very little done in my pattern design business if I dealt with all my waste this way. I am sure that there is a practical way though – stay tuned to hear about what I can come up with.
If you have a go at zero waste (or even less waste) home sewing be sure to grab some pics and hashtag them #sew4bub I would love to see what you come up with!
As always, thanks for reading.