BIRGITTA HELMERSSON ∙ Zero Waste Gather Dress PDF Sewing Pattern

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Please note: This PDF sewing pattern uses zero waste pattern cutting and comprises of instructions to draw shapes directly onto your fabric. With the exception of some small templates, there are no pattern pieces to print out and tape together.

Zero Waste pattern cutting is a bit like a puzzle. It is a method of pattern drafting where you utilise a length of fabric end to end by strategically planning your pattern pieces so that all the fabric is used. With the exception of some small templates, there are no large pattern pieces to print out. The cutting plan/templates document for the ZW Gather Dress requires printing of 5-6 pages in A4/US Letter Paper. 

Designed by Birgitta Helmersson, this is an oversized dress with a dropped shoulder, gathered skirt, side pockets and full length button placket with buttons and button holes. It can be worn as a dress or an open jacket. The front and back neck cutouts are used as facings in the garment. The skirt seam is designed to sit over the bust. Lengths of bodice and skirt are easily adjustable to your preference. The width of this garment is variable depending on the fabric width you use. It comes with 2 simple hack options, one of which can be done without the need for buttons and button holes.

This dress has 2 size options which due to the zero waste nature of this pattern have slight design changes for each.

Sizes ∙ Suitable for bust measurements between 87cm / 34" and 156cm / 61"

This is an oversized ONE SIZE style that comes with 2 size options, a size ONE and a size TWO. Choose which layout to use based on your size and fabric width. 

Skill level • Suitable for advanced beginners.

Suggested fabrics • Ideal in a woven linen or cotton with a weight of approx 150-200gsm. Choose something with a bit of drape and something that is not too thick as the gathers can add a lot of fullness.

Fabric requirements • Please see last image for fabric requirements.

Trims needed • matching thread / 9 x 12mm buttons (depending on your chosen garment size) / Optional: lightweight fusible interfacing for neckband if using lighter weight fabrics

We love working with this method for 3 reasons:

1. More flexibility: This method allows for easy changes such as using different fabric widths and making simple fit and design changes yourself. Using patterns that fit into a zero waste square or rectangular block is a very efficient way to work. It means that it is easier to patchwork together remnants or use left over fabrics you already have lying around.

2. An easy way to learn to self draft your own patterns : Working this way will help you to start building a toolbox of skills, and you will learn an alternative method of self drafting your own sewing patterns, which are super easy for beginners to understand.

3. Less fabric and paper waste: Without having to print full scale paper patterns for all pieces you save on a lot of paper, and you will have little to no fabric waste during the cutting and sewing process

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