A cropped linen shirt laid out on table with small pile of thread ends and sewing tools

Cropped Shirt Zero Waste Pattern
by Birgitta Helmersson

Have you ever sewn a zero waste pattern before? I'll tell you a little about my first experience with it! 

On paying and downloading the Cropped Shirt pattern direct from Birgitta Helmersson's website, you receive the pdf with instructions on. I must say it did feel a bit strange to not be getting big files with pattern pieces on! It actually felt a little daunting that there are no pieces, that you are having to mark and measure it directly onto the fabric. 

I chose a linen fabric to make this shirt as I thought that the structure of linen would hold the cropped shape nicely, and also would be easier to mark on the fabric rather than a thin drape fabric when cutting out! 

After reading through the instructions, the construction of the garment started to make sense. I did feel I was a little confused though as to how to shorten the shirt, or to make it narrower. Even though there are instructions on how to do so, I felt that I would better understand the whole process if I just followed the instructions as per first. So on making this shirt, I followed the instructions as written and did not change anything.

The marking out the fabric, and the whole construction was actually pretty simple. I was quite surprised how once you've done all the markings and cut the pieces out, how quickly and straightforward it all came together. I finished off the shirt with two corozo buttons, although the shirt is such a big style for me that I can get it on and off without undoing the buttons! 

It felt really rewarding not having any fabric scraps to deal with afterwards! As you can see from the photo, that tiny pile of threads and minor piece of fabric were the only waste that I ended up with! The fabric bits were from the edges of the fabric as I needed to cut a straight line to start with!

I enjoyed making this shirt, and will definitely make more in different colours as it is so easy to wear either on its own, and thrown on top of a shirt as an extra layer. And as the linen has softened over time, it feels cosy and carefree! My only flaw was making it in the cobalt blue colour as sometimes (after a pandemic of sewing them) I feel like I'm wearing scrubs! 

Have you tried making a zero waste pattern before? What are your thoughts?

Read my blog on Zero Waste Sewing Pattern books here!

Take a look here at our collection of Linen fabrics perfect for this top!

Photo: A Kind Cloth

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