Decode Zero Waste Shirt

Well I finished this shirt well over a week ago (closer to two) and have been waiting for The Management to put it on for photographs. I’ve finally given in and you’re getting flat pictures. Sorry.

The kit arrived from Danielle Elsenor at Decode complete with fabric and buttons, booklet to explain the process, and an A3 poster of the design.I couldn’t wait to start but knew I would need to concentrate with this.

This was just a trial in stash fabric to check I had it right before I cut the very special hand screen printed fabric from Danielle. The pattern PDF looks different to most as you get the lines only – not the gaps. Much less paper wasted in printing but it’s a little confusing until you move your brain into the right place. Simple once you’re there but rather than taking the option of drawing the pattern right into the fabric I drew into the pattern paper cut to the correct size. Just as well. I made a really silly error and needed to do a bit of paper rearranging and sticking.

Scrubs, not shirt but you get the idea

It’s great when you settle the piece(s) onto the fabric and they are just like a jigsaw – but with huge pieces. Even better is the fact that there are no odd shaped pieces of scrap left over. The way the pieces are organised to fit is genius. There were elements I wouldn’t have come up with myself (like cutting the sleeves down the middle and fitting them together to save space round the sleeve head) but will be looking at when I next use my own patterns as I’m sure some of the ideas here can transfer.

The shirt was easy to sew together, and everything fitted together with ease (great pattern cutting Danielle). It really didn’t take long to sew at all. I tried it on before the buttons/holes were done but sadly this is just a bit too oversized for me despite thinking it would be right. It fits him perfectly. Sorry you can’t confirm that ๐Ÿ™„.

The pocket is almost invisible in this print, and the fact that the sleeves are split doesn’t really show at all . In my opinion this is a winner.

I will definitely be looking more closely at my patterns to see where I can reduce waste even if I can’t go zero waste with all of them.


26 Comments on “Decode Zero Waste Shirt”

  1. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Wow!
    I want to check this out more thoroughly – thanks for the info, Kim. ๐Ÿ˜˜

  2. tialys says:

    What a great idea. I’ve just cut out a jumpsuit and was getting really stressed at how much fabric was going in the bin.

  3. sew2pro says:

    It’s good to do something different, out of comfort zone. Nice one!

  4. Glenda Harvey says:

    That looks fabulous. Really interesting cutting xx

  5. Fadanista says:

    Ooh, this looks so interesting! Zero waste is definitely a concept which can be used on a lot of patterns, Iโ€™ve done it with a couple now. Iโ€™m intrigued by the split sleeve. Iโ€™ve also never heard of this pattern maker so am off to investigate, thanks Kim!

    • Kim says:

      I have you to thank for sending me down this rabbit hole!
      Cutting the sleeves in half means that one can be turned upside down, separated, and settled in top of the other to loose a load of waste. Genius idea ๐Ÿ˜

  6. Liz Haywood says:

    Thanks so much for showing us – I coveted one of these but thought I lived too far away to order one.
    I think Danielle and her generation are going to be the change-makers in the fashion industry.

    • Kim says:

      I think so too!
      Don’t know if you’ve seen news of the Covid outbreak in Leicester that has exposed garment factories where the workers were in poor conditions and being paid below minimum wage? A number of stores have removed the brands thought to be involved. I’m hoping fast fashion has had its day which will hopefully enable designers and cutters to be more thoughtful with resources.

  7. Thatโ€™s so clever!

  8. mrsmole says:

    What a cool way to save fabric and cut down on waste! Thank you so much for sharing!!!! Also, the straight of grain is perfect on the sleeves!!!

    • Kim says:

      I really believe this should be a consideration when making patterns after I heard how much fabric was wasted in garment manufacturing world wide. The world can’t afford for us to be so wasteful!

  9. That is so clever, and I love reducing waste. I bet it looks good on as well.

  10. Roxane says:

    What a cool idea! That’s some genius pattern cutting–and it fits! When I think of “zero waste,” I think of the Bog Jacket type thing that weavers make–a useful garment, but you wouldn’t really want a closetful.


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