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 🙄.

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.

Strange times

These truly are strange times. I’m fairly happy being restricted to house rules but I’ve had one or two dodgy days so have enormous sympathy for those who are finding this difficult.

I’m still keeping pretty busy, lots of projects that have been planned for ‘ever’  are rising to the surface – but like many people who can sew I’m making scrubs for the NHS.

I know there have been queries as to why they are so short of scrubs and saw an excellent explanation by a doctor on Facebook today. As she pointed out (and I confess hadn’t occurred to me) anyone in the hospitals who would have previously worn their own clothes is now wearing them as their own clothing is unlikely to cope with the 60degree washes deemed  necessary. Makes sense. There was more to it than that but that was the heart.


Anyway, I have been using a zero waste pattern which has been shared by Danielle Elsener of Decode. It might take a little longer to sew than some scrubs but is elegantly fitted into the fabric to create the garments without the tons of scrap you get from some patterns. The pattern is available here. I’m not able to spend all day sewing like I did in my past, nor so I want to, but if I can contribute to help the medics I’m happy to do so.


I’m also started on a new jumper – the second incarnation of the Purl Soho Ribbed Raglan Pullover. The yarn is from a jumper I made way back in 2014 and blogged here. I always loved the design but this yarn knitted up a bit lacking in substance, it always felt a bit feeble. As a result it hasn’t been worn much so I’m unravelling it quietly in my work room out of the way of The Management – he gets unreasonably upset by me pulling out something he knows has taken a fair time to knit. I already know from the little I have got done so far that I’m much happier with the way this is knitting up.

Between sewing, knitting, gardening, and general domestic dark arts my time seems to  be very well filled. Add to that yoga and art classes using Zoom  and I’m sorted. It will be good to get out and see friends again – I think The Management will be happy for me to have another victim to hug.

The other thing I’ve been doing this week is sharing crosswords long distance with Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. She has been starting them in Sydney and then sending me photos of the grid and clues to see how much I can do. Between us we’ve been doing pretty well, and it has made me feel much less isolated. Who knew that I would gain this from blogging!