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Pattern Puzzle - Squares & Zero Waste

Thursday, August 13, 2015
Welcome all to this somewhat delayed blog post.  I am gradually catching up and would like to thank you for your patience.  The idea with this puzzle was to test one of those apparently simple pattern shapes you so often find on the net.  Every now and then we all come across stuff on the internet that suggests the simplest cuts will make the most flattering garments.  Who can say until you have actually made the thing up.  :)  This pattern is based on multiple squares in a variety of sizes with a little adjustment on the stand.Squares and Zero Waste
I came across this fascinating knit, with minimal seams and a very interesting shape.  Once unpacked you can see how the beginnings of this idea are very simple and can be reduced to six equal squares for drafting.  That makes this garment an ideal self-draft pattern for a beginner pattern maker.
Design Development Sketches
Working to scale (below), I have sketched up the differences between 40, 45 & 50cm squares.  For the first sample (pictured above) I have decided that the 50cm square will give me a longer garment.  Something a little oversized to wear around the studio during the winter.  I also like the fact that there is no long sleeve.  This will keep the garment out of the way when I am at the worktable cutting patterns.
Drafting the sewing pattern.
Working from left to right (diagram below):
  1. The first shape on the left (pictured below) is the original draft before including some shaping over the bust.  A simple cut into the front of this garment will allow you to fold back the front edge and give yourself a double layer for some kind of fastening.  It's the only truly zero-waste version of this idea.  
  2. The middle and right side shape have some fabric/length removed from the outside edge so the neckline behaves a little better.  The lower section allows a turnback on the front edge.
  3. After draping on the stand and having a chance to fiddle with the front detail the final pattern is as the first image in this post.
  4. The neck side edge is gathered into the front turn-back as you see in the photos.
Zero Waste Patterns
I hope you are all enjoying your creative sewing and patternmaking time.  Let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to feature your Studio Faro Makes on our page.  :)

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Laurie Taylor commented on 27-Aug-2015 03:44 AM
Thank you for all of the fascinating posts.

As a costume history educator and medieval re-enactor, I am fascinated by modern use of the zero-waste concept in garments. It is part of our fashion heritage, from the ancients, through the medieval and beyond. My first exposure to a zero-waste garment was the 'bog coat', then popular among art-to-wear makers as a canvas for modern creative techniques.

I hope to continue enjoying and learning from your posts for a long time to come.
Anita - Studio Faro commented on 28-Aug-2015 12:49 PM
Hi Laurie, thanks for dropping by and I'm so pleased you enjoy the blog. Folk costume is certainly my first instinct when the subject of zero-waste comes up. It has always held a real fascination for me in the way it tells us about the value of textiles in history and how people lived. They wasted nothing! :) I think there is great potential for bringing folk costume techniques to fashion product in the pursuit of zero-waste in the industry. It would at the very least make a fascinating range of clothing.
Allyson Hirschmann commented on 13-Nov-2015 02:22 PM
What beautiful clothes! I'm new to the sewing community and am taking classes from a very seasoned, talented woman with amazing vision. Your Patterns are what I've been looking for for years. Please, please forgive my ignorance for asking but are these actual patterns on your site? Ones that I can print out and use to make the clothes that you show on your site? I'm used to the standard, conservative Patterns from Simplicity, Burda and others. If they are not, can you recommend a pattern maker similar to yours? Thank you so, so much.
Anita - studiofaro commented on 14-Nov-2015 12:02 PM
Hi Allyson, thanks for dropping by. Now that I've worked out what's popular with these designs I'm making many of them into finished patterns with the intention of selling on my website. If you subscribe to the website you will be the first to hear when they are available. It may take a little while as this work has to happen in addition to my usual 'work for a living' commitments. Rest assured I'm on it and there will be patterns soon. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm. :)
Anonymous commented on 08-Aug-2017 06:39 AM
Could I possibly buy an actual pattern for this garment? I've tried to make this a few times, and I keep failing? :(
Anita - studiofaro commented on 08-Aug-2017 10:56 AM
Sorry to hear you're not having a good time with this blog post. Unfortunately there isn't a pattern for this as I chalked straight onto the cloth. Are you able to tell me what's not working for you. Maybe I can help. :)

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All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available for HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use my content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

Using my content

All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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