Home Skills: Zero-Waste Sewing

Home Skills: Zero-Waste Sewing

Amber Byfield
Apr 29, 2011

Turns out that generations who came before us weren't just resourceful, frugal, and well-rounded in home skills; they were eco-minded before the rest of us ("green before green was cool," as one bumper-sticker-worthy saying goes). Waste not, want not: that's what we were reminded of upon reading this post about zero-waste sewing.

We were inspired and encouraged by Betz White's essay over at Sew, Mama, Sew!:

Many of us in the crafting community are well versed in the ways of creating in an eco-friendly manner. Whether we are using repurposed materials, saving scraps for smaller projects or making reusable items like grocery bags or cloth napkins, we are savvy to the green movement.

Another facet of the green movement emerging in the fashion design industry is that of zero-waste. The term zero-waste describes a technique of designing clothes where there are no scraps left after the garment is cut out. Currently the industry wastes about 15% of fabric used in garment construction. Zero-waste designers must truly innovate by specifically engineering their designs to not only look great but reduce waste and, by doing so, even cut manufacturing costs. Sometimes it means creating pattern pieces that fit together like a puzzle, other times it means no cutting but folding, draping and stitching the fabric into shape . . . Repurposing an item or constructing something without cutting or creating waste is like cracking a code.

So as we look forward to the weekend, with a few small sewing projects ahead, we'll keep these words in mind, save our scraps, and cut with purpose rather than reckless abandon. Read more and find great zero-waste projects over at Sew,Mama,Sew!

Related posts:
Winter Blues? Why Not Sew for Charity?
Four Fabulous DIY Sewing Kits
How to Make Your Own No-Sew Cloth Napkins
No-Cut DIY Cloth Napkins

(Image: Stacey Van Landingham, used with permission)

Created with Sketch.