Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Zero Waste in Process

This zero waste project is really hard. The idea is that we should use a whole piece of fabric for one garment so that there is no wasted fabric (not even a scrap) in the end. This means sort of reverse designing and planning out the 2 dimensional pattern during your design of the 3 dimensional garment.

My first attempt at draping the jacket pattern

Our teacher gave us a tip to use letters written on the fabric to help define out pattern pieces. I had originally planned to use the words "ECO," which would have been super cool, however, it didn't work out so well. I had a lot of ideas in my head for the kind of dress I wanted to make, but every time I drew an arm hole, I was stumped as to what I should do with the piece of fabric left over from it. Curves were really hard to troubleshoot so I decided to start from scratch.

I realized that first I needed to know what kind of fabric I would for the final garment use before I could start designing anything. Because, if for example I was using a fabric for a dress that would require a facing or lining of some sort, it would need to be included in the pattern from the beginning and would impact the overall pattern layout. So many things to think about!

My cat Stella helping me cut my fabric...

I chose a leftover piece of fabric that I had in my closet. It was stiff and brown, and I knew I wouldn't use it for anything else.  To me it felt like it should be used for a jacket or coat. So I decided to change my plans and design a jacket and not a dress.  I also decided to work with more simple shapes to start, by use four large rectangles for my 2 front and 2 back pattern pieces. Since it was a jacket I could have a loose bodice that tapers in at the waist. I was starting to envision a sort of modern take on a bomber jacket.

I also decided that I wanted a hood for my jacket. I looked through my pattern drafting book for inspiration on the general shapes of hoods. I ended up making my hood curvy, which was tricky, but I was starting to realize ways to use that negative space. For example, part of the left over fabric from my hood could be used as the top of a sleeve!
My first sketch of the jacket and pattern. 

I also had another idea for a closure that wouldn't require notions (buttons, zippers, etc...) This is sustainable since you are using less materials overall, and you don't have to worry about the impact of your sewing notions. You can see a little hint of how I plan to close my jacket in the sketch, but I'm going to save it as a little secret for now. Check back to see what the my final zero waste garment looks like!

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