Experiments with zero waste recycled clothing – Design 6: SKIRT

Using two shirts buttoned together to form the side seams (and openings). The top three buttons were fastened each side, the next buttonholes were skipped, to ruche up the skirt and the very last button was left unfastened. Outward box pleats were added at the original shirt shoulders, to remove excess fabric and add shape. Again the sleeves were fed inside the skirt to use as tape, to anchor the skirt in asymmetric gathers. The back of the skirt was gathered more to create a bustle effect.


Experiments with zero waste recycled clothing – Design 5: TOP

I used two shirts for this top, the right way up. Both the shirts were partially buttoned together on the centre front and centre back. The sleeves were wrapped around the body to draw in some of the fullness. (The sleeves would need additional button and buttonholes on the front and back, to keep the sleeves in place). The gathered fullness at the shoulder was created by ruching up the back of the shirt, these would require small bar tacks to anchor the ruching in place.


Experiments with zero waste recycled clothing – Design 1: skirt

For this experiment, I wanted to play around with creating garments on the stand without cutting or unpicking any of the original garments. So that, in theory, these designs could be unpicked and the original garments would remain fully intact, albeit with some stitching holes!

For these experiments I worked with between one and three men’s shirts.

This design uses three shirts, partially buttoned together, and all upside down. The design was pleated at the waist (except for around the front, which I wanted to keep relatively flat). The shirt sleeves were fed inside the shirt, and used like a tape to anchor the skirt gathers to create volume and shape.


Preparation, research and drafting blocks for my model


The first few weeks in to my final year have involved library and online research time, to help shape my ideas. This has included collating articles in journals, such as Collezioni, Selvage and Vogue, to look at what is current and future predictions and trends; by looking at books about recycled fashion, such as ‘ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials’ by Sass Brown and Natalie Chanin and ‘Junky Styling: Wardrobe Surgery’ by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager; and researching in to planning and designing a fashion collection with books, such as ‘Developing a Collection’ by Elinor Refrew and Colin Refrew and ‘Basics Fashion Design 01: Research and Design’ by Simon Seivewright.

I’ve also spent time over the summer collecting recycled clothing (as this will be the basis of my final collection). This will be ongoing throughout the year, because the more I have to choose from the better!

I’ve also spent the time taking measurements and drafting a number of basic blocks for my model, Louise, who be wearing all of my final garments.

The blocks are drafted from Winifred Aldrich’s ‘Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear’. The blocks include:

  • Close fitting bodice block with one-piece sleeve.
  • Tailored jacket block with two-piece sleeve.
  • Tailored skirt block.
  • Trouser block.

Masters in Creative Pattern Cutting – Final Project

The purpose of my blog is to document my path through my final master’s project in Creative Pattern Cutting, at Doncaster College, University Centre.

My module 4 project from the last academic year (featured in this photo) was a two-piece skirt and top made from a recycled Next winter coat.

I’m passionate about recycling and reducing waste, and also love vintage fashion and garments that really make a person stand out in a crowd. It is for this reason that I’m continuing my love of recycling and working with older garments in to my final master’s project, which will be designed and produced using all (or mainly) recycled garments.

My final collection will consist of bespoke and unique garments. The designs will be influenced by the garments that I find or that are donated to me, and will help to shape and inspire my ideas.