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Draping Leftover Fabric – Zero Waste Patterns

Draping Leftover Fabric – Zero Waste Patterns

I don’t know about you but I’ve got loads of leftover fabric pieces hanging around, that I simply don’t know what to do with!  So I asked pattern cutter extraordinaire, Franki Campbell, if she had any nifty tricks for saving these sad, lonely fabric pieces and she had some AMAZING tricks that are zero-waste (so no cutting required!). This is what she said:


When I was learning pattern cutting, one of the first experiments we worked on would be to take a large simple shape and drape it on the stand (tailors dummy). This could be a triangle, circle or square. The objective was to play, to create unexpected and beautiful shapes on a body with these flat pieces of fabric.

Draping Squares

What better way to make some zero-waste clothing! Taking a square or rectangle (size dictated by the width of the fabric) start experimenting by draping on a tailors dummy, or a very accommodating friend!

Here are a few zero-waste guidelines:

  1. Keep it zero-waste: You can use gathers, pleats, darts and the bias to create shaping, just don’t cut anything away.
  2. Start with one piece of fabric: You may want to add some extra rectangles as you develop your design but keep in mind the zero-waste philosophy, anything you cut must be used.
  3. Fabric choice: Your fabric choice will affect the results, softer fabrics will drape more and stiffer fabrics will hold their shape more. Personally I would pick a fabric you like the texture of and see what happens, keep it experimental!
  4. Work with the fabric: Don’t start off with an idea of shape because it may be difficult to achieve what you have in your mind. Play with the fabric and see what shapes you can discover, it may be something really wearable, it may be a more sculptural.

Just experiment and have some fun! And tweet us the results: @OffsetWarehouse @FrankiCampbell


If, like me, you love Franki’s style, then head on over to her website:!  If you’d like to receive a monthly round up of these posts, then please do add your email address to the “Send Me Your Crafty Emails” box!

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