ZERO WASTE PATTERN CUTTING is a bit like a puzzle. It is a method of pattern drafting where you design a garment to fit into a specific width and length of fabric leaving no waste during the cutting and sewing process.
About the Studio
Clothing: We work exclusively with zero waste pattern cutting and all garments are designed and developed in-house in our studio/store in Malmö Sweden. We use a mixture of carefully sourced natural fibres, predominantly organic cottons and European linens, as well as re-purposed second hand and vintage fabrics. Even though we work with zero waste pattern cutting, we do still sometimes have fabric off-cuts, from end of rolls and selvage edges. These are always saved and re-purposed into other garments and items. We also work on small intermittent collections with our other brand, HELGROSE (founded in 2018), these pieces are made using more conventional patterns in a workwear style, with a zero waste production model, using patch working methods, vintage fabrics, and all offcuts re-purposed into other items, such as textural garments, accessories, and homewares.
Sewing Patterns: Many of the 'Birgitta Helmersson' designs are also available to purchase as sewing patterns. These sewing patterns are unique in that they use a PAPERLESS method, meaning that no printing of large pattern pieces is required. Instead of using full scale paper patterns, pattern pieces are instead drawn directly onto the fabric with the help of instructions and small templates. By using this method it is easier to work with different fabric widths and make simple design and fit changes to the pattern yourself.
PDF patterns are available online and as no large pattern pieces are required these patterns only require minimal printing, which you can do using a home printer on A4 or US Letter Paper size. We also have some patterns made up into paper workbooks, these are all printed and assembled on-demand in our studio in Malmö. The Paper Workbook version of these patterns are a cleverly designed folder, a zero waste layout on A2 card, that opens up to include traceable templates and a handy storage sleeve to hold the instruction booklets and templates.
About the Designer
Birgitta Helmersson is Swedish-Australian designer working with zero waste pattern cutting and circular design models. The 'Birgitta Helmersson' brand was originally founded in Melbourne in 2013, and in 2018 she re-located to Malmö Sweden with her family, where she started a second brand, HELGROSE, with partner Sam Grose.
Birgitta has 20 years industry experience working as a designer, seamstress and pattern maker in both fashion and costume for theatre. Her first book 'Zero Waste Patterns' was published by Quadrille in 2023 and is available in English, Swedish and French.