Birgitta Helmersson Zero Waste Jumper PDF (Beginner)

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Pattern Format:


** PDF SEWING PATTERN: This is a PDF sewing pattern download which includes the sewing instructions, cutting instructions and templates required to make this garment. All instructions are on A4/US Letter paper and can be printed easily on a home computer. The only printing required for this pattern are the templates, all other instructions can be viewed as a PDF. **

This sewing pattern uses zero waste pattern cutting and is designed to fit on a particular size fabric. It comprises of instructions showing you how to draw shapes directly onto your fabric, leaving no waste. With the exception of some small templates to aide in the cutting process, no large paper pattern pieces are required. See the bottom of this description for more information about this method of garment making.

Sewing Level: Beginner

The Zero Waste (ZW) Jumper has an oversized body with a curved hem and a slim sleeve making it perfect for layering. The body size and sleeve length are determined by the fabric width you use. The crew neck features a ribbed neck band, and the sleeve hem has a ribbed band attached when using narrower fabric widths. The ZW Jumper comes with tips to adjust the sleeve circumference for extended sizes, as well as a hack to make a smaller jumper size with a narrower fabric. 

Recommended Tools

Sewing machine, iron, chalk or dissolvable pen, scissors, large right angle ruler and/or long straight ruler.

Techniques used

Attaching ribbing, attaching back neck facing, attaching binding.

Size chart:

This pattern is considered a one size garment. The finished garment size is determined by the fabric width and the pattern is suitable for widths between 145-175cm / 57-69".  This size chart shows the MAXIMUM hip size suitable for each fabric width and includes a generous amount of ease. The forearm of this pattern is slim fitting and the size chart indicates the MAXIMUM forearm circumference suitable for all fabric widths, allowing for a small amount of ease. You can find tips on how to adjust the sleeve for a larger forearm measurement inside the instruction booklet.

MAX Hip circumference

Fabric Width 145cm / 57" = 115cm / 45"

Fabric Width 150cm / 59" = 120cm / 47"

Fabric Width 155cm / 61" = 125cm / 49"

Fabric Width 160cm / 63" = 130cm / 51"

Fabric Width 165cm / 65" = 135cm / 53"

Fabric Width 170cm / 67" = 140cm / 55"

Fabric Width 175cm / 69" = 145cm / 57"

MAX Forearm circumference

 All Fabric Widths: 22cm / 8.5"

Length, shoulder to hem

 All Fabric Widths: 60cm / 23.5" *This length is based on the main pattern, the length can be adjusted to your preference by referring to the instruction booklet. 

*Please note the back length when worn is approximately 5cm / 2" longer than the front when worn. 


Fabric Type

The ZW Jumper is suitable for both woven's (non-stretch) and knits (stretch). This jumper works really well in a mid-heavy weight brushed cotton fleece/sweater fabric (you can often find this fabric type in quite wide widths). It also works great as a lighter weight top in a thinner jersey fabric. If you want to use a non woven fabric choose something in a light - mid weight in a fabric that has a bit of drape to it.

For the neck and sleeve band choose a cotton ribbing that has a nice amount of structure to it. See 'Notions' for more on ribbing requirements. 

Pre-Washing: Knit fabrics are usually better washed after sewing when using this pattern, keep in mind the length may shrink slightly after washing the first time.  You can also pre-wash fabrics, particularly if they are woven fabrics. If you do this then make sure you order slightly more fabric to account for shrinkage

Recommended Fabric Widths

145-175cm / 57-69"

Yardage required

Main Fabric: 80cm / 31.5"  (this gives a finished garment length of 60cm / 23.5" when worn. To adjust the length you will need to also adjust your fabric usage. Instructions on how to do this are included in the pattern).


-All Garment Views: one length of cotton bias binding to finish the facing, 4cm x 32cm / 1.5” x 12.5”.

-Garment view 1 & 2: one length of ribbing to finish the neck, 8cm x 43cm / 3.25” x 17”.

-Garment view 2: two lengths of ribbing to finish the sleeve hems, 16cm x 20cm / 6.5” x 8”.

*Please note the length required can vary slightly based on the ribbing quality you are using as some ribbings need to be stretched on more than others so check this against your garment before cutting and sewing.

The method:

Zero waste pattern cutting is a bit like a puzzle. It is a method of pattern drafting where you utilise a length of fabric end to end by strategically planning your pattern pieces so that everything is used. This pattern does not require printing of large pattern pieces, instead you draw your pattern pieces directly onto your fabric with the aid of a cutting plan and templates. We love working with this method for 3 reasons:

1. More flexibility: This method allows for easy changes such as using different fabric widths and making simple fit and design changes yourself. Using patterns that fit into a zero waste square or rectangular block is a very efficient way to work. It means that it is easier to patchwork together remnants or use left over fabrics you already have lying around.

2. An easy way to learn to self draft your own patterns : Working this way will help you to start building a toolbox of skills, and you will learn an alternative method of self drafting your own sewing patterns, which are super easy for beginners to understand.

3. Less fabric and paper waste: Without having to print full scale paper patterns for all pieces you save on a lot of paper, and you will have little to no fabric waste during the cutting and sewing process!