Technique

Melissa Lockwood  

One step closer to zero waste

Project:  Designing in the waste area of mass produced garment pattern blocks.

My project is focused on garment pattern design uses that uses the spaces between the standard garment pieces.  Specifically the unused portions of fabric that are thrown away and deposited into landfills.  The technique I developed can create zero waste patterns in a new way.  

My technique developed through looking at garment cut out waste in mass production factories.  I observed the layering of fabric when multiple same shape garments are created.  I also observed the stacks of same shape waste pieces being thrown away.  I decided to find ways that the stacks of sames shape waste pieces can be used. 

I realized that in order for designers to see the usability of these waste area pieces it requires viewing the pattern areas in a new way.  Usually designers create garments with pattern pieces spread across fabric on the horizontal plane.  My technique observes the waste pattern areas from the factory setting where the multiple layers of fabric are created in production.  

When thinking of a pattern that includes the waste pieces it is helpful to think of how the waste pieces are created in quantity.   When you view the layered fabric in factory situation with the pattern block in place, you can view the pattern in 3D on the vertical axis and utilizes the stacks of same shape pieces that are created during multiple same shape garment production.  

I recognized the potential of use of many common waste shapes with the cylinder form in mind.  A basic dress can be compared to a cylindar.  I chose long narrow shapes that widen at one end.  The selection of shapes is interesting, I noticed a lot of repeat waste area shapes.  With the creation of shirts, blouses and jackets the the sleeve pattern create a shape found repatedly.  This shape is a long narrow piece fluted at one end.

With the wastes pattern shapes created in same shape multiple pieces it is possible to make multifaceted garments with them.  To applieing radial geomertry to the multiple same shape pieces with the cylinder in mind I was able to create multifaceted garments without altering the found shapes.

This technique gives designers another tool utilize production waste fabrics in the fashion industry and lower landfill waste.  Less waste can be achieved by changing the waste fabric pattern area into a design space.  Different from traditional zero waste pattern making, It uses the pattern layout area on the vertical and horizontal.  It can make non zero waste patterns zero waste.

The use of radial geometry creates ways the stacks of same shape pieces can be preplanned during garment design and incorporated into the patterning block.  This technique transforms waste fabrics into additional garments.  Using  radial geometry I realized that many of the pieces thrown away are usable to make garments. 

Melissa Lockwood Deck 2021(3)
Flower web
didnt alter the shape of found pieces
D dress summer
Melissa Lockwood Deck 2021-5


7 Coral Twist Final


  Combining the helix into the radial cylindar

4 Twist on Swirl Final


If you have any question or want to have a consultion regarding how to incorporate this technique into your design process let me know.  Thank you, Melissa

© Melissa Lockwood 2021