Xanthea zero waste top

Liz Haywood from The Craft of Clothes has released a new zero waste pattern, the Xanthea top. It’s a tee shirt style designed for both knit and wovens and has long (minimal waste rather than zero waste) and short sleeve options.

The body is formed from a square and two diagonal seams are constructed at the front, which means that the body is on the bias. It has no shoulder seams and the sleeves are formed on a dropped shoulder so the sleeves could be omitted completely for a very thrifty summer top. I have plans to do just this.

Xanthea comes in nineteen sizes, to fit a 86cm/34″ bust to a 177cm/70″. The fit is loose and slightly boxy.

I went cruising through my stash and a lovely brushed cotton Liberty fabric leapt out at me. I had bought it in LA when @Pammyoh took me fabric shopping, so it was well and truly time to use it. I do have some nice rectangular scraps so will be making something else in the fullness of time.

I went up a size (to 12) as I was using a woven fabric, but I think it’s a size too big. The dropped shoulders created creases at the armholes, and I fussed and fiddled with them.

You can see that the creases create raglan style folds. I thought about putting in shoulder pads as it seemed as though it was about the shoulders. It improved matters slightly but I would have needed 1980s power shoulder pads to sort out the problem!

I consulted with my friend Katherine from Sew Blooms and she suggested pinching out the creases, which is what I did. If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see the pins. I did a better job of pinning the left side.

The sleeves are still a bit baggy but the creases are considerably reduced.

The pinched out “darts aren’t really noticeable thanks to the busy fabric.

I had the same problem at the back. I increased the seam allowance between the shoulders and the sleeves. It’s obvious looking at this photo that I made the wrong size.

In spite of being too big, it’s still really wearable, and extremely comfortable.

The pattern has the option of a pocket in the knit version. It uses the neck cut out to form the pocket bag, but this piece is used as a back facing in the woven option. However, I had a couple of pieces cut off from the sleeves which I fashioned into the pocket. I inserted an invisible zip into one of the cross body seams.

I’m managing to wear the top during our very chilly winter by adding large cardigans over the top. My favourite is my Tammer shrug, pattern and yarn from Dairings. This shrug works with everything and I love it.

I have a couple of summer versions of this top planned, and I’ve been perusing the stash in case a winter version presents itself. If you’ve never tried a zero waste pattern, this would be a nice one as it’s pretty versatile and reasonably easy to make. It’s also currently 25% in Liz’s Etsy shop.


11 thoughts on “Xanthea zero waste top

  1. I like the idea of this but I really don’t like wearing a dropped shoulder. Yours looks good but you’ve clearly worked pretty hard to get the finished result. Nice pattern but sadly not for me

    1. I might modify the pattern for next time. I’m the same with the LB Pullover which everyone loves. This was was exacerbated by being too big.

  2. Agreeing with Kim. My shoulders are more sloped and emphasize the raglan shoulder line. Although others might not notice, it makes me terribly uncomfortable. But I do love the concept!

  3. Zero waste tops are very interesting and you have worked well to get this one looking good with the dead darts at the armhole. Love your shrug and have just ordered yarn to knit an Outlaw Cardigan which looks very similar.

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