ZW Soft Blouse by Birgitta Helmersson

This is an oversized top made using Zero Waste Pattern Cutting. It has a dropped shoulder and comes with 2 sleeve options, a gathered and twisted double layer sleeve, or a long sleeve with a gathered and elasticated wrist. The front has side bust darts for shaping. The neckline is a minimal crew neck finished with a back bind and a split with loop and button at the centre back to close.

This pattern also comes with 2 hack options, a sleeveless top with darts on the shoulder for shaping and a dress with V-neck front, side pockets and gathered skirt. All pattern options in this book are easily mixed and matched.


Please note: This PDF sewing pattern uses zero waste pattern cutting and comprises of instructions to draw shapes directly onto your fabric. With the exception of some small templates, there are no large pattern pieces to print out and tape together.

Available sizes:

Comes with 3 size options included within the one pattern booklet:

EU 36/38/40

EU 42/44/46

EU 48/50/52

All sizes options are included in the one pattern. The ZW Soft Blouse is easy to grade up or down in sizing and each one can be modified easily to suit your needs.

* Please note this garment is cut on the crosswise grain which means that your length is largely determined by your fabric width. Length, shoulder to hem, is based on using the recommended hem turn up for each size. This is easily adjustable by changing your hem turn up accordingly.

SIZE CHART EU 36/38/40: Chest 86-96cm / 33-37″, waist 66-76cm / 26-29″, hip 88-98cm / 34-38″

SIZE CHART EU 42/44/46: Chest 101-115cm / 39-49″, waist 81-95cm / 31-37″, hip 103-117cm / 40-46″

SIZE CHART EU 48/50/52: Chest 120-135cm / 47-53″, waist 100-115cm / 39-45″, hip 122-137cm / 48/54″


-Length, shoulder to hem: 53cm / 20 1/2 inch

-Body circumference: 120cm / 47 inch

-Twisted sleeve (sleeve option C) length, neck to sleeve hem: 41cm / 16 inch

-Long sleeve (sleeve option D) : fit length to yourself


-Length, shoulder to hem: 56cm / 22 inch

-Body circumference: 136cm / 53 inch

-Twisted sleeve (sleeve option C) length, neck to sleeve hem: 43.5cm / 17 inch

-Long sleeve (sleeve option D) : fit length to yourself


-Length, shoulder to hem: 59cm / 23 1/4 inch

-Body circumference: 152cm / 60 inch

-Twisted sleeve (sleeve option C) length, neck to sleeve hem: 44.5cm / 17 1/2 inch

-Long sleeve (sleeve option D) : fit length to yourself


Advanced beginner.


This style works beautifully in a woven fabric, approximately 80-160gsm in a light weight linen, cotton, silk or viscose. The twisted sleeve with gathers into the armhole can become quite bulky if the fabric is too this so be mindful of this when choosing something.

This pattern also uses a contrast fabric for the back binding, see Notions for more info

Fabric requirements:

Recommended widths by size:

EU 36/38/40 : 110 – 145cm / 43 – 57 inches

EU 42/44/46 : 125 – 145cm / 49 – 57 inches

EU 48/50/52 : 135 – 155cm / 53 – 61 inches

Recommended yardage by size and sleeve option:

EU 36/38/40 :Twisted Sleeve (Option C): 140cm / 54 1/2 inch, Long Sleeve (Option D): 126cm / 50 inch

EU 42/44/46 :Twisted Sleeve (Option C): 140cm / 55 inch, Long Sleeve (Option D): 139cm / 54 1/2 inch

EU 48/50/52 :Twisted Sleeve (Option C): 140cm / 56 inch, Long Sleeve (Option D): 152cm / 60 1/2 inch


  • Matching thread
  • 1 x approx 10mm-12mm button
  • 75 – 85cm length of lightweight binding/bias strip, in a 30mm width. You can cut your own using an off-cut or contrast fabric, if cutting your own you will need a length of fabric approx 50cm in order to cut a long enough strip on the bias. If cutting your own consider cutting as many strips as you can from the same length of fabric and save for future projects where binding is required. If you are purchasing ready cut binding on a roll by the metre make sure you choose something that is light weight. Templates are provided for cutting your binding and are different for each size.

Zero Waste 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!

Handy resources

Explore other makes on insta #zwsoftblouse    #zwsoftdress


ZW Soft Blouse Back Binding



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