ZW Tier Dress by Birgitta Helmersson

The ZW TIER DRESS is made up of 3 separate cutting plans which can be mixed and matched to make 4 different dresses. A short dress with thin straps, long dress with thin straps, short dress with sleeves and long dress with sleeves. If you are not using the sleeve then the strap for the dress will need to be cut from a contrast or remnant fabric. This dress has an above the bust self lined panel, the A-line dress below this is gathered on. There is also a bottom gathered tier that can be added to the dress and a gathered sleeve with an elasticated hem. The sleeve is hand sewn to the strap and underarm after the dress has been fully made. There are 2 different pattern layout options for this dress, which vary slightly depending on what size you are using.


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.

This pattern comes with 10 size options, an XS-6XL (hip 86-152cm / 34″-60″), with all sizes included in the one pattern purchase. There is a separate cutting plan booklet for sizes XS-2XL and 3XL-6XL which include detailed measurements and templates.

Available sizes: 

Comes with 10 size options:

XS: bust 81-86cm / 32-34″, hip 86-91cm / 34-36″

S: bust 86-91cm / 34-36″, hip 91-96cm / 36-38″

M: bust 91-96cm / 36-38″, hip 96-101cm / 38-40″

L: bust 96-101cm / 38-40″, hip 101-106cm / 40-42″

XL: bust 101-106cm / 40-42″, hip 106-112cm / 42-44″

2XL: bust 106-111cm / 42-44″, hip 112-120cm / 44-47″

3XL: bust 111-119cm / 44-47″, hip 120-128cm / 47-50″

4XL: bust 119-127cm / 47-50″, hip 128-136cm / 50-53″

5XL: bust 127-135cm / 50-53″, hip 136-144cm / 53-56″

6XL: bust 135-143cm / 53-56″, hip 144-152cm / 56-60″


Advanced beginner.


This works best with lightweight woven fabrics in cotton, linen, silk or viscose. A weight of approximately 80-160gsm is ideal.

Fabric requirements:

The recommended fabric widths vary depending on the size you are working with. Alternate pattern layouts are included in the instruction booklet if you are working with a fabric width outside of the recommended widths.

Recommended Widths: Widths and yardage requirements vary depending on your chosen size. If you want to work with a fabric outside of the recommended widths there are alternate pattern layouts provided in the instruction booklet. See Garment Views / Yardage Requirements image for more details

Yardage Requirements: This varies depending on the size and garment view you are making, see garment views / yardage requirements image for more details.


  • Matching thread
  • VIEW A, B, C, D: Binding to finish underarm, OPTIONAL light weight fusing for front and back bodice lining (B + D)
  • VIEW A, C: Contrast or remnant fabric to cut straps
  • VIEW B, D: Binding to finish sleeves, elastic for sleeve hem.

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 and share makes on insta #zwtierdress

Tutorials: COMING SOON!



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