Birgitta Helmersson ZW Tier Dress PDF

Birgitta Helmersson


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Buy the ZW Tier Dress sewing pattern from Birgitta Helmersson. This zero-waste dress pattern can be made four different ways: a short dress with thin straps, a long dress with thin straps, a short dress with sleeves, and a long dress with sleeves. Note if you are not using the sleeves, the straps will need to be cut from a contrast or remnant fabric.

It has an above-the-bust, self-lined panel, and the A-line dress below is gathered on. There is a gathered bottom tier that can be added to the dress as well as a gathered sleeve with an elasticated hem. The sleeve is hand sewn to the strap and underarm after the dress has been fully made.

The cutting plan differs slightly for different sizes. Sizes 3XL-6XL are cut going the opposite way, with the length being determined by the fabric width. These sizes also have a centre front seam on the bodice and dress.


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 large pattern pieces. Instead, you draw your pattern pieces directly onto your fabric with the aid of a cutting plan and templates. This method has several advantages:

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 leftover 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 which is super easy for beginners to understand.

3. Less fabric and paper waste!

NOTE: With the exception of some templates, this zero waste pattern has no pattern pieces. You will draw the pattern directly onto your fabric by following the step-by-step instructions and using the templates. The cutting plan/templates document prints on 15-18 pages of A4/US letter paper.

This sewing pattern is available to buy in the following format:

– PDF (available to download immediately after purchase). What is a PDF?

Suggested fabrics: Lightweight woven fabrics in cotton, linen, silk or viscose. A weight of approx. 80-160 gsm is ideal.

Fabric requirements: See charts in image gallery for recommended width/length for each size and view.

Sizing: XS – 6XL (approx. UK 6 – 32, based on our standardised size chart). Please also check the designer’s size chart and finished garment measurements.

Notions: All views: contrast binding to finish the underarm; optional lightweight fusing for the front and back bodice lining pieces // Views A and C: contrast fabric for straps // Views B and D: contrast binding to finish sleeves; elastic for sleeve hem.

Additional tools: Chalk or dissolvable pen; long straight ruler or right angle ruler.

PDF pattern includes: Instructions; A4/US letter print-at-home templates (15 pages for sizes XS-2XL, 18 pages for sizes 3XL-6XL). Other than the templates, this zero waste pattern has no pattern pieces.

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Additional information


Cottons, Drape, Linen

Make time

All day

Sewing level

Confident Beginner


UK 6 / US 2 / EU 34, UK 8 / US 4 / EU 36, UK 10 / US 6 / EU 38, UK 12 / US 8 / EU 40, UK 14 / US 10 / EU 42, UK 16 / US 12 / EU 44, UK 18 / US 14 / EU 46, UK 20 / US 16 / EU 48, UK 22 / US 18 / EU 50, UK 24 / US 20 / EU 52, UK 26 / US 22 / EU 54, UK 28 / US 24 / EU 56, UK 30 / US 26 / EU 58, UK 32 / US 28 / EU 60

Pattern format


PDF Printing

15-18 pages (templates)

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