Zero Waste Envelope Dress

This is a silk version of the Cris Wood Sews zero waste Envelope Dress and the only fabric left is a few thread shavings. I am pleasantly surprised by the look of the dress when it is belted, not sure I’d wear it out of the house without a belt.
I have had this silk for about 20 years, long before I sewed clothes, and for a while used it as a tablecloth!

I did need to make some changes. You use your own measurements and then it says things like ‘add 3” ’. There there no different add-ons given for different sizes and I think as you get proportionately bigger you would need more. So I increased these add-ons by about 25%.

The instructions are very clear and the illustrations good.

The neck hole for this dress is entirely in the front. You sew 3/4” leave a gap for your neck and then sew the rest of the centre front seam. I tried this on and it felt much too chokey. Thankfully, I had read the review of the dress on Curvy Sewing Collective where Martha McIntosh (@garichild) said she cut the back 3” wider than the front. So I had cut the back 4” wider than the front, to be sure to be sure, which actually makes it 5” wider – the front has a centre seam. So then I could also use the back as part of the neckline. This meant I undid that 3/4” at the top.

By using the back as part of the neckline, the V becomes bigger and was too low for me. So I sewed back up 2.5 inches.

I was then left with a serged bit of folded over neckline on the back, which is not the prettiest. So I used an on-grain strip of the silk (it’s a straight line) to bind across the shoulder seams and the back (see pic). I topstitched this down.

This is all of the fabric that was left at the end.

I used the last of the fabric to make the belt – it’s in two pieces.


  1. Beautiful and very Moroccan – lovely and cool for hot summer evenings. Have you seen the latest Helen’s Closet blog? Love Geri’s March Winslow jumpsuit hack. Regards, Sandra

    Liked by 1 person

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