So this is an unusually speedy blog post for me, but given the interest online about the subject matter, I thought I’d get myself organised for once!
Today’s post is about my second project from Tilly’s new book. My first, a wearable toile of the Frankie top, wasn’t perfect (repeat after me, do not sew with a migraine….) but there will be more!
However, I have been itching to make some more of the projects in the book. After a slightly more involved sew last week to get my Kalle shirt finished on time, combined with lots of mind bending at my pattern cutting class and the knowledge that I finally have an adjusted jeans pattern that stands a chance of actually fitting me, I thought I’d succumb to a quick fix sew before diving back into the world of making my own jeans.
So, on Sunday evening, I started prep work. I traced out three of the patterns from the book, cut the paper versions out and then decided to start cutting as I had fabric all lined up. An hour later and I had three neat project bags, one per pattern, stuffed with everything I needed.
Monday rolled around and after the kids were FINALLY in bed, I cracked on with the Bibi skirt, complete with waistband tabs and pinafore bib hacks. Well, if you’re going to hack something, you might as well go for it, right?
I picked up 1m of navy blue ponte from B&M Fabrics in Leeds on Saturday afternoon for the princely sum of £6. Prewashed and ready, it took a little bit of refolding but I got the whole thing out of the 1m with some to spare. (I was asked recently whether I stick to the grainline when re-folding fabric to fit more pattern pieces on. The answer is almost always yes. Unless I’m working with 4 way stretch fabric, where I might cut a neckband at 90 degrees to the grainline, or where I’m purposely cutting on the bias to get a desired effect, I refold with absolute attention to the grainline.) It’s a nice weight ponte, reasonably
stable but with a nice soft hand.
Other than fabric, the only extra supplies you need for the pinafore are buttons to sew on to where the straps attach at the back. You also need 2 more if doing the button tabs. A quick rummage through the button box yielded a vintage button card with perfectly shade matched buttons: result!
The whole thing was a pretty quick, easy sew: I think it took me about 2 hours in total. The instructions, as you’d expect, were crystal clear and easy to follow. Because the button tabs and the pinafore are both included in the book as separate hacks, I did have a scan through the instructions before starting to make sure I knew which order to fit things in, but other than that it was a breeze. I used both my machine and my overlocker, depending on the instructions and how precise I wanted to be.
Size wise, I measured a size 4 on the waist and size 5 on the hips so I graded between the two on the skirt piece only; there is only one skirt piece which you cut out 4 times so the only care I took was to make sure I graded evenly on both sides of the pattern piece. For everything else, I cut a straight size 4 and I think it fits pretty well.
The pattern has you try the pinafore on and check the strap length before you sew. I found the length suggested in the book to be just about spot on so maybe if you’re particularly tall you might want to
add a little on to the strap length.
Length wise, the pattern is shown in the book as hitting below the knee. Obviously you could cut it shorter than that, but I want to be able to wear this as it gets warmer without tights, so I’m happier with my knees covered.
I cannot say how much I love the finished dress. I actually wasn’t 100% sure the style would suit me, being concerned about whether it would cling a little too much to the curves, but I find the fit of my adjusted pattern pieces absolutely spot on. And it is JUST SO COMFY! I’ve worn it all day today with a stripey top and I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be repeating the experience tomorrow; I LOVE IT!
So yes, Tilly has done it again; comfy, stylish, practical and beautifully explained. Thank you!
Pattern The Bibi skirt from Stretch!, with the pinafore bib and button tab hacks
Fabric 1m plain navy ponte from B&M Fabrics in Leeds
Graded between a size 4 on the waist to a size 5 on the hips for the skirt piece only
Oh I think so! Just wondering what colour / print combinations I can get away with!