Finally, some Burnsides

Hi there! Today I want to share with you one of those fabulous projects where the reality is every bit as good as you hoped it might be; and how often does that really happen?

I have had the Burnside Bibs on my mental radar for well over a year now. There are so many fabulous versions kicking around on Instagram if you care to check out the hashtag, but my personal favourites are the crushed black velvet pair Joanne wore to last year’s Stitch Room Sewcial event.

I bought the pattern when Sew House Seven had a sale on and then ordered some linen from Fabworks to make them up in…. and then summer ended and they got pushed to the back of the queue.

However, as soon as warmer weather beckoned I knew these needed to be made, especially since I spent a large part of the winter wearing my Mila dungarees. And then Gem at Bobbins and Bolts got some of the Merchant and Mills tencel twill in stock and sent me samples….. all my floaty summer dreams were answered!

I went for the navy tencel and, very unusually for me, I cut a straight size 14. I added my usual 1.5cm to the centre back seam and, since this has made a massive difference to my ability to fit trousers, thought I’d share how I make this adjustment (the images are from a different pattern but it’s the same process)

First, take the back trouser pattern piece only. You want to add some extra length to the centre back (to go over your bum) without changing the length of the side seam, so draw a horizontal line across roughly at hip level.

Cut from the centre back toward the side seam, leaving a little paper “hinge” at the side seam.

Pop another piece of paper underneath the gap you just made and tape the lower half down so it doesn’t move. Measure in from the CB and mark where the seam allowance goes to. My seam allowance was 1.5cm

Measure up from the mark, parallel to the grain line, the amount you want to add. I find 1.5cm works well for me. Mark that distance on the extra paper you popped underneath.

Swivel the top pattern piece down without tearing that side seam until it touches the mark you just made and tape it carefully down.

Finally, replace your old grainline on the top pattern piece so that it’s a continuation of the one on the bottom pattern piece.

Hope that’s helpful to someone!

I have to admit that, whilst I adore this fabric, cutting it out was pretty hard work. This stuff is pretty shifty! And that’s with a rotary cutter and 3 large mats to use!

Construction was pretty straightforward, with some nice bits of topstitching to keep things interesting. I failed to get the back waist facing on completely flat; I’m assuming I managed to shift one or the other pieces slightly as I was cutting. Thankfully that area is very gathered when you’re wearing it so it didn’t matter.

I foolishly started by following the instructions to make the strap using the turning a tube inside out method. Seriously, don’t do this. Follow the second method in the instructions, it is SO much easier!

I finished everything inside with the overlocker as this fabric is definitely prone to fraying. When it came to the hem, the instructions have you turn up by 1cm and then, I think, by 2cm. I ended up turning it up by 1 and then 6cm! And I’m 5’7″ so either I really cut the legs out inaccurately or they’re drafted for very tall people!

I am so in love with the finished garment. I wanted something cool and comfy for hot weather and this totally fits the bill. The drape on this fabric is bloody amazing, the trousers are wide and cool and with the fit on the waist being entirely down to how tight you pull the straps, these may be my perfect garment! They’re also my 3rd entry into Sew Together For Summer (do love a good jumpsuit!)

Now, how many more pairs can I make!

Becca x


Pattern: Burnside Bibs by Sew House

My measurements: bust 36″

waist 32″

hip 42″

Size cut: 14

Fabric: navy tencel twill

Adjustments made: added 1.5cm to centre back seam: increased hem by 4cm.

Future adjustments: none

Make again: Yep!

6 thoughts on “Finally, some Burnsides

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  1. Nice bibs – they look so summery in the Tencel fabric, kind of like linen but without the wrinkles! On the back crotch length adjustment, can I ask your advice…? Whenever I make trousers at the moment I end up with those wrinkles that mean I have a ‘low seat’ (trying to stay positive here!) and need to scoop out the back crotch curve. But each time I do that, it doesn’t look any better when I try them on again and I give up and throw them in the UFO pile! I’m starting to wonder if that’s because scooping out the back crotch curve reduces the total fabric available for bottom coverage, whereas the adjustment you’ve done might increase the total fabric in that area. My topology is super-rusty (!), but I’m wondering if this would explain what’s going on, and if I should try it? And if so, I wonder what difference it makes if I do the adjustment higher up or lower down..?!


    1. Hmm, not sure I’m an expert on that. What I see is the back waistband being pulled down in the centre, hence the need for additional fabric there. I try and make the adjustment where I know I need the most room 😳 which is about level with my hips.
      I found the idea of scooping out the curve more really counterintuitive for the same reasons as you but I have had some success with doing that too?


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