Monday, 25 June 2018

Bibi Pinafore Business

Like so many other sewers, it would seem (I just wrote 'seam' there at first!), I fell hard for the pinafore variation of the Bibi skirt pattern from Tilly's Stretch book. However, it wasn't on my 'sewing project priority' list until, A) MMMay made me face the fact that my previous denim-look stretch skirt had to go and, B) I was looking for a way to repurpose the fabric I salvaged from a recent failed project. A plan was born...


You may have noticed by now that the majority of the new fabric that comes into my life these days comes from Fabric Godmother. This is because I work for them from time to time, so have the opportunity to get up close and personal with their inventory, which is invariably both gorgeous excellent quality. After helping out at one of their recent open days, some of this denim jersey (pictured below) came home with me. Personally, I'm not sure if it makes more sense to call it a denim-look knit, or a stretch denim. It looks like a woven denim, but has the four-way stretch properties of some kind of knit fabric. Either way, it looks amazing and is clearly going to be really comfortable to wear. 

(Image source: Fabric Godmother)

A couple of months ago I made the (in hindsight foolish) decision to have another whirl at the True Bias Hudson pants pattern. I had a previous failed attempt at that pattern four years ago, which, I surmised, was a FAIL because I used a 2-way rather than 4-way stretch fabric. This denim-knit-whatever-you'd-call-it definitely fit the four-way stretch bill, and I had dreams of creating a cool and clever jogging/jeans hybrid that I'd never want to take off. Except that didn't happen and the whole thing became a massive FAIL. Possibly due to the thickness of this fabric and/or choosing the wrong size on the pattern, or whatevs. Now I've been burnt twice, I'm going to leave the Hudson pants pattern well alone going forwards, and stick to jeggings styles for my super comfy bottoms unless persuaded otherwise. Anyways once I realised the Hudsons were going to be a FAIL, I cut them up to reclaim the fabric from the front and back legs and the waistband piece. I then made the most of the MMMay celebration discount codes and bought an additional metre of this fabric so that I'd have enough for the Bibi pinafore project.


The Bibi skirt is really cleverly drafted, consisting of one main skirt panel piece that you cut out four of. Once stitched together, the skirt is worn on the body so there are no side seams at all. You also need two waistband pieces that are faced (plus two bibs and two straps if you plan to make the pinafore version). The reason I had to get rid of my stretch denim skirt during MMMay was because my waist measurement has grown a bit. Therefore, for the Bibi, I started out by tracing the size 5 at the waist grading down to the size 4 for the hips, and held off cutting out the waistband pieces until I could check the fit. I basted the skirt panels together (two of which I squeezed out of the back leg pieces of the failed Hudson pants) and a quick fitting showed that I could proceed with no further alterations needed. Because the denim knit is quite thick, I used some plain black cotton-lycra knit I'd recently bought from Girl Charlee to cut the waistband facings and the reverse of the bib section. 

Having stalked the #bibipinafore hashtag on Instagram, I'd seen than some people's versions gaped a little at the top edge of the bib. It seemed that most of those women were perhaps fuller busted and although I wasn't sure where I stand on that particular spectrum, just in case I decided to make the width of the top of my bib section slighter narrower (1cm each side) in an attempt to avoid any gaping. I also positioned my straps (which I've made about 1cm wider than the instructions in the book suggest, FYI) so that they joined the top of the bib at an angle rather than coming straight up so hopefully that would help too.   


I'm very pleased with this pinafore! When wearing it (as I am now), I feel more put-together and more stylish than I usually do. It seems to hug my shape nicely, but the thickness of the fabric skims over much of the lumps and bumps. And the best of all? It's crazy comfy. If I had to pick metaphorical holes though, I'd flag up that the skirt seams show the white lycra content of the fabric more than I'd prefer, and the bib gapes a bit at the sides (but not at the top!). 

I love wearing it with my hands print Freya top, as I am in these pics, but I've decided I prefer it with trainers more than with these shoes for a more casual vibe. I'm looking forward to working out some outfits to wear it in cooler weather, and I can definitely see myself making the skirt pattern, if not the full on pinafore version, again in the future when the right fabric comes my way. 


colleen said...

Great job. You look very comfortable and stylish too. Win, win, win.

Ronja said...

It looks super cute on you! I would love to see you throw a vibrant red top on under it since I think that it would really pop. I also have a love of red with denim though, so feel free to ignore that!

Let's Get Sewing said...

This looks amazing! And it goes so well with your Freya top too.

Unknown said...

I love your denim style and this is one of my favorite pieces. Great sewing patterns

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