Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pattern Review - Burnside Bibs by Sew House Seven

I'm an overalls fan from way back... from 70s toddler style, through 80s black denim with badges all over the bib, some late 90s op-shop classics, a roomy maternity version and more recently, the overalls' close relatives the jumpsuit and pinafore.
I've been very tempted by the Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees but never quite taken the plunge. And then, just recently, Sew House Seven (of the gorgeous Tea House Dress and popular Toaster Sweater) released the 'Burnside Bibs' pattern. I was smitten.

(Just a little aside for non-Adelaide people, the name Burnside Bibs sounds kinda funny to our ears because Burnside is renowned as a rather toffy area with a rather toffy shopping centre; a not very overalls-ish place at all.)
I digress.
The wide legs and fabulous back strap/belt loop detailing on this pattern elevates it from workwear to stylish casual, and it works in a wide variety of fabrics. This is well demonstrated in the samples shown on the Sew House Seven website, which include rumply linen, a decent weight denim and drapey tencel blend. There are two bib styles to choose from (straight across or scooped top) and the pants can be made in a loose pull-on style or more fitted at the waist, with a side zip.

For a nice warm wintry pair of overalls I chose our Japanese wool blend tweedy herringbone. I like the contrast of this 'serious' type of fabric used in a fun pattern. I made a muslin of the more fitted pants in the size matching my measurements and found the fit to be spot on, hurrah! Being a non-willowy 163cm / 5ft3 I was able to take out 2 inches at the lengthen/shorten lines on the leg pattern pieces and still have a good deep hem for maximum swishiness.
This fabric has a bit of give and I used more interfacing than suggested in the pattern to ensure it wouldn't stretch out in places like the pocket edges, waistband, all edges of the bib facing and straps and belt loops. The pattern came together smoothly, with the fiddliest bit definitely ironing the straps into shape (turn in edges then fold in half), since there was no way I'd attempt a turned strap in this fabric (and the pattern wisely gives both methods to accommodate all fabrics). All facings are stitched down and the inside finish is pleasingly neat.
Inside of the front bib
 This wool blend was a pleasure to work with, taking a steamy iron on wool setting very well. It's definitely warm, but not too heavy, and not at all scratchy against my legs.
My only other deviation from the pattern was to use a regular zip rather than invisible. (I think I did one properly, once, but... eh.) I hand-stitched the facings down to the zip on the inside to finish it off.

And as soon as I had finished that little bit of hand-stitching I put them on and wore them for the next two days straight! And then restrained myself for two days... and now they're back on as I type.

I had a moment when I wondered if these might look better slightly cropped. I'm likely to always wear them with boots anyway. But on the first day of wear I realised I loved the warmth of all that wool and I don't want to lose any of it!

These are so much fun to wear. I feel a bit fancy, and extremely comfortable. The wide legs are quite a style departure for me but I quickly felt at home in them. I love my Burnside Bibs and I think I see a denim version... or maybe a linen one... in my future. The only thing I'd change next time would be to lengthen the bib a bit (probably the equivalent of an FBA in this pattern!).

Burnside Bibs by Sew House Seven (currently pdf only from their website)
Version 1 (darted back), full length
Japanese wool blend herringbone - pattern stated fabric requirement to be 3m for 147cm wide fabric, but I was able to use about half a metre less.
12  - pattern goes from US size 00 to 20 so I imagine would fit young teens through to some decent curves.
Shortened legs by 2 inches, interfaced at all likely stretch points, used regular rather than invisible zip.
Important note! These are actually quite easy to take on and off (including for quick trips to the loo) and do not require the straps to be undone, although I can't speak for the zip-less version. I imagine that would depend on how tightly you tied the straps. Happy dance!

Other fabric suggestions:
Art Gallery Denims
Mid/heavy weight natural linen
10oz black denim
Linen/viscose in Smokey Blue
Nani Iro 100% Linen

- Jane & Fiona xx

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Pattern Review - Christine Haynes Lottie pattern

The Christine Haynes Lottie is one of those patterns that we were really keen to buy for the shop as soon as it was published. In a similar way to the Lotta Jansdotter Esme dress, the Lottie is the kind of easy sew, easy wear top/tunic/dress you could make a few of in different fabrics and call it your uniform. Even better, the pattern itself is a fulsome offering, with shirt and maxi-length options as well as a sleeves of varying lengths and style - 18 different combinations in total.

In light of this being such an appealing and versatile pattern, I honestly can't tell you why it has taken me so long to make this sample and blog about it. I suspect we were at the height of our Fen fever when it arrived and poor Lottie has been overlooked. But she is no less worthy.

I made View B - the one with the 3/4 length sleeves. Pockets were left off ('cause, let's face it - the wall in our shop where this will be displayed does not need pockets), but rest assured there are patch pockets included in this pattern, plus it would be easy to add side seam pockets to should the need arise.

Working with a 1.8m remnant of 150cm wide fabric meant that I needed to leave 5cm off the dress length, so this version falls squarely into tunic territory. The full length dress would be easily eked out of 2m rather than the 2.3m stipulated in the instructions, unless you've got pattern matching to do where you might want more. This version is a size 10 as per my measurements but note that this pattern makes a roomy frock. Christine kindly gives finished garment measurements, so I'd recommend you refer to those as there's a decent amount (more than 4 inches) of ease built in. I'd size down next time, especially after seeing these photos.

Of course you can leave the sleeves off this pattern as it has a decent cut-on dolman sleeve already, but I was keen to add them for cooler days - plus, the way the sleeves come together is a nice touch. There is a different piece for the front and back of each sleeve which are cut on an angle so they drape well. This also helps them to look nicely finished if your fabric is directional or patterned. The top-stitching is a nice touch here too.

The pattern itself is an easy sew (Christine rates it as 2/5 level of difficulty) - there are no closures or fitting, and the neckline is finished with bias tape. It's very beginner friendly. 

This fabric is an Art Gallery printed denim - a lovely crisp, soft cotton, available in our online shop here.

The top version of Lottie would be great with jeans, sewn up in a variety of lightweight fabrics - linen, double gauze or chambray. We're also thinking that a light wool Lottie would be a useful winter layer too… I suspect there will be more Lotties around here.

- Fiona & Jane xx