I’m sure everyone by now has a copy of Tilly Walnes amazing new book Stretch and seen the fantastic patterns and hacks it has to offer. If you haven’t seen it or even heard of it, where have you been? As soon as I received my copy, I couldn’t wait to start making things from it. The hardest part was deciding what to make first. I want to make EVERYTHING!
My decision to make the Bibi pinafore was a spur of the moment one. I desperately wanted to make something (easy) and had a sudden flash of inspiration that a bright blue Bibi pinafore would be amazing. I found this electric blue ponte roma from Sew Over It and was so pleased with the colour. It’s just the right shade of blue.
I’ve made a few things from ponte roma and always enjoy sewing with it. I wanted to make something quick and easy and thought the Bibi pinafore would be a perfect addition to my wardrobe.
As you probably know, Tilly was in the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee and that was what inspired me to finally buy my sewing machine. Also, her patterns and first book, Love at First Stitch, were some of the first things I ever made and really helped me get into sewing. In fact, my Delphine skirt and Margot pyjamas were the first things I successfully made! Tilly’s really good at breaking down steps and providing really clear, simple instructions that beginners can use. Stretch continues with this and takes you through the steps with ease, just like you’d expect from her. The projects are designed to be progressively harder but there is plenty of helpful advice, such as fabric care, stretch stitch school and explanations about jersey fabrics, that make the book really easy to use.
The Bibi pinafore is a hack of a skirt pattern, which is the first project in the book. It was really simple to make. It needed 4 panels, 4 waistband pieces, 2 bib pieces and 2 straps and was made in a few hours. The hardest part was turning the straps through. I’d forgotten how much I detest that job! As I mentioned earlier, the instructions were really clear and there are lots of photos to illustrate each step.
The sizing for the patterns in the book are the same as all Tilly’s patterns – sizes 1 – 8. I made a size 5 at the waist and bust but graded to a 4 at the hips. The fit is good but then, jersey usually does fit well. The most complicated part was attaching the bib and skirt and waistband. I had to read that step a couple of times and use the pictures!
I really enjoyed making this dress and now trying to choose what to make next!