Monthly Archives: May 2018

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons - a book review by HsHandcrafts. My first make - the BiBi Pinafore

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons

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The new book, Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons* has taken the sewing world by storm. It’s no wonder really given the amazing patterns and wonderful tutorials that fill its pages.

I make it no secret that I love Tilly and her books. In fact her first book, Love at first Stitch* was how I learned to sew, I read it painstakingly cover to cover and made each of the patterns in turn picking up new techniques along the way.

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Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons

This new book is no different, each page is full of lots of helpful hints and tips and I’m sure if you had never sewn stretch fabrics before it would give you all the help you could need. I have, of course, sewn with plenty of stretchy fabrics and they are quickly becoming my favourite type of garments to make and so I was super keen to get my hands on all of the lovely patterns in this book.

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I decided it would be best to start at the very begining and so chose to make the very first item in the book: The BiBi skirt. This is a simple pencil skirt to be made from a sturdy knit such as Ponte de Roma or scuba. I opted to use up the scuba* I had left from making my Peak T-shirt dress.

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One of the things I love the most about this book (and Love at First Stitch) is the optional extras you can do with each of the patterns. In this case I followed the instructions to add an optional side split to the skirt and even managed my first ever mitred corner! It was such a quick make and I was really pleased with the results that I couldn’t help but dive straight into the next project.

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If you are an Instagram fiend like me you cant help but have noticed that the second optional extra to the BiBi skirt, turning it into a pinafore, has proven extremely popular and there are loads of wonderful versions popping up everywhere so I decided I just had to make one.

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I used a black blister jersey from Fabworks and decided to shorten the skirt length to be mid-thigh rather than knee length by taking 10 cm off the length. I added the pinafore front and the straps but ended up cutting about 14 cm off the length of the straps before fixing them in place!

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As with all my makes I couldnt resist but add some pockets! For the Pinafore dress I decided to add a couple of patch pockets to the front and I think this works really well with this pattern.

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I really love this pinafore and it works really well with my Sew Over It Alice tops as you can see here but I absolutely adore the combination of it and the Freya pattern from the book so that was definitely lined up to be my next make from the book, but more on that another time.

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The details:

Pattern: Bibi Skirt from Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons*

Fabric: Large flower print scuba from Minerva Crafts* and black blister jersey from Fabworks

Notions: Gutermann thread

Alterations: Shortend skirt and strap length for Pinafore dress

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If you are looking to learn to sew with knit fabrics then it seems there are plenty of resources available right now so you’re sure to fins one that works for you, whether it be an online course such as that run by Sew Over It that I reviewed in a previous blog post or one of the new books on the scene by Wendy Ward* or Tilly Walnes*.

In other news, today is the first day of MeMadeMay! The brainchild of Zoe at “So, Zo, What do you know?”. This challenge encourages those of us who make our clothes to develop a better relationship with our handmade wardrobe. This year I will be taking part again and I’ve set myself a bit of a challenge but I think it is achievable. So here is my pledge:

‘I, Helen of HsHandcrafts, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I endeavour to wear only me-made clothing (with the exception of underwear, socks, tights and footwear) throughout May 2018′

If you want to keep up with my progress I will be sharing my daily outfits on Instagram stories and hopefully I will be able to share some take-away thoughts with you here on the blog at the end of the month! I find it is always a massive learning experience to find the gaps in my memade wardrobe and learn which of my handmades I look forward to wearing and which get pushed to the back of the wardrobe!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi Pinafore

Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi SkirtStretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi Skirt
Stretch by Tilly and the Buttons BiBi Pinafore

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission if you buy via this link but I will only send you to products I truly think are worth it!).