First off, I LOVE my Bibs. They are super comfy, and the linen is just perfect for the interesting spring weather we've been having lately.
Pattern: Sew House Seven's Burnside Bibs
Materials: Seven Islands 100% Linen Canvas in Forest Brown, invisible zipper
Size Made: 6
Modifications: None, well a new zipper... more on that later
This is a great pattern and I'm already thinking about my second pair of Bibs! Putting together the Bibs starts off quickly - you make lots of progress early on (you're sewing big pieces, like pant legs), and then things sloooooooooooow down towards the end as you start putting on the finishing touches (like the belt loops!!). So, be patient towards the end... you're almost there!!!!
I had a few difficulties with the pattern and I think they were due to the fact that I never had more than a couple of hours at a time to work on these babies! So, most of the confusion was due to me rushing through the instructions and limited time. I just wanted so badly to wear them! I do have to say that some things may not be explicitly written in the instructions, so if you're going to make these (which you should!), use your sewing knowledge and do thinks like serge the seams if you think it an appropriate time, because it may not be included in the instructions. And, I've found that it is always a good idea to read all the instructions to get a sense of how you'll be putting these together before starting (Mrs. Miller from 1st grade would be so proud!).
I love the linen canvas I picked! It has washed up to such a soft fabric! My recommendation, is to serge or zig-zag every rough edge. This fabric frays quite a bit. Learn from me and don't be lazy - switch out your serger thread to a less conspicuous color so that you don't see your rough edges in places like your pockets. I highly recommend this fabric - I bought a remnant in the 'dusk' color to make myself some Sew Caroline Parkside Shorts for the summer. It is the perfect thickness to not be see-through, but light enough to have lots of movement.
One thing I realized from the start of any project, especially when working with linen, is PRE-WASH YOUR FABRIC!! My fabric shrunk by about 4 inches (lengthwise)... after I washed it and then 'fluffed' it in the dryer to get rid of wrinkles. I knew from the get-go that I did not want to be ironing these, so I fluffed in the dryer to get the initial wrinkles out and then hung them out to finish drying. I've since washed my finished project and guess who does NOT have to iron their linen pants?!?!
I made the zippered version of the Bibs and I think they are great, but the zipper is not necessary... I was scared that having extra fabric in the back for the alternate version would mean I'd look like I was wearing a diaper or just look funny. A customer walked in wearing the non-zippered version and they looked fantastic on her! I think if I had to do it again, I'd go no zipper...
And now for my zipper story... my original invisible zipper busted while at work... luckily we have lots of floor samples and I wore one of those while I fixed my pants on break! I ended up replacing the invisible zipper with a heavy duty metal exposed zipper. I highly recommend a heavier duty zipper if you decided to make the zippered version. Invisible zippers are great if you're wearing a dress or a pencil skirt that you're not having to zip and unzip every time you need to use the restroom - I don't think these are meant for that kind of action. Now that I have an exposed metal zipper (like the kind you find on the fly of your jeans or on a purse), I feel confident that the zipper and my pants will live up to my hydration practices.
It seems like every time I sew, I try something new! I learned to sew an invisible zipper (I mean I've done it in classes, but never on my own) and an exposed zipper. I also figured out to hem pants - so, this may sound ridiculous, but I've made lots of things, but never pants... so this was a first for me. I'm a bit short (ok, my family says I'm "fun-sized"), so cutting off a few inches is always a bit daunting- once you cut, you can't cut back... fear not! If all else fails, I thought to myself, these can be ankle sized or can be worn a bit lower by loosening the straps. In the end, my Bibs are full length and perfectly tailored to me.
Overalls are not normally my style, but what won me over was the effortlessness of just tossing these on when faced with the question of 'what to wear?'. So far, I've been wearing them with some ballet-neck tops with 3/4 inch sleeves and my trusty Birkenstock clogs. I'm excited for when it gets warmer and I can wear these with t-shirts and Birkenstock sandals (are you noticing a trend here?). I do think I'll be a bit careful of where I wear these - I'd hate to tear them or sit in something really gross. So, I'll likely keep these as an option for nicer outings and maybe not a baseball game.