Fitting the Button Strap on your Fleur

Everyone's bodies are so unique, it'd be almost impossible to create a garment that worked for every single sewist right out the envelope. However, if such a pattern exists, can someone point me to this magical being?

That being said, the straps on your pinafore may need to be altered depending on:

  • Your personal preference on where your waistband will sit
  • The bib size you chose
  • Your unique body shape

And that's totally ok! For some, the straps may be too long whereas others the straps may be too short. Whatever the case may be, I have some options for you on how to adjust them, during or after you have already sewn up your pinafore!

Option 1

If you would like to adjust your strap length before sewing your pinafore all the way through, then meet me on page 38 of your instruction booklet, right after the step that tells you to baste your straps to your back bib. make sure to baste your straps 1/2" (1.3 cm) in as that will be your final seam allowance.

Next, go ahead and mark the suggested button and buttonhole placement from your pattern onto your fabric, if you haven't already done so. 

Now it's time to try your bibs on. But first, you'll need to determine where you want the waist of your pinafore to sit. For me, I prefer things to sit at my natural waist, which is the point where -- when I bend to one side like a teapot -- my waist creases.

Again, this will vary from person to person. Once you locate where you would like your waistband to hit, you will want to grab something to mark that location. I think most of us are running low on thin elastic these days, so you can use anything you have on hand:

  • strips of scrap fabric
  • shoelaces
  • bias tape
  • thick elastic

Whatever you have at the ready, wrap around your waist point and secure it either to itself or to your clothing.

Now it's time to add your bib to whatever you used to mark your waist. I pinned about 1/2" in to the bib to account for the seam allowance, and I pinned my bib with the right side facing the waistband so that when I flipped it upwards, it looked most similarly to what the final bib will look like.

Repeat and pin your back bib to your back waistband. This part was tricky for me to do on my own, but I think I managed ok!

Now we can test the length! Bring your back strap around your shoulders and match up the button of your buttonhole marking to the center of your button mark. This is also a great time to see if your bib feels too large/ small and how the straps are hanging on your shoulders. Just remember that the bib will decrease in size by 1/2" (1.3 cm) all the way around due to the seam allowances on all sides.

For me, things are looking pretty good! If I were to get to the end and my straps turned out to be a tad too long, I could move my button placement down a smidgen to line everything up properly.

However, if you feel your straps are too long, measure how much you might need to shorten them by to get them to lay right. Then, simply lop off that excess and re-attach your straps to your back bib with their new length.

If your straps feel too short, then you will need to re-cut them and add in however much extra length is missing.

Option 2

Now, let's say you have gotten all the way to the end of your project and NOW you would like to alter your straps to fit you better. That's totally cool and I've got a few options for you!

The first is if you plan to attach your straps last (i.e. you did not sew them into your bib yet as you were waiting until this point to determine fit.)

You can do what @selfassemblyrequired did:

 "I added the button to the bib and checked the length of the strap at the very end of the make. From where the button hole on the strap needed to be, I trimmed the strap and turned the edge over twice and topstitched it down. I then sewed the button hole on the strap. It’s just an idea!"

I'd say that's a pretty snazzy idea! Especially if you are topstitching around your entire bib. Or better yet, why not add buttons to both the front and back bib along with buttonholes to both sides of your straps? It'd be a super cute addition and a great way to utilize any extra buttons you might have lying around!

Option 3

Alrighty, the next way you can adjust your button straps after having sewn everything together only works if you are trying to shorten your straps.

Measure how much excess you have on your straps and mark that on your straps starting from the short end where your button hole marking is. Cut off that excess minus 1/2" (1.3 cm).

 

Then turn your strap inside itself along that short end by 1/2" (1.3 cm) and stitch your little opening closed.

 Now your strap is all ready for the buttonhole to be added! Not too bad, right?

Option 4

This is an option that I utilized for one of my first Fleur's and I think it's one of the simplest options if you are using a lightweight fabric.

All you have to do is turn your strap back by the extra amount of length it has and sew a little box around it before putting in your buttonhole. I mean, that's a pretty quick solution, no?

Option 5

This is our final option, and one a lot of my testers utilized throughout testing. Instead of having your straps be in front of your bib, why not put them behind your bib?

That way, you have the ability to choose exactly where the button goes on your straps and all you have to do is add a buttonhole to the bib itself! Here are a few example of testers who did just that!

 

I hope these options have helped you to create the perfect fitting Fleur for your wardrobe! If you come up with another idea, feel free to share it in the comments below! There are so many ways to alter patterns to fit our bodies, and I love learning more about the ways you all have adapted your patterns to suit YOU

 

 

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