I don't know if you all remember, but last year I created a removable bib for the Jenny Overalls. I was inspired by @Sewnorth when she did it to her own Jenny Overalls and I just had to get in on it! I mean, versatile, convertible clothing, what could be better? You get two garments in one, and in my case, I got 4 because I added a skirt to the mix!
During the testing of the Fleur, one of my lovely testers @Cholemontrose had the same thought- why make one garment when it could do double duty with a few simple tweaks to the pattern? She even added another idea I was noodling around with: criss-cross straps!
So today, I thought I would share with you how I created my very own Fleur Pinafore complete with a removable bib and straps that can cross at the back or remain straight for however I am feeling that day! Are you as excited as I am for the endless styling possibilities?!
Let's Get Started
First, we will need to make a few adjustments to our pattern pieces, namely the Bib and button straps! If you are adding a bib pocket, you will want to get that pattern piece out as well!
For the bib, I added an additional inch (2.5 cm) to the bottom edge to accommodate the buttons I will eventually put along the bottom edge. If you are adding a bib pocket, you will want to add that same amount to it's bottom edge.
I went with adding only an inch because honestly, that's all I had left of my fabric! You can add more if you'd like, but the inch turned out to be perfect for my pinafore!
Next, we need to adjust our button straps to accommodate a criss-cross back. For my version of this pinafore, I have actually ommitted the back bib, much like Chloe's version. I love the idea of it looking more like overalls with long straps! That being said, I have to add loads of length to the straps.
To find out how much extra length I needed, I took a tape measure and measured from my back at my natural waist and over the opposite shoulder to where I believe the top of the bib will land. I added as many extra inches as I could to my fabric because I would rather the strap be too long than too short (I could always adjust the length shorter with button placement, but not so much longer!)
In the end, I wound up adding about 10" (25.4 cm) to my straps.
I then proceeded to cut out the rest of my pattern pieces as well as interfacing pieces with one notable exception. Instead of cutting just the button strap view's interfacing piece for the front bib, I went ahead and cut out a a piece of interfacing large enough to cover the entire front bib! This was to accommodate not only the buttonholes I eventually added to the top of the bib, but also the buttons I would be placing along the bottom edge of the bib.
Once all of my pattern pieces and interfacing pieces we cut out, I attached my interfacing to my pattern pieces as follows:
1) Full interfacing piece to the wrong side of the front bib.
2) Interfacing strips to half of the strap pieces.
3) Interfacing pieces to the wrong side of the inner waistband pieces. This is the opposite of what I mention in the Fleur instructions and the reason for this is because I will be adding button holes to the inside of my waistband and those button holes need extra stability!
4) Interfacing for the skirt plackets, as per the instructions.
Once all my interfacing was in place, I proceeded with the instructions as normal, starting with the straps. After I got to the step where my strap was all turned out and pressed, I went ahead and closed up the opened end of the strap by pushing the seam allowance to the inside of the strap and sewing the strap closed. This way, both ends of my straps are enclosed and I am able to add buttons to either end to attach to either my bib or my back skirt waistband.
You might be wondering why I added buttons to my straps instead of buttonholes. For me, this was purely a personal preference! I didn't like the idea of having buttons on the waistband of my Fleur skirt for forever as that seemed highly uncomfortable, especially if they weren't in use holding on to straps or the bib. So I opted to put all the buttons on my removable garment pieces (Bib + Straps) and all the buttonholes on my non-removable pieces (Skirt Waistband).
You may choose to follow in my footsteps, do the exact opposite, or scrap the idea altogether and opt for snaps! There are SO many ways to go about this hack, and none of them are better or worse than another idea. Do what suits you best and you'll love your pinafore the most!
I did wind up doing a bib pocket, so the next steps for me were to follow the instructions as they are written and complete the bib pocket, attach it to the front bib fabric, and then complete the front bib. Once I basted the bottom edge of my bib closed, I had to decide how I wanted the bottom edge to be finished off. I could have serged this seam, pinked it, or even added a zig zag stitch. Instead, I opted to sew on a colorful piece of bias binding because it seemed like a lot of fun!
I did make sure to turn in the edges of the binding for a nice, clean finish, then I stitched it into place. Isn't that blue just so happy?
The next step I had to take - before moving forward in the instructions - was to add button holes to my front and back waistband inner pieces so that there was a place for my bib + strap buttons to sit. For this part, I used my front bib to estimate where my buttonholes should go.
For the front waistband, I wanted at least 3 buttons to be distributed across the bib so that there was no odd puckering. I marked one in the very center of my waistband, ~1" (2.5 cm) away from the top edge of the waistband, and then two more ~1/2" (1.3 cm) from either side of where the bib would sit when attached.
And for the back, I did the same thing, but this time I only marked two buttonholes ~1/2" (1.3 cm) from either side of where I wanted my straps to sit when attached. I used the front bib's width to determine where those points should go and it worked out pretty well!
I then went ahead and sewed my buttonholes following my marks into the front and back waistband. Once they were complete, I opened them up so that I wouldn't have to try doing that later when the entire waistband was already sewn together. I can only imagine the accidental holes I may have put into my waistband....
Once the buttonholes were complete, I moved on to finishing up my skirt as per the instructions. I attached my inner and outer waistband pieces together, made my pockets, created my skirt, and then came to the part where I needed to attach my waistband to my skirt.
For this part, I followed the instructions as they were written, making sure that the buttonhole side of my waistband was going to end up on the inside of my skirt.
Then came time for the fun part of everything: The Finishing Touches!
I realized that I was going to need a LOT of buttons for this project (like, a lot), but that I didn't have a ton that all matched. So instead, I leaned into the fun and picked up a bunch of matching but also non-matching buttons to add to the various parts of this pinafore!
From left to right buttons: 4 Pink ones for the back part of my straps (2 for if I want to wear the straps straight, 2 for if the straps will criss-cross); 3 Peach buttons for the bottom edge of my bib to connect to my front skirt; 2 Light green buttons for the front part of my straps to attach to the front bib; 6 Dark green buttons for the waistband and plackets on either side of my skirt.
To figure out where I needed to attach my buttons to my bib, I lined up the bib and the skirt front to one another and marked where the buttonholes aligned with the bib piece.
I added a buttonhole to my front bib and then placed the front of the strap directly behind the bib to mark where the button should be sewn...
..and then repeated that same step for the other strap.
And last but not least, once the buttons and buttonholes to the skirt were completed, I tried on my pinafore with the removable bib and straps intact and draped the straps over to the back waistband to determine where I needed my four remaining buttons to go. Two are at the very bottom edge of my straps to accommodate a criss-cross back and two are just above those to accommodate for a straight strap back.
Whew! Was that a mind-bendy hack or what? I don't know about you, but I had a lot of fun figuring this out and the effort was TOTALLY worth it because guess what? I now have not one, not two, but three ways I can wear this new pinafore! And that just seems really cool to me!
I'd love to see your own take on this, or any other Fleur Pinafore hack! Feel free to leave me a comment with how you've spiced up your Fleur or tag me on IG with your make! You can tag me at @untitledthoughts or by using #UTFleurHack !