The Burnside Bibs

I am loving my Burnside Bibs. They are comfy and more comfy! There are lots of details in this pattern. I really like that they are a great alternative to jeans and such fun, oh my! Yes, this is a grandma wearing these "coveralls" but hey, I've earned my priveleges!


This is the  pattern Burnside Bibs from Sew House Seven Sewing Patterns. I have really been entranced by her designs and plan on trying more. This was a paper pattern  but PDF options are available. I really like her aesthetic, comfy, wearable and youthful. And her youthful seems to be wearable by all ages. The designer, Peggy, no last name that I can find, has been "designing and making patterns in the apparel industry for many years." Her experience shows. The paper pattern comes with a detailed booklet that really left nothing to chance. It was clear, well illustrated and easy to follow. I think a motivated beginner could work through it with Peggy's clear instructions. Options include making the bib in a curve or a squared shape, making cropped or full length pants, and making a more fitted design with darts and a zipper or one that pulls on and simply ties. I chose Version #1, sort of. I did the fitted pant, full length and the curved bib. If you are considering this pattern look at the different versions on the site to see what you might like. 

My one and only beef with the pattern was the serious nesting going on. You can  see above what I mean. I got around this by marking my pattern size markings with a colored sharpie, the better to see! I must admit here....I am working on a big four pattern now that the bibs are done and  that has the sizes split with 6 and 12 on one piece and 8, 10 and 14 on another pattern piece. It is all very clear. But other than the nesting issue this pattern is wonderful all around. 

Sizing is unique to Seven House Seven and runs from 00 (34 hips) to size 20 (50 hips). These are all on one paper pattern so you can see why all the nesting. For my version I used size 2, the 36 inch hips. I think you will agree it fit rather nicely. I did consider this a semi toile as I really did not care for the fabric initially. I did no fitting tweaks at all to Size 2. One thing to keep in mind is that the rise of the pant can be controlled by the straps. When I first put them on I was not happy with the length of the rear rise. It seemed too long. But, after fiddling with the straps and hiking it up, the crotch set into place much better. Version #1 has darts in the back and an invisible zip for a better, closer fit. Version #2 has a large unfitted waist and no zip.  That waist is required  to get the pants over the hips without a zip. #2 therefore has a fuller back and a more ruffled effect to the back waistline. I think I may go back and add the leather belt loops to the front so I can keep the straps in line with my natural waistline. They seem to stretch and drop, more a property of the fabric I think, certainly not the pattern. 


This was one of those end of summer linen bargains that I tried to take advantage of. The weight of the linen is "mid" to heavy and makes a nice pant. It has been washed several times which removes the need of future heavy ironing and makes the linen less "stiff" looking, more organic. This fabric comes out of the wash needing no ironing other than the hem edges. Linen is so comfortable to wear and such a delight to sew. There is lots of topstitching on this garment. It doesn't really show as the thread matches so closely and sinks right in, but the design needs it in many areas as in the pockets and waistband. Next time I might do a complimentary accent color for the topstitching. 

This is not a flattering color on me at all and that is why it has been in my stash a very long time. I just kept washing it and the more I washed it the more I liked it. I decided that if I were able to wear it with some white  and away from my face I might be able to get it to work. I think it wasn't to bad in the end for a color that does not work on me. 

For the rear belt loops I used a faux leather. Why? Well, by the time the loop strip was made of this heavy course linen, then folded  under, then attached to the back waist , its facing and interfacing, there were just too many layers to get through and still look good. I needed an alternative and the faux leather came to the rescue and it is washable, unlike real leather. In the end I really like the look. The pic above is a perfect rendition of the actual fabric colors, kind of an orangey brown. 


I really followed the pattern booklet provided to the letter. I didn't make any fit changes either other than hem length. I wanted to see how it fit me with none and how it would look on my hips with all those pockets. I did cut down the front pocket about a half inch. Just my petite habit. I think the next time I make these I will cut the back pockets a bit smaller all around as well. I also think that loops on the sides of the front would make the straps work more in line with my natural waist.

For actual construction I did my usual linen routine: sew the seam, serge the seam, press to the side, topstitch . This makes a sturdy garment that will survive lots of washings.  There are lots of areas in the pattern directions that you are directed to topstitch so make some samples to get it the way you want before starting. I used regular thread. The next time I think I would use  heavier thread or triple stitch.

For the invisible zip, I used Kenneth King's method, new to me, and I liked it a lot. It involves using  a hemostat to pull the zipper pull through. It's rather quick, too, and I had no lumps at the bottom of the zip.

Making the belt loop of faux leather was easy. The pattern has you fold the fabric strip to the center and then fold in half, fold under the ends and then topstitch. That's a lot of  bulk with eight layers before even stitching to the pants. I cut a strip of faux leather the finished width of the belt loop. The length was double the finished size stated in the pattern. I used a rotary cutter for a nice clean edge. Then I got out a black fabric marker and ran it on all the cut edges. The strip was then folded in half with a tiny bit of double stick tape helping out. The short edges of the strip will not be folded under like denim belt loops. Your strip is the finished size with no folding under. Make sure when you place the loops that the folded edge of the strip is all matching, in other words all at the top or all at the bottom. Topstitch the long edges of the strips about an 1/8th of an inch in. Locate where you want to put your belt loops and sew the strips down, a bit over an eighth of an inch from the edge. I went back and forth three times being careful to get the needle in the same holes so I wouldn't cut the leather. Threads were drawn to the back and tied off. I did samples first with the same layers of fabric as the pants. I yanked and these loops held up fine. You can see from this ruffly picture that the stress really isn't on the belt loops. Pardon the lighting on this one. I wanted you to see the ruffle effect up close.

This is an easy to construct design. An edge stitching foot will help greatly as you do the topstitching. An enthusiastic beginner would enjoy this pattern. Can a grandma wear bibs? You be the judge for yourself. I am wearing this to a folk festival on the Cape in two weeks. This grandma's gone festival!


New house notes:

 The pics above with me in the bibs were taken in our challenging back yard. There are tons of trees which we cannot cut down. The gnarly one next to me is my favorite. It has so much character. I am standing in the new bed I planted. It seems to be surviving. Fingers crossed as this back yard needs help. I love this pic of the tree alone.

I LOVE our black stainless fridge. If you haven't seen black stainless, it is stainless with a mirror like finish, slightly darker than regular stainless and IT DOES NOT MAKE FINGERPRINTS. I can rub my butter and floured hands across it and it just wipes right off, easy peasy. The color and finish is such that you really can't pick it up on the internet. Check it out in the stores if you are in the need for new appliances. Happy Stitching!..........................Bunny


  1. Linen bibs. They are wonderful. Those belt loops are a sweet detail. I wish I had a pair, right now.

    1. Thanks, Barbara. I was thinking if I did the leather belt loops again I would connect them with studs like on jeans. I think that could be a fun detail. I have some nice denim I could use for the next pair.

  2. I use a hemostat a TON during my sewing :)

    I LOVE THESE SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, that much! They are so perfect and cute and awesome for summer!

  3. I agree, this is a youthful pattern. You rock it! Looks great on you! I would have never thought this color didn't look good on you. I have been waiting since your teaser last week to see what was made with the linen and (faux) leather! Great job!

    1. Thanks, Karla. I have some real color prejudices. This color would look great on my red headed daughters so I automatically assume is "less than" for this Irish brunette.

  4. These are youthful, but grown up. And they look fantastic on you!

  5. Wonderful! and you look great!

  6. You look fantastic and I actually love the colour on you. Plus you look so happy. Any chance I could contact you directly Bunny? My own email is


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