I couldn’t resist the Christmas collection released by Rifle Paper Co this year! There were so many gorgeous designs on different substrates, like rayon, midweight cotton or cotton canvas, and I felt inspired to make myself a festive little outfit to wear when visiting my boyfriend’s family in Germany. This pinafore (plus thick tights and a scarf!) was perfect for wandering around the local Weihnachtmarkt, drinking Glühwein and generally getting into the Christmas spirit 🎄
I opted for the thicker cotton canvas, with the sweetest print of mistletoe on an evergreen background. The canvas is fairly heavyweight and structured, which meant the sewing process was simple — unlike my forays with viscose and silk this year! I also picked up a metre of the quilting cotton for lining, which has got a print of characters from The Nutcracker, for extra festive vibes (yes, I am that person who starts playing Christmas songs as soon as November rolls around…)! Both of my fabrics were bought at Sister Mintaka, one of my favourite sewing shops.
This heavyweight canvas was perfectly suited to my planned garment — the Bobbi Skirt & Pinafore by Tilly and the Buttons (this pattern was a birthday gift from my brother). Bobbi can be made up either as a pinafore or a skirt in medium- to heavyweight fabrics, and it has a classic button-down front, crossover straps, and princess seams at the back. There are a variety of pocket options, including patch pockets or deep hip pockets. I opted to make the pinafore version, with just the hip pockets, to keep it looking relatively sleek. I found the instructions easy to follow and didn’t have any problems with the construction; the instructions for Tilly and the Buttons patterns are always super simple and explain each step so clearly! I cut a Size 3 throughout, but ended up needing to take the waist in a little bit — luckily I basted my waistband and skirt together to check the fit and could easily adjust!
One of my favourite elements of this pinafore dress is my (exceptionally wonky) topstitching using sparkly gold thread — it shimmers whenever it catches the light and just feels extra festive! I used Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread in Gold with normal sew-all white thread in my bobbin and used a ‘metallic’ needle, which has a larger eye. Topstitching neatly is definitely something I need to work on next year — does anyone have any good tips? I also used my new Prym pliers to attach the buttons, which was much easier than hammering in place!
I am over the moon with my mistletoe Bobbi pinafore dress and was thrilled I could squeeze it out of only 1.5m of fabric! Next time, I plan to cut a larger size for the pinafore bib and grade to a smaller size at the waist, as I do have a larger bust than the Size 3 is drafted for. I also really want to make a version of the skirt in black denim, and hopefully another pinafore in a teal canvas for spring!
Tilly and the Buttons Bobbi
Size 6 – 24
Full Bust: 30″-48″