{Jennifer Lauren Handmade} Pippi Pinafore

Sewing can be a solitary hobby. Even more so when, like me, you don't have friends who sew. I've always envied those who can get together with a friend and go fabric shopping or spend an afternoon sewing together. Hell, I'd be happy if I had someone who I could just talk to about sewing! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the friends I have. Most of them are somewhat interested and are happy to have a quick conversation about my sewing. From time to time, Ginner will unwittingly and graciously listen to my sewing waffle. But I get nothing back, you know? None of them will suddenly interject with a pattern suggestion for a fabric I'm stumped by, or send me an Instagram post of a great version of a pattern I'm thinking about making.

Recently, that has changed for me though. I still don't have a local friend I can meet up and go fabric shopping with. But I have my "best bitch", Mel. We started chatting on Instagram last year. Now we graduated to constantly texting and have actually met up in real life. It's so great to have someone who gets it and I feel very lucky I've found her. Awww...💕

Yes, I know you're here for the sewing. Just hang on. I'm getting there. It's called context.

So, a couple of weeks ago, Mel mentioned she was going to make herself another Pippi Pinafore. I had seen the pattern before but I hadn't thought anything of it - story of my life, I know. It is cute but do I really need another pinafore? Don't answer that, unless it's with a yes. Then, a couple of days later, I watched this video on the Pattern Pals YouTube channel and the FOMO hit me hard. I had to make one, too. 
Mel and I decided we would do a buddy sew for this one. Much like the Rosa Sewalong but this time it was just us. We set aside some time last weekend, starting on Friday night, to sew together and chat while we sewed. It was so much fun! The pattern was surprisingly simple to sew and came together very quickly. By the time we stopped on Friday night we had the bib and the skirt made up.
I made a size 10 with a B cup and the fit is really good on the skirt but I'm not sure about the bib. At times it feels too small and low but I wore it all afternoon today and I felt fine in it. I think I need to wear it more to get used to it or decide if I want to lengthen it. One change I made was to shorten the hem by 4cm. I thought the sample photos looked like the hem might be longer than I'd like mine to be and I was right.
The bib is lined and so are the patch pockets. Having learned this from my Landers I shaved off the lining for the pockets by about 3mm on the curved outer edge. It helped with the lining peeking out but there's still a little bit of it going on. I didn't do that on the bib though and I will make sure to do it next time. Recognise that lining? Yep, Caravan Shirt of Dreams! 😁
There is a downside to having found a thread head friend though. Now there are 2 pairs of eyes scanning the internet for fabrics and patterns, therefore doubling the potential for temptation. Which is precisely how I came across this fabric. Mel told me Merchant & Mills had listed some deadstock fabric on their website the other day so I had to have a look, didn't I?
When I saw this Brick Sanded Twill I knew it was going to be my Pippi. The sanded side is so deliciously soft! The colour is incredible but impossible to capture. I've tried on my phone, the fancy camera, all kinds of lights. It's not as orange as these photos will make you believe. It actually looks like red brick. Very pretty and cinnamon-y.
It was lovely to sew, cut and press but it is quite heavy. The whole thing went exceptionally smoothly until I had to do the buttonholes. That's when it all went to hell in a handbasket. My goodness! I left just buttonholes to do on Sunday and it took me all afternoon! My computerised sewing machine point-blank refused to sew the second side of every buttonhole on the side opening. Every time. So I sewed all of the left sides of the buttonholes on one machine and got the basic one to finish off the other side. No, I am not kidding. Yes, it was a pain in the arse.
They look good from a distance though, right? The buttons were in my button jar. They came to me from Ginner's Gran and I'm sure they were on some clothing at some point years ago. She loves my sewing and knitting and I have loads of stuff that she passed on to me. These are simple green buttons but they go really well with the colour of the twill and keep the earthy vibe. Plus, it's nice to know there's a bit of Gran there. She'll be impressed when I show it to her.  The buttons on the strap are the same style but they're a tiny bit bigger and in a darker green. 
I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I know I have slight reservations about the bib but they are very minor. All the little details just set this pinny apart from the rest. The pleats and the big patch pockets at the front are to die for. It's all so well thought out. I'm glad I succumbed to my FOMO because otherwise I really would have been missing out.
One last thing to mention is the buttonholes on the straps. I didn't find any mention of it in the instructions but maybe I missed it. You should sew the buttonholes on the WRONG SIDE of your straps, so the nice, tidy side of them is the one on show when you're wearing it. Mine is wrong but the underside of the buttonholes doesn't look bad - ironically. Plus, the button covers most of it anyway.
This was a definite thumbs up from me and I will be making a pink denim version, ready for spring.

Once Mel "unveils" her Pippi on Instagram I'll come back here and add a side by side photo of both our buddy sew projects. I rather enjoyed it and I hope we get to do it again sometime soon.

I will leave you with this photo of both of our Pippis side-by-side. I think they're really cute. You can find Mel's Instagram post here. Don't forget to watch the PatternPals video this Friday so you can see their versions of it, too.
I highly recommend finding yourself a sewing friend. It's good for the soul but also keeps your motivation high. Buddy sewing keeps me going! 🤦‍♀️😖😂

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