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Hacked Burnside bibs or how to make things complicated...

Sewing Tidbits

Sewing Tidbits is the sewing blog written since 2013 by Delphine, the co-founder of Just Patterns.

Hacked Burnside bibs or how to make things complicated...

Delphine (Sewing Tidbits)

Hello hello!

I thought I might interrupt the Stephanie Skirt programming around here to show you the latest garment I made: a gatherless version of the Burnside Bibs by Sew House 7 and to share my changes in case you want to try it out for yourself. I usually have 2 ways of planning my sewing projects: 1/ I find an inspiration garment in RTW and look for a suitable pattern (or draft it if I have to) or 2/ I like a pattern and decide to make it as is or with minimal changes. This time was different, for a while now I have been looking at Instagram versions of the Burnside Bibs. I was tempted to try it out for myself even though I know that I probably wouldn’t love the gathered back. So I hesitated until I saw that RTW style shared by Erica B in her Instagram Stories and I could not get it out of my mind:

Those are the Carmen overalls from the Apiece Apart. I love the minimalist look and the styling. It’s also super useful to see the garment on different figures (including on shorter models), so I realized that I like the shorter cropped length. Now, if you look closely at the actual overalls, you will see that I could have found a pattern that was already much closer to the look. Instead, I decided to use this idea as an excuse to try out the Burnside Bibs. I don’t know about you but when my sewing mind is made, it’s very difficult to change it…

Burnside Bibs Carmen inspiration board


In addition to picking a pattern that would need many modifications, I also decided to skip the muslin stage… I’m really lucky that things ended up working out pretty well. I will try to go through all my changes to the pattern below in case you you have the pattern in your stash and want to try something different, or if you share my masochistic tendencies to buy patterns and make tons of adjustments to them…

The first step was to combine the bottom part of View 1, with the darts and already reduced gathers and the straight bib of view 2 and then to blend between sizes. My hip measurement put me between a size 2 and a size 4 so I decided to go with a 2 for the hips and legs, grading down to a 00 for the bib.

Looking at the pattern pieces of the pants, I realized that the side seam was almost straight so I used the Persephone Pants pattern to guide my changes. I removed 2cm (¾”) to the center front and 4cm (1½”) to the center back and the back waist facing piece. That’s a total of 12cm (4¾”) from the waist circumference. Using the darts of size 00 or 2 would have placed them too close to the Center Back (CB), so I went the dart from size 10. The below diagram illustrate the changes I made:

Burnside Bibs Hack remove gathers

Something that I forgot to do was to true the CB corner. As you can see, I should have raised the waist at center back so that it meets my new CB seam at 90° angle. I managed to a dramatic dip at CB by reducing my seam allowance when I attached the facing, but please don’t make my mistake! True your center back seam on the pants and facing pieces! For the front, I usually have to remove length from the front crotch seam so it wasn’t an issue.

Next I drafted front slant pockets so that they would be less visible than the pattern patch pockets. I used the original patch pockets for the overall dimensions of the pocket bag. When drafting pockets, I find useful to draw all pieces on the pattern and then use pattern paper to copy the individual pieces. The process becomes logical and I’m less likely to make mistakes or completely forget a piece (which has happened in the past!). The below diagram what I actually drew on my modified front pattern, with the dimensions:

Burnside bibs slanted pocket drafting

From there, I removed the opening part from the front legs and created pieces for the pocket bag and 2 facings. It’s important to remember to add seam allowances where they are not already included, grainlines and cutting information. I find that when you create your own pattern pieces, you have to think of the construction as you go. And when the time to assemble, you don’t really need to look at tutorials or instructions. But in case you are not sure how this type of pocket is constructed, Closet Case Patterns has a good tutorial from the Sasha sewalong.

Burnside Bibs slant pockets pattern drafting hack


  • Fabric - Unknown fabric content from Lanvin

  • Notions - thread, invisible zipper and snaps from stash

The fabric comes from a Parisian store, General Diff, and is an interesting synthetic remnant from Lanvin. If you are familiar with fabric stores in Paris, you may not know this one since it’s in the traditional garment district of Paris “Le Sentier”, instead of the fabric shopping area of Montmartre. The selection is small and curated, with a focus on special occasion, and some French designers deadstock. My only hesitation to recommend this store is that I was “encouraged” to visit the cheaper area of the shop in that particular French way: with a polite smile but hinting that you cannot afford what is on the main floor… The fabric selection was good enough that I brushed it off but living abroad for the last ten years has lowered my tolerance for this kind of things. A long time ago, I worked briefly on the sales floor of a Christian Dior boutique and I learned that you can never judge how much people are going to spend by just looking at them. First, because it’s rude, and second because you will almost always be proven wrong. Rant over..

Sewing Tidbits Burnside Bibs Hack no gather 1
Sewing Tidbits Burnside Bibs Hack no gather 2

As far the construction, it was pretty straight forward. I found the instructions good and very accessible to all sewing levels. I changed the seam allowances from ⅝ to ⅜ everywhere and removed some of the seam allowances of the back facing to stitch them by machine, but those are my personal preferences. Seam allowances are serged and I kept the topstitching (on the waist band) to the bare minimum for a clean silhouette.

I tried the pants on before stitching the side seams and I realized that I still wanted them more fitted, so I increased the seam allowances by ¼, which means that I should have used size 0 instead of size 2 as a starting point. The issue with doing as an afterthought is that it reduced the opening of my slant pockets. But that’s the price you have to pay for not making a muslin!

Sewing Tidbits Burnside Bibs Hack no gather 3
Sewing Tidbits Burnside Bibs Hack no gather 4
Sewing Tidbits Burnside Bibs Hack no gather 5

I omitted the extra straps that are meant for tying and used anorak snaps to attach the straps to the back. Am I the only one that gets nervous when it’s time to insert hardware?? I used the snaps and the pliers from the Prym box I bought over 15 years ago and everything went smoothly. I clearly remember debating buying this box because it felt like a huge investment at the time but I was really into corset making then. It has come handy regularly since then and I’m grateful to my younger self for splurging on quality tools despite a very limited budget!

Overall (😂 sorry I couldn’t resist…), I got lucky with my alterations because the final item is pretty close to what I had in mind: a minimalist yet structured garment that I’m excited to pair with the tops in my closet. I wore it already on a couple of occasions and I’m happy to report that it’s quite practical. I’m only unsure about my ability to wear this at work (once I resume working…) or if it looks too casual. Time will tell and I’ll report back!

I tend to make extensive changes to patterns but I don’t really document them anywhere, even if just for myself. So I’ve decided to try to do this kind of posts a little more often if time allows, I hope that you found them interesting! If you have feedback, questions or if you attempt something similar, please let me know!!