Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pyjamas in Liberty print

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern for the #wardrobebuilder project

Seeing as this month's special offer is for the Fifi pattern, I felt I really had to have a go! I've always liked this cami set but never really got past all the dresses to properly look into it. That's why I'm particularly glad that this month's #wardrobebuilder project is sleepwear! This set is made up of shorts with a delicate camisole top and is a fun make. Working on intricate details requires some slightly more advanced skills, but is also incredibly satisfying. It's been one of my most enjoyable projects to date. Today's photos are modelled on Lady Penelope (my dressform) for obvious reasons!

Fabric

From the outset I  knew that I wanted these to be in Liberty print, and was so glad that I had enough to squeeze out this pattern! I bought this Liberty cotton lawn before Christmas in their half price sale. It was actually used to make some stitchy gifts, and I ended up with about 1 metre left over (in 2 pieces though so not ideal at all). After a lot of moving pattern pieces around I DID manage to get them all out of these remnants so was very pleased to put them to good use. Placing pieces on the bias was a little more complicated than usual, but not difficult if you have plenty of fabric. All that was left to source was some bias binding for the straps - this isn't specified on the pattern envelope as the instructions cover how to make your own. I did not have enough fabric for this, but this wasn't an issue because I wanted the straps as a contrast feature. I bought ready made satin bias binding from John Lewis in Navy for about £4 and this also saved me a lot of time too.

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern for the #wardrobebuilder project

Liberty cotton lawn is ideal for the Fifi set; it sews well and is very comfortable to wear. The pattern uses pleats and French seams, and the cotton lawn is very well suited to both of these. It is lightweight enough not to add bulk, isn't too slippery  and does what it's told! You don't need acres of fabric for the Fifi pattern so opting for a more expensive one isn't too extravagant!

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pyjamas review

Pattern and Instructions

I bought the paper pattern (there's a 15% discount on this for August with the code WARDROBEBUILDER). In the envelope you get a lovely colour print booklet with instructions, supplies, layplans and advice as well as the pattern. It's also big enough to get everything back in neatly when you are finished!

The pattern is printed on quite thick paper (for a pattern). This means that it is a lot more durable than tissue patterns and will cope with a lot of use. I don't trace patterns off unless I have to am doing some adjustments or working from a multi sheet, and find that Tilly's thick ones hold up well to being reused because of the paper they are on. This set does have more pieces than you would think at first because the cups are separate, and the bodice is panelled. However, all pieces are very clearly labelled with the minimum of markings needed. There are always helpful directions that tell you which way up the pieces go too.

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pyjamas review

The first half of the booklet contains detailed information on how this set will be cut and sewn. Though detailed, the information is written in very easily understood English! This pattern requires you to cut and sew on the bias, and sew French seams. Both of these areas have their own advice and tutorials to make sure that your project will be successful. I wish this had been my first project using bias cut fabric as I could have avoided a few mistakes! The layplans are particularly helpful because of how some pieces need to be cut on the bias.

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern for the #wardrobebuilder project

The instructions are so easy to follow and perfect for those new to the skills required for this project. Each step has a very clear colour photograph along with plenty of advice that will help to make the project go well. I didn't need my stitch ripper once...which is saying something for me! The most complicated part is pleating the cups and making sure the pleats go in the correct direction. I did skip making my own binding, but this also is clear enough for a beginner to tackle. As ever, I also used the sewalong on the website to make extra sure I had everything just so.

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern for the #wardrobebuilder project

In terms of construction features, I particularly like the shorts and how the elastic for the waistband is inserted. The shorts were very quick to sew together as a result. I also like the way that the bodice is finished at the top; it all feels quite professional with the bias binding. The princess seams at the back give the camisole a pretty shape - they could have been one simple back piece so I think it's a nice feature.

Alterations

This time I didn't alter the pattern at all. I made a Tilly and the Buttons size 4, which I usually have to take in around the waist. Seeing as these pyjamas are meant to be quite loose fitting there didn't really seem a need. I think I might try out the size smaller next time though as it possibly a little looser than it is meant to be (it doesn't quite fit like the picture below!). I don't want to end up with tight fitting sleepwear so might have to experiment a bit with that one. The shorts fit fine - seeing as they are elasticated this isn't a surprise! With ready to wear clothes I often find there is too much room at the shoulders - being in charge of the straps yourself means that I didn't have an issue for once!

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern for the #wardrobebuilder project

Thoughts

Would I make this pattern again? 100%. I really enjoyed the making of this set. It had enough challenge to be interesting but was also very satisfying because each step so clearly led to a visible result. Sometimes it can be quite daunting when you've been sewing all day and still don't have a finished element. In the case of the Fifi pattern you can easily see this and maybe even complete entirely in this time. It was also nice to be working on small yet skilled elements throughout - it made me feel like a much more accomplished couturier!
Would I recommend this pattern? Yes, and especially to beginners who haven't yet made anything with French seams or on the bias. I think it would probably be a good idea to have made a couple of more straightforward garments first. The Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern gives lots of advice and in depth guidance on how to deal with these.

Tilly and the Buttons Fifi pattern for the #wardrobebuilder projectI can't wait to make my next pair! I know that lots of you will or have also made this pattern. What did you think of it?

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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and delicious food.
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This month's #wardrobebuilder giveaway

This month's #wardrobebuilder giveaway
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the #wardrobebuilder project

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