Best bib and tucker

I am happy to report that Pattern Union has published a new pattern and it is an addition to the free Phoebe jumpsuit pattern. It’s called the Bib & Tucker and I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester.


My first one was made from some fabulous heavy cotton drill from the Morrison sale, but I filched mine from Sarah’s stash. She has an identical jumpsuit, as does her daughter in law and as does one of her other pattern testers, so there are four of these in Perth!


The only changes I made to this jumpsuit was to cuff the bottom of the trousers, so I can roll the cuffs down should I choose to wear high heels, and I also affixed the really cute knots on the straps with snaps, rather than pulling them through buttonholes. In these photos I am teaming the jumpsuit with a Sumekko top and my mustard sandals from The Shoe Camaraderie. 


The pattern details are as follows:

This is an on-trend Bib add-on for the Phoebe jumpsuit to make overalls. Options included for high or low waisted, a sway back adjustment, cup sizes, and ties can fasten with knots, buttons or braces.

Pattern comes with a bonus retro headband pattern.

This is a PDF Pattern for the bibs only, and is designed to be added onto the Phoebe Freebie or Phoebe Pockets. 

The bib pattern features darts to conture to the bust and reduce gaping, and includes cup sizes grouped as (A/B/C), (D/E), (F/G).

Sizes 6 – 20

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You can choose to make it high or low waisted, with or without pockets, and also make the optional headband which is included with the pattern.  I made a size 8 top with 6 bottoms and the A/B/C cup size.

Having made the first one, I wanted to make another immediately (I’m sure you all know that feeling!) and so found some linen which I had bought to make Mark a shirt, which never eventuated and now never will!

I did a bit of a Rosie Riveter pose with the headband which was made for me by Sarah. This is such a comfortable headband and it holds my hair out of my eyes which is a bit of a bonus.

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With this jumpsuit I added 15cm to the length of the straps and threaded thick elastic through them, giving me stretchy straps. The knots are sewn on to the front and the straps just allow me to pull the jumpsuit on and off. I have to say that this is the way to have a jumpsuit. No fishing around for flailing straps – Sarah and I had an hysterical conversation about straps dangling in toilets – and this method keeps everything contained and simple. I also love that this jumpsuit needs layers and doesn’t leave me practically naked on bathroom visits. Sorry to be so obsessed with bathroom visits, but they are a fact of life and one of the things that many people object to about jumpsuits.


I did the sway back adjustment with this one, but I don’t like it on me, so think I will remove the elastic. Sarah pointed out that the elastic has raised the crotch and I don’t enjoy this as much.


The idea for the stretchy straps came from my friend Suzanne, who casually mentioned that her DIL had a jumpsuit with a piece of elastic added to the straps at the shoulders. Thinking that I might do that for my final jumpsuit (made to test Sarah’s fine tuning of the pattern), I found fabric in the stash and then went looking in my elastic stash to see if I had anything which would work. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I found elastic which basically matched the fabric! Instead of inserting it into the strap, I replaced the whole strap with it, and I’ve got to tell you that I love these!


Fabric is some striped cotton bought at Homecraft Textiles and it must have been cheap as I had several metres to play with, and I think I bought the elastic in Hong Kong many years ago. I played with stripe direction so that the straps would stand out a bit more and put the pockets on the opposite grain as well as the bodice. Excuse the daggy pose, as I’m trying to keep my hands out of the pockets so you can see them.


I didn’t bother with the sway back adjustment for these and am much happier. DSC02368

I thought that I wouldn’t have as many things to wear with these, but that hasn’t proved to be the case.  It goes brilliantly with the Japanese shirt I made from white cotton from Crossgrain Fabrics, and also a plain grey Plantain t-shirt. DSC02372

It even goes with my blue wool wearable toile of the Paper Theory LB Pullover, but it’s been far too hot to wear this just yet.


I made all of mine with pockets, of course, but you can choose to omit them. This is a super quick make, it took me about 3 hours for the first one, a little longer for the second because I had to work out how to thread the elastic, and the striped one was really quick as there were no straps to make.

I know that there are many jumpsuit patterns doing the rounds at the moment, but I chose to make this one because I love the layering opportunities, I really enjoy the simplicity of wearing it, I find the boxy shape strangely alluring, and I like the fact that by pattern testing this I played a small part in bringing it to market. I’m sure there will be more in my future as these are so very comfortable it is really like wearing secret pyjamas!


27 thoughts on “Best bib and tucker

  1. Sue…these are so so so brilliant.xx I love all three! The layering is a good point with the toilet visits. Elastic straps are genius too.

    1. Thank you Suzy, these are proving to be practical, useful but also stylish. I have had several strangers make comments and none were about painting! 😂

  2. They all look good but my personal favourite is the second one in linen. I think it hangs better on you as it is softer but I agree the elastic in the back must go. Thank you for the brilliant tip on elasticising the straps, just the ticket.

  3. Your three versions are fantastic Sue. How brilliant are these stretchy straps and these sewn-on knots over snaps! I need to use these features on my next version in linen for the coming summer. Just to let you know, the sway back elasticated waist didn’t work so good on me either and I finally opted for the loose fit. Actually, I think that the shaped bibs suffice to give the whole garment a very stylish laid-back look.

    1. Thank you Hélène, I finished up removing the elastic from the linen one and am now in love with it. I’ve had random strangers come up to me and admire my dungarees/jumpsuits, so that tells me something!

  4. All your versions are fantastic and not sure if I could name a favorite. Interesting how each looks so different depending on what you are layering. Very nice Sue. 🙂

  5. What a great pattern Sue and super for travelling. I like multiples of things! The charcoal wins out for me – would like to make a pair sometime. Happy travels for next time. x

  6. Wow, I love all three versions! I’ve been wanting something like this to wear at the allotment, now I know where to go shopping!

  7. Your first version (in khaki green) is the nicest jumpsuit I’ve seen. I think that’s because the waist is low and loose. It looks comfortable and breezy.

  8. No matter what you wear, you always look great. Even with a potato sack and funny accessory you would be an eye-catcher.
    I love your blog!

  9. These jumpsuits are looking amazing. The knotted details are great details and something different them the usual D-rings. I know there’s a sewing challenge started to make a jumpsuit. I put this pattern on my list for the pattern selection.

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