Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Rickey Pinafore // Our Lady Of Leisure

I love trying out new indie pattern designers – I’m always looking out for new and interesting designs or just willing to give a new company a shot. That’s how I came across this pattern from Our Lady of Leisure.

When I picked up an end of roll piece of wool from Fabworks Mill in August I knew I wanted to make a pinafore dress out of it! (It’s a gorgeous navy wool with flocked polka dots and I got the last of it!). I went on a pinafore dress hunt and found the Rickey Pinafore!

I’d seen them around on Instagram a little but never really paid them much attention. There weren’t many instance of people making this pattern that I could find and it was simple enough that I was tempted to just draft it myself but I thought this was a perfect opportunity to try a new indie company!

In retrospect it would’ve probably been easier just to draft it myself…

The pattern is super simple. It’s a darted A-line skirt with a bib in the front and straps crossing over in the back. It closes with a centre lapped zip in the back and waistband facings. There are three patch pockets on the bum and bib.

When I printed the pattern my heart sank a little. I could already tell I would need to make a lot of length adjustments! Our Lady of Leisure patterns must be drafted for giants!

I took out 10cm from the front and back skirts (from the middle, not the hem) and another 5cm from the bib. This still left me with a decent 3cm hem by the way.

I also changed the straps to create 3cm wide straps rather than the narrow ones the pattern came with. I was struck by the idea of using some retro black plastic sliders and buttons as a closure for the straps and adjusted accordingly! I added about 15cm to the length of the strap pattern and cut 4 instead of 2.

I also chose to fully line my skirt instead of just using the facings as it’s a wool fabric and I knew it wouldn’t feel super nice against my skin (or tights for that matter!).

Though my measurements landed me squarely in size E, I ended up having to take it in at the waist (essentially grading from a C to E) in order to make it wearable as otherwise the straps would pull and bunch the back of the skirt.

I took issue with a lot of things with this pattern. Not because I couldn’t use it – I’m experienced enough to get around hurdles – but because I know a beginner using this will struggle.

There aren’t enough notches on the pattern and none at all to mark where to places the bib or straps. The bib straps ends that are inserted into the back should be cut at an angle to sit properly on the body (and also the instructions for this part are pretty weak). I also feel that the sample garment photo is really misleading as I believe they would’ve had to shorten it to fit the model – either that or she’s 6 feet tall (which I guess is possible!). I also managed to cut everything out using less than a metre of fabric. A far cry from the 1.5 metres recommended.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my final garment. I’m just not in love with this designer and I’m super aware that the patterns are just not drafted for my size/ height! Hopefully there are those out there for whom the pattern works brilliantly – I know I’m just not one of them!

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