Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Perfect Pinafore // Self Draft

You’d think a grown woman would have moved on from a pinafore dress but not me! It’s been years since my first Tilly and the Buttons Cleo and I’m still obsessed!

I’ve tried plenty of different ones over the years – the Fleur, the Rickey, the Bobbi, the Utu – and loved each of them in their own way but I’ve come to find none them seem to hit that exact look that I’d been craving. So I decided to draft my own!

I wanted a simple A-line shaped loose fitting pinafore with thick straps and a chunky looking bib on the front and back. I figured it would be pretty easy to draft and fit based on all the pinafore dresses I’ve made before.

After a bit of measuring of previous garments and of myself, I managed to come up with something I thought could work. I had originally planned to make a toile to check it but I rashly decided just to go for my final fabric – a seafoam green jumbo cord from Sew Me Sunshine. (I know, I know, it really is a terrible idea to go out on a limb like this and I really wouldn’t recommend others to follow suit unless you’re willing to risk that fabric!). I was really lucky though cause it worked out!

I used just over a metre of fabric for this mini pinafore dress with a couple of wooden buttons from my stash to finish it.

Both the front and back were cut as two pieces and topstitched after seaming to create a traditional denim/ workwear styled look. The top of the pinafore was finished with a facing.

For some extra detail, I added a decorative waist seam on the front where I could insert some pockets. With the centre front seam, it creates a big cross in the middle of the dress which I reckon in a contrast top stitch could be an amazing feature! That being said, I topstitched in a colour matching thread so the effect on my pinafore is pretty minimal.

I used an interesting construction on the pocket where I used a “grown on” pocket bag to the upper front bodice and sewed on a pocket facing to the bag before attaching the lower panel. I really enjoyed this part as I mentally worked out the process then to see it work out smoothly – such a joy!

I’m super happy with how it turned out. The only thing I’d change is the angle of the straps as it attaches to the back pinafore. I had kept them straight and ideally they should be slightly angled in order to sit flat. It’s only a small matter though!

I’m so tempted to make this again in all the fabrics – there’s something about these pinafore dresses that I find so easy to wear!

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  1. Love those pockets! (Please take photos if you make another.) Do you find that the back bib is more comfortable to wear than straps?

    1. For a super loose fit style like this, I think a bib works better. I always feel that straps may pull or hang weirdly because all the weight is to one side of the dress. On a more fitted style where the waist is closer to the body I think straps are just as comfy!

  2. Well I think you look great in your pinafore. What is this thing about being too old for a pinafore – where on earth did that come from? If you’re too old then believe me, at 56 I’m way too old – and nobody is going to stop me from wearing exactly what I want any time soon.

  3. I love it!! I have also been scouring pinafore patterns for something similar to what you have made. I really like the shape. Did you use a pattern to make the body or did you just wing it? Thanks

    1. Thank you! I roughly took some measurements from some previously made pinafores and dungarees and then just winged it!

  4. Love love love this dress. I would love for you to create a pattern so I can make it too!!! Let us know if you do because i would purchase it.

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