Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pinafore progress

Despite my misgivings I have decided to carry on with trying to make my self-drafted 1950s pinafore (jumper) dress. However I’ve been on another excellent course at Hat Works this weekend (making a Gatsby cloche - more details to come soon), so haven’t got a lot of progress to show this week.

Despite checking, double-checking and triple-checking, I wasn't convinced that I'd got the bodice and skirt darts to line up properly. So I decided that as it would be far easier to move the skirt darts than bodice ones, I'd make up the bodice and than match the skirt pieces to it.

Then I completely forgot to take any work-in-progress photos - sorry.

I've decided to have a side zip; it's period appropriate, and meant that I could cut the bodice back as a single piece. As usual for anything tricky, I cut all the pieces out from a single layer of fabric. It takes a bit longer, but it ensures that the the pattern is properly centred and that the skirt and bodice stripes match at the centre front and back.

Skirt front, with symmetrical stripes and darts

I wanted to line the bodice (I haven't decided yet whether to line the skirt), and used the same technique as for Butterick 6582. This involves making the front and back up separately, sewing the lining and main fabric together round the neckline and most of the armscye. Then turning the piece right side out, and sewing front and back together along the shoulder seams. Finally the remaining section of the armscye lining is slip-stitched closed.

The completed bodice

As the above photo shows, I didn't want to have facings as I thought they would be too bulky. Instead I cut out the lining from the same pattern pieces as the main fabric, and then trimmed off a scant ⅛" round the neckline and armscye. This made the lining fractionally smaller than the outer piece. I sewed the two together, matching the raw edges. When the bodice is turned right side out and the lining is pinned to the main fabric along the lower edge, this pulls the main fabric slightly in on itself, so the lining won't show from the outside.

Showing a tiny sliver of fabric round the neckline and armscye

I eventually calculated the 12 pleats for the bust, marked the fold lines with tailor tacks, then basted the pleats in place. I may have gone slightly overboard with this.

That's a lot of basting thread!

The next step is the skirt.


  1. Oh that is going to look so awesome! I can't wait until it's done and then I sooooooo cannot wait to see your cloche!! Huzzah!

  2. Wow, look at all those pleats on the bodice! I love it, it's going to be a gorgeous dress. xx