Sunday, 9 April 2017

Pinafore dress completed

Well it's only taken until April to post my first completed sewing make of the year, but it's done! And I'm really pleased with the end result. (And I only sewed the plaster on my thumb to the dress a couple of times in the process!)

The completed dress

Having made up the bodice, the next step was to sew the skirt pieces together on one side, and sew bodice and skirt together. My pattern drafting must have gone a little awry, because the skirt was slightly wider than the bodice, but widening the side seams fixed this.

The 'belt' was made from a length of waistband petersham, covered with a strip of fabric. I machine sewed the two together on the wrong side, then wrapped the fabric round the petersham and slip-stitched it into place. Then this was attached to the top of the skirt with two rows of hand sewing from the inside of the skirt. The belt is a single strip, with the ends folded into the zip opening (just visible on the left of the picture).

The belt attached to the dress

The 'bow' consists of  a vintage buckle and a bow-shape made from fabric and lining. This was then attached to the belt.

Bow front and back

I had to baste the zip in place to fit the dress, and when I tried it on I found that it was too big over the hips. This is when you discover the disadvantage of a side opening - the zip had to come out and then be put back again. Once I was happy with the fit I hand-picked the zip; I've decided that for me this is just less hassle than machine sewing.

Finally I put in the skirt lining, and slip-stitched the bottom edge of the bodice lining over the top. Hemmed the skirt, added a hook and eye at the top of the zip, and all done.

There is a slight gape at the left armscye; I must have stretched it slightly when I was sewing it. I'll try running a gathering thread round it on the inside, and see if I can press it back into shape.

Showing the gape

Other than that, I'm happy. The end result has turned out pretty much as I envisaged it. My only concern now is that I don't have a period blouse to go with it - this modern M&S one is OK, but not quite right. I quite fancy something like this, with a bow.

1959 McCall's pattern

What I do have is some dotted swiss with pale blue spots, which I haven't used yet because I couldn't decide how to work around its sheer-ness. Obviously under a pinafore this wouldn't be an issue. Hmm . . .


  1. Looks really smart and lovely fabric too

    1. Thank you Kerry! That's actually the wrong side of the fabric. It was a remnant and there's some left, so I might be able to eke out a 'toning' jacket made the right way round!

  2. Looks fabulous and I love that little bow on the waistline. The fabric is just perfect for this style and I definitely think you should go for a pussy bow blouse, I'm a big fan of those! xx

  3. This is so adorable! I am so happy you shared your first dress of the year in April! That buckle on the bow is so sweet as well! Job very well done!

    1. Thank you Gina! I'm really pleased with it, and it's already had a fair bit of wear.