Hey, it’s me, Hannah.
Today we’re going to use this rainy, dreary day to make a pinafore dress, which is essentially a combination of a dress and an apron.
It’s got a super vintage look to it, and I have a couple of events coming up for which that vibe would be perfect. Plus, the Pinafore is. Just a staple for any cottagecore aesthetic.
So that’s really my motivation. I’ve decided to go with this free pattern from fabrics-store.com, the luana dress – ll link to it down below and I’m going to use this thrifted curtain as my fabric.
I’ve already cut out the pattern pieces. So today we’re going to get started with the bib by creating four half inch pleats on the inner and outer bib pieces. We will then stitch the two big pieces together at the top edge, right side to right side, flip the bib right side out, and top stitch about 1/8 inch from the seam.
Then we’ll create button loops, which will attach to the back straps that crisscross and then attach them to the bib piece. And then onto the waistband, which will nicely finish the bodice and anchor two more button loops.
You might have said to yourself, Wow, Hannah, what an elite sewist you are, ironing your fabric before using it. Stunning. And then a moment later, you might have said to yourself, Hannah, the pleats. Why didn’t you iron the pleats? Is there any reason? No, there simply is no reason. I forgot. It would have made my life a hell of a lot easier, especially during the basting phase.
But once we got through the baste, everything else turned out just fine. After completing the top stitch on the bodice, I prepared the button loops. I remembered I had an iron and folded the rectangle in half lengthwise and pressed to mark the center crease. I then pressed each long edge into the center fold line. Once I finished edge stitching along the length of the rectangle, I marked and cut my long strip of fabric into eight equal loops, measuring two inches each.
And now comes the part where I’m very happy. I included all of the notches and markings from the pattern in the fabric that I cut out. These notches and marks are key when it comes to inserting the button loops into the straps, bodice and skirt.
Once I’ve inserted the loop at the placement mark along the bottom portion of the outer edge of the strap, I pinned and stitched the two layers of the strap starting at the bottom of the outer edge, working my way all around the strap end and stopping at the notch on the inner curve. I did this for both straps and then clipped the corners and graded the seam allowance down to about a quarter inch.
I then absolutely struggled as I turn the straps right side out, but I did once again remember to press the straps, rolling the seam line slightly to the inside. Once I had both straps completed, I inserted the bib into the openings of the straps and pinned them, top stitching around all the edges of the straps except for the bottom / waist edge so that I could attach the bib and also prevent the strap fabric from shifting in the future. And then onto the waistband.
Here, you’re going to want to take your two front waistband pieces and pin them to the waist of the bib, aligning the raw edges and making sure that the center front notches match. It may be kind of hard to tell with my fabric, but the right side of the outer waistband is placed on the right side of the bib and the right side of the inner waistband is touching the wrong side of the bib. Make sure that the waistband side seam allowances are extended beyond the finished sides of the bib.
Otherwise you’ll end up stitching the waistband to the bib inside out and in the wrong position. And then we’re going to insert two more button loops into each short side of the front waistband, one of the top corner and one of the bottom. Then we will stitch the short ends at a 3/8 inch seam allowance and clip the corners to reduce a little bit of bulk. Then we can turn the waistband right side out and press.
And now onto the back waistband pieces. Take the two pieces and pin them right sides together along the sides of the top edge and go ahead and press the inner waistband bottom seam allowance to the wrong side. Just a hair less than 3/8 of an inch. Then you’re going to stitch the two layers together along the pinned edges at a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
But go ahead and grade the seam down to about a quarter inch. And of course, remember to clip the corners to reduce bulk. And go ahead and prepare yourself because I was really excited to start working on…pockets!
I get to use my shiny new serger for this one.
I’m going to serge around the curves of all four pocket pieces
before I pin them to each of the skirt panels and construct the skirt. From there
it’s just a matter of connecting the bibs to the skirt and adding some buttons and a hem.
We’re cruising along. I’m feeling pretty good about this. After a few hours of practice with the serger, I ended up pretty happy with how these turned out. Certainly not perfect, but usable. Functional. It’ll work. According to the pattern, the pockets are the most complicated part of the construction of this dress, and I would definitely consider the indicator marks and notches in the pockets and skirt pieces to be pretty vital.
You’re not going to want to just wing your button loop positioning. Speaking of which, once you’ve pinned your pocket bags to the side seams of your front skirt, right sides together, and inserted a button loop between the pocket and the skirt at the mark indicated in the pattern, we’ll go ahead and stitch the pocket to the skirt at a 3/8 inch seam allowance and then finish the entire side seam with the serger.
I of course immediately ran out of thread on my serger, but luckily I had a little help while rethreading for the first time. Once you’ve completed both sides, go ahead and pin the front and back skirts, right sides together at the side seams and pin the pocket bags together. We’re going to want to make sure that our pocket seams match here before we stitch one inch in between the two notches that we have.
Then we’ll stitch from the lower notch all the way to the hem and stitch the pocket bags from the notch to the side seam along the curve. After doing so for both pockets, I press the seams, folding the pocket and the seam allowance towards the front of the skirt. I then ran two lines of basting stitches along the waist edge of the skirt, both the back and the front pieces separately.
I did not realize how much easier running two basing stitches would make gathering, but now that I’ve learned I’ve been fully converted. Once you’re done running basting stitches on the skirt fabric only, not the pockets, take your bib and pin the outer waistband of the front skirt, right sides together, matching the center notches and the sides. And then gather away.
I took care to pin the front pocket bags to the wrong side of the skirt, sandwiching the skirt in between. As you can see here, the back pockets are left loose. They will be attached later to the back waistband. Then stitch all of the front layers together. After removing the basting threads, press the waistband and the seam allowances away from the skirt. Then pin the inner front waistband to the wrong side of the skirt, covering the stitch line by about one millimeter.
Then we’re going to top stitch along all edges of the waistband, securing the inner waistband in place and creating a bit of decoration with the top stitching. And then repeat that whole process with the back waistband. So when I went to go try this on, to see where everything was falling and how the fit was, the first thing I noticed right off the bat was that the bodice was entirely too big, which I think is going to be a running theme for your girl. So I do think that this will be a pretty easy fix. I think really all I need to do is open up the strap seam on the bodice and just kind of tuck the bodice in a little bit further and just kind of rerun this seam. I think that will allow it to fall a little flatter on my chest.
Other than that, I think everything’s coming along really nicely. I am happy with how the back looks. I think the dress is marketed as sort of a summer dress, but my intention is to have it to wear over sweaters and, you know, long skirts, wool skirts, things like that. But I can definitely, definitely see myself wearing this mid-summer as well.
So I’m really excited to wrap this project up and add another staple to my closet.
I am so pleased with how this turned out. I love the shape, I love the buttons, I love the straps in the back. I think it turned out so pretty. I have a couple different fabrics that I will probably go ahead and use to recreate the dress, and just have this dress in two or three different colors and patterns. I could probably clean up the waistband a little bit and the button loops as well are not super consistent.
There are a couple of button loops that I probably will not unbutton, just because they were really hard to button. But hey, they’re all on there. I can still get the dress on and off. So I’m not that worried about it for right now.
I had a lot of fun styling this for a cottagecore- both like coffee shop and winter cottagecore photoshoot with some friends over the weekend and I also enjoyed our first snow day, first snowy morning here in Richmond, by putting it on and doing some self-portraits. But I just had so much fun wearing and making this pinafore. And if you had as much fun as I did, it would mean the world to me if you would like and subscribe. And if you do, I will see you in two weeks for my next video.