HOW TO MAKE… A PINAFORE DRESS
1m (393/ 8") turquoise corduroy fabric 25cm (97/ 8") pieces of solid cotton fabric in assorted shades Small piece of metallic faux silver leather Small piece of silver glitter fabric Iron-on fusible adhesive Matching sewing threads Two brightly-coloured buttons, 2cm ( ") diameter Tailor’s chalk Seam ripper We’ll take any excuse to up our appliqué game, especially if it means we get to play with glitter fabric. This smile-inducing A-line pinafore strikes just the right balance of retro and Scandi – and it has a cute patch pocket.
The bright corduroy fabric is a firm favourite with us, but you could sew it in cotton canvas or denim, too. And these appliqué shapes are just the start – once you’ve got the hang of the technique, you can make all manner of shapes and have fun arranging them, fuzzy felt-style.
Using the templates on page 97, cut a pinafore front piece, a pinafore back piece and a pocket piece in your chosen size from the corduroy, adding a 1cm ( 3 /8") seam allowance all around. The pattern is cut as one half, with the front and back necklines shown, so you’ll need to flip the pattern piece over to obtain a full front or back. It’s easier to cut the back piece first, followed by the front. That way, you can simply cut away the lower neckline of the pattern piece.
The top section of the dress is partially lined with facing. Cut out two facing pieces from the corduroy following the top outline of the pinafore front and back, using the horizontal facing line as the base of the pieces and adding a 1cm ( 3 /8") seam allowance. The horizontal facing line runs 5cm (2") from the underarm point, so you may need to mark this yourself according to the pattern size.
Using the templates on page 97, cut out the rainbow, raincloud and flower paper pieces for appliqué – you may want to enlarge them by a further 20% for the largest size.
Following the manufacturer’s guidelines, back the solid cotton fabric pieces with iron-on fusible adhesive. Trace the rainbow, raincloud and flower templates onto the paper-backed side of the fabric, using the image as a guide to colourway. Cut the shapes out and peel the backing paper away.
Position the shapes on the right side (RS) of the dress front, RS up. Once you’re happy with the placement, cover with a piece of paper and press to bond. Test the heat level on scrap pieces of the metallic and glitter fabrics before pressing the appliqué pieces.
Using matching thread, topstitch around each shape, 0.25cm ( 1 /8") in from the edge. Set the sewing machine to a smaller stitch to navigate the curved edges and test a scrap of the glitter fabric before sewing the appliqué pieces.
Fold the top edge of the pocket to the wrong side ( WS) by 1cm ( 3 /8") twice and press. Fold the other edges of the pocket to the WS by 1cm ( 3 /8") and press. Place the pocket on the dress front as marked, pin in place, then sew 0.5cm (¼") in from the edge. Backstitch either side of the pocket tops to secure, or sew a triangle shape for extra strength.
Place the dress front and back pieces with RS together. Sew along one side seam, 1cm ( 3 /8") in from the edge. Finish the raw edges of the sewn seam with zigzag stitch or an overlocker, then press the seam open. Place the front and back facing pieces with RS together, sew along one side 1cm ( 3 /8") in from the edge, and press the seam open. Place the dress with front and back RS up, then place the facing piece on top, matching the top raw edges and with RS together. Pin around the neck and armholes and sew 1cm ( 3 /8") in from the edge.
Snip the curved edges to within 0.25cm ( 3 /8"). With RS together, pin and sew the remaining side seam 1cm ( 3 /8") from the edge. Finish the raw edges of the seam with zigzag stitch or an overlocker and press.
Next, turn the pinafore dress RS out and press. Topstitch the arm and neck edges 0.5cm (¼") in from the edge to finish, taking care at the curved strap edges.
Turn the dress WS out and zigzag stitch or overlock the hem edge. Fold the hem to the WS by 2cm (¾") and sew. Turn the dress RS out and press the hem.
Use the template to mark the position of the two 2cm (¾") buttonholes on the straps at the back of the dress. Sew the buttonholes, then cut them open using a seam ripper. Finally, sew the buttons onto the straps on the front of the dress, aligning them with the buttonholes.