HOW TO MAKE… A PINAFORE DRESS

Mollie Makes - - Loving - Kirsty Hart­ley Mum of three Kirsty has carved out a cre­ative work-life bal­ance, cre­at­ing colour­ful ev­ery­day clothes for ad­ven­tur­ous chil­dren with her UK­made brand Wild Things. She’s also the au­thor of two sewing books: Wild Things Funky Lit­tle Clothes to

MA­TE­RI­ALS

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.

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