Saturday, 30 April 2016


I've been making loads of things since I found out my daughter was expecting our first grandchild but have only just got around to making her her first dress. I've been dying to do this for ages but I prefer making summer dresses rather than winter ones so now is the perfect time to start despite the current chilly spell.
I have loads of fabric in my stash already but with so much inspiration on pinterest and instagram and with sooooo many beautiful, cute and fun fabric being introduced I can't but help myself but order more!
I discovered some Lewis and Irene  fabric called Bunny Garden and chose the Bunny Wreath on light grey, Pretty Flowers on pink and Leo Bunny on pink.

Bunny Garden by Lewis & Irene

I decided on a pinafore dress pattern from the patterns I already had from when my daughter was small. I wanted the dress to be quite simple because as I want to make so many things I'm all for things that don't take too long to make.  I found a pattern I had traced which I think was from an old Burda magazine. I had bought quite a few of these magazines when my children were small but had thrown them out at some point. However, for some reason I had kept this one.

My granddaughter is now 8 months old but is quite long in the body and lets say, a big big for her age, so she is in clothes for 9-12 months. I chose the 62/68 size because the bigger size seemed so big compared to her measurements and some of her existing clothes.

It has been a very long time since I made a child's dress. Almost 20 years, so I could't quite remember how to stitch the bodice part of a pinafore dress, or at least in what order to do things. When I copied the pattern all those years ago I had only written down a few brief notes so I am so grateful for the internet and YouTube for all those tutorials available for things like this. I found a Youtube video which I must say was brilliant. Without blowing my own trumpet, I know most basic things in most crafts and only need a little reminder every now and again. So when I'm looking for a quick reminder I find some tutorials so frustrating because they seem to go on and on so much about why they do something or what they are using or why, so it takes forever to get to the point or help that I'm looking for. This tutorial by  Melly Sews is brilliant.

I have shared how I made the pinafore below. Maybe some of it will be helpful to someone and please ask if I've missed any stage out or have not explained it well.

Pinafore Tutorial

NB I mainly pin my pieces together and only occasionally tack things in place. If you prefer,  tacking is an option.

Cut out the front and back pattern pieces for the bodice on the fold, once in the top fabric and once in chosen lining

Placing the two front pieces right sides together stitch from the bottom of the arm hole all the way around the neck to the bottom of the other arm hole. Repeat this with the back main fabric and lining. Clip curves. Turn them right sides out and press.

Open out the side seams and pin the seams together (right sides facing) manipulating the seams to make them less bulky, pin and stitch.

Top stitch all around the edges.

Cut out skirt - to make things simple I used a width of fabric. I wanted the matching panties to show so my skirt part was quite short.

If you are happy with the length of your fabric you can hem the bottom edge now.

Using the longest stitch on your machine stitch 2 rows in the seam allowance along the top of the front and back halves of the skirt (gather stitches).

Machine stitch the side seams. Pull the bottom threads of the gather stitches until they match the corresponding bottom edges of the bodice pieces. Pin and stitch making sure the gathers and excess fabric do not ride up and get caught whilst you are sewing.

Stitch button holes on the top of the shoulder sections of either the front or back, depending on your pattern, of the bodice and sew a button on the corresponding strap.

I added a pocket and a bow on the skirt section.

I also made panties which were quite straight forward, following another pattern I had. I cut out two pattern pieces, stitch the front and back seams with right sides facing, then I had to bring the crutch sections together and stitch.

The waist band had to be turned over and stitched leaving a gap to thread elastic through. The same for the leg casings. The pattern gave a guide for the length of both waist and legs. After threading the elastic through using a safety pin and stitching the ends together, the opening had to be sewn closed.

I also made a headband from elasticated lace and a bow made from the Leo Bunny fabric.

I can't wait to try this outfit on my little granddaughter. And I hope it fits! :-)


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