Pippi pinafore

This pinafore dress is by Jennifer Lauren and I’ve been wanting to make it for AGES. I recently read Norfolk Daphne’s blog article about hers and I thought it looked so great that I bought exactly the same fabric!

1. The fabric:

I used a Robert Kaufman cotton flannel which, as mentioned, is the same as the one Daphne used but I selected a dark red instead of rust. I even bought it from the same shop – Guthrie&Ghani. It’s thick and looks like wool, plus it’s ever so soft. It has a lovely fine herringbone pattern. It was expensive but worth every penny. For the lining I used a simple black cotton lawn from my local shop.

2. The pattern:

This is the first Jennifer Lauren pattern I have made and I absolutely love it. I love that it has different bust sizes so I don’t need to do an adjustment, I love the style as it works well with my body shape and the instructions are really detailed which is great. I chose a size 12, C cup. I decided to add 1 inch on each side to the width of the bib, and 1 inch to the height so it covered more of my chest. I think the height wasn’t really necessary but I think the increased width looks good. I decided to use button fastenings instead of buckles, I used the simple wooden buttons I have used before (I was gifted a big batch of them and they are so useful!).

3. The challenges:

I made a few mistakes with this make, but all were solvable.

– Mistake 1: I didn’t have my fabric laid out perfectly so when I cut my skirt front and back they slightly were off grain… really noticable with the herringbone pattern. I managed to re-cut it from the same fabric, but it meant I had to sacrifice about 1 inch of length.

– Mistake 2: I cut the button facing and placket the wrong way around… I had seen in reviews that this was easy to do so I was really careful and still got it wrong! So I ended up remaking the button pieces (only small bits of fabric). In future I will look carefully at the picture in step 4, as that makes it clear which way around it goes.

– Mistake 3: I’m not sure quite what happened with the waistband but I couldn’t get the notches to match up at all. In the end I gave up and just did what felt right and it looks fine. I must have made a mistake somewhere though…!

Other than that, all went really well. I loved sewing with this fabric, it went through the machine like a dream, and other than the odd hiccup the pattern was easy to follow. I decided to sew all my buttonholes by hand which took a while, but I like the finish and it’s not too much of a chore to sit in front of the telly sewing for a few hours.

4. The final result:

A beautiful pinafore dress! I think this is my favourite make so far. It took me a whole weekend to do, plus hand stitching during a couple of evenings of telly (I’m such a slow sewist), but it’s definitely worth it. I love the fabric and the pattern, plus I love it that bit more because I made it. Thanks Norfolk Daphne for the inspiration!

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