Kate’s Pinafore

I have finally finished the little pinafore ensemble I have been working on as a present for my friend’s daughter who will shortly celebrate her first birthday.

The Finished Outfit

Just to recap, the fabric I chose was a cotton velvet in a cool green shade and some matching glazed cotton to line it. 

I did, in fact, make the garment reversible so all of the construction stitches are hidden by bagging out the lining and main fabrics and joining the two at the waist seam which is then concealed by braid or ribbon. 

The Pinafore skirts are formed from four identical, rectangular panels pleated and set into the bodice.  First of all, I prepare the skirt sections by sewing the fabrics right sides together along the side and bottom seams, leaving the waist seam open.  I do the same with the bodice sections, sewing up the side seams, the shoulder seams (fronts and backs are later slip-stitched together invisibly and covered in braid/ribbon) and down the neckline and centre front.

You will, at this point, have four identical bodice sections and four identical skirt ones.  Trim the seam allowances close to the sewing line, turn the pieces right side out and press.

 Now, set the pleats.  I do this mainly be eye, with a tape measure to help me get them exact.  When I’m happy with the way they are sitting I pin them in place, trim off any excess which sticks up above the top edge and sew along close to the sewing line to fix their position.  I then set this top edge of the skirt section up in to the bodice section, turning the bodice seam allowance up into the inside and pinning it in place.  I then sew the two together and repeat these same steps for the other three sections. 

The pleats set out ready for stitching

Skirt section pinned into bodice ready to sew

 That’s just about it for the pinafore.  The rest is just decoration.  I chose a dusky pink velvet ribbon which I sewed around the neckline, the shoulder seams and along the waist seam.  I hand stitched a whipped running stitch in vintage DMC Perle cotton to add a seaside-rock pink accent and stitched some hand embroidered flowers and foliage along the ribbon at the waist.  The sections are caught together where the ribbon meets and the front and back are embellished with a hand made button whipped with the same DMC threads as are used in the embroidery.

The matching bloomers and optional skirt frill are worked in the same glazed cotton as was used for lining the pinafore and are trimmed with the same velvet ribbon.

Bloomers!

Optional skirt frill

Close-up of embroidery

Front detail

Splayed out to show sectional construction

Close-up of bodice

The finished outfit

All content copyright HA Lewington 2010. 
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