Tutorial Tuesday: Make a Wear-Alone Dress from the Storybook Pinafore Pattern

Pretty, frilly, pinafores! Originally pinafores were a protective apron designed to keep the dress beneath clean. (The word 'pinafore' comes from the fact they were originally just "pinned" to the front, or "fore" of a dress.)
Tie Dye Diva Storybook Pinafore Pattern
What if you love their vintage, ruffly goodness but ... well ... just don't want to make an underdress AND a pinafore just to get that sweet look?

Then you ask Robin Seymour to guest post and share with everyone how she made this adorable, breezy, wear-alone dress from the Storybook Pinafore pattern.

And this one.

Cuteness abounds.

Let's get started.

You'll need the Storybook Pinafore pattern and, for baby sizes 0-24 months, about 1/3 yard more fabric than the materials list states, and for girl's sizes, about 1/2 yard more than the materials list states. You might want to size down a size, since the pinafore is designed to be an overdress. Robin's used some gorgeous linen-blend fabrics. Robert Kaufman makes some lovely ones, both linen–cotton and linen–rayon. Some of my favorite sites for fabrics like these are Hawthorne Threads and Imagine Gnats.

Here's Robin with the details. She's making a size 2/3. You can use this tutorial for any size Storybook Pinafore, from 0-3 months to 9/10 years.

Assemble the bodice following directions in the pattern.

Now cut your skirt pieces. I add some width to account for the skirt now being a full dress. For baby sizes, add about 5" width to both the front and back skirt panel measurements. For girl sizes, add about 10". I also made the dress about 3 inches longer (on this one I added 1" to the skirt and 2" in ruffle - if you are not adding a ruffle, make your skirt a total of about 1.5" longer for baby sizes and 2" to 3" longer for girl sizes).

Serge or zig zag stitch the short ends of each skirt panel to finish them and prevent fraying.

Now, place your skirt panels right sides together and and start pinning the short side edges together, starting 2.5" from the top [for smaller sizes or a shorter side vent, start closer to the top of the panels].

Sew from this point down to the bottom of your skirt (with a 1/2" seam allowance), sewing your panels together. Do this on both sides.

Next, take your skirt to your ironing board and press both seams open, including the 2.5" portion that isn't sewn. It should look like this.

Now take your skirt over to your machine and top stitch around the V you created in the seams on the skirt. Sew down, across, and back up, about 1/4" from the slit.

Hem your skirt however you want. I added a ruffle to this one.

Now you will sew two rows of gathering stitches along the front panel of the skirt and a second set along the back panel. You will gather the front and back separately - by the same method shown in the pattern. Gather your front panel and pin it right-sides-together with your front waistband, remembering to only pin it to the outer layer, not the liner.

Sew both the front and back skirt panels to the bodice this way and finish according to pattern directions!

Many thanks to Robin for being our guest and sharing this easy technique to get more wear out of your Storybook Pinafore patterns!

Robin Seymour has been sewing for about 4 years now and she found Tie Dye Diva patterns very early in her sewing journey. She has been using them from the start and she knew this pinafore would be perfect for her vision! She is a stay at home mom for 4 beautiful children. She also designs and sews with a boutique named Pepper Laine. Early last year she started a facebook sewing group called Sew And Tell with a few of her friends as well and she loves sharing all her creations and seeing all of theirs. Sewing is a huge part of her life, and she is so glad to have awesome patterns like these from Tie Dye Diva to help her bring her ideas to life!

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