Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Fawn Pinafore Dress


Alrighty! The last garment I made for last week's Kid's Clothes Week. Taking the 'Wild Things' theme in a slightly calmer direction than the two leopard print garments, here's a little denim pinafore dress with leather fawn appliqué and galloping horses on the facings. 


Pattern:

Remember the pile of awesome children's sewing patterns I was given last year? This pinafore pattern (Newlook 6578, pictured below) was amongst them, given to me by lovely Adey from The Sew Convert. This pattern has been playing on my mind since I received it, it looks like such a useful (as well as quick!) potential project that could work in many different fabrics. 


So having actually used it, I can definitely confirm that it is both a quick and a simple make. In fact, the pattern includes some appliqué shapes and a stupid head-triangle in an attempt to make it look a bit trickier! My copy of the pattern was still factory folded when I opened it up, so all sizes were in tact. I traced the size 2. I'm sure you'll be bored of me saying this by now but I have to: this garment came out a bit big for Dolores to wear right now, but that was my aim as I want her to get full use from it. The only thing the pattern didn't call for which I probably would do next time is to stitch a row of topstitching/edge-stitching all around the top and along the straps. Not that there's anything stopping me from adding it to this version, aside from my own laziness! 


Fabric:

I think I may have made a bit of a mistake here. I used some more of the slightly stretchy denim that I'd also made my denim sweet shorts fail from. I thought the stretch in the denim might make it more comfortable to wear, but I fear the fabric is a bit too thick. The shape sticks out a bit like a lampshade, but I'm hoping that will be less apparent when she is a bit bigger and fills it out more. 


The appliqué, however, I am super pleased with. I have a small stash of leather samples that were given to me by Claire from Sew Incidentally (how generous is the sewing community?!). I believe she rescued them from a bin at work! I've had this fawn outline print out since I worked at Traid where I used to do appliquéing from time to time, but hadn't used this particular design before. I think this appliqué works perfectly for children's wear: it's a cute addition, but not too girly when cut out of leather. I used a fancy new foot on my sewing machine to make sewing leather easier, but I'll write about that in more detail when I review some sewing machine feet in a post that will publish in June. 


I'm also very happy with the choice of fabric for the facings. This light-weight horse print cotton used to be part of a dress that was donated to me by my friend Umi. There was a massive rip under one arm that would have been extremely difficult to mend so it got assigned to the cutting up pile instead. Umi's dress was really tiny and the style was comprised of panels so it was tricky to harvest much fabric from it, so children's wear it was destined to be! I think these facings look great in this print. 


Thoughts:

I'm really glad to have found such a great pinafore pattern and I intend to make a stack of these over the next few years (the pattern goes up to size 4). They will be great for layering with vests, t-shirts, tights and cardigans. Plus the basic shape is a fabulous canvas for all sorts of creative use of appliqués or applied pockets, or for playing with details like a scalloped hem. Do you have any ideas how this pinafore pattern could be jazzed up? 

My poor choice of fabric is a bit annoying though. It made for easy appliquéing but the sticky-outiness of the overall shape looks a bit silly. I'm still going to put her in it though, and I'm hoping that it'll soften after several wears and washes with fabric conditioner. 

19 comments:

Unknown said...

Very cute! I have the same pattern, and made it up in navy corduroy, with lilac gingham star-shaped appliqués and matching facings, and I agree it's a great basic pattern which can be changed up to make lots of different versions. My next one will have pockets, as my niece is a big fan of them!

Dorothy DotDot said...

She's adorable! This is an awesome pinafore with that cute lining.

wendy said...

That face!! :). Really Zoe, it's a great dress and who cares about sticky out fabric when you get to that last photo!

I think this could be made into a reversible pinafore no? Replace the facings with a full lining with all seams enclosed etc.

Alessa said...

Aww, she's adorable. As long as she likes wearing it, I don't think it matters if the fabric sticks out a bit. :)

navybluethreads said...

Lovely design, my seven year old still wears this kind of design (she's very girly) so have no doubt you'll get loads of use out of this pattern. Your final shot of her is beautiful :-)

Knitlass said...

Gorgeous!! Love the deer appliqué :-) If the fabric is bothering you, I'd wash it a couple of times to try and soften it up...

Louise Perry said...

Aw your daughter is so cute. I love the applique. Adds such style.

pootleandmake said...

Gorgeous dress for a cute little miss. I've just made the same pattern albeit with a dog theme. Check out my blog. I love this pattern too, it's a great blank canvas.

Jacq C said...

Absolutely fabby 😄

BLD in MT said...

Gosh, I wish I had one of those in my size! I'd wear it all summer long in the woods! As it is, your sweetie sure seems pleased. Forgive my ignorance: how are raw edges avoided on an applique like that? Or is it irrelevant as its cut in leather? I've no experience working with either.

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

You see now you are showing your age, Zo, or lack of it. In the late 60's early 70's, we all had these type of pinafores, even grown ups wore them and the favoured fabric was vinyl, so VERY sticky outy I love the A line of it as it reminds me of favoured garments from the past. Big Mary Quant daisy on the front, kind of thing. You could add a circular cut frill, not gathery, for lots of extra running and climbing room, a patch pocket or two, maybe?

JustSewJenna said...

so cute! I love the leather applique, such a good idea. And she is absolutely beautiful!

gingermakes.com said...

I'm sad that this is the end of the KCW garments! They've all been so fun!

Vanessa J Turner said...

That last photo is cuteness cranked up to 11 :-D
I really like this 'pinny' and the denim/brown combo. I <3 those buttons. I'm really tempted to make my own :-)

Vanessa McWilliams said...

Super cute! I have the same pattern, I made it up in a rad dinosaur fabric I found on clearance. This reminds to add the buttons so my little miss can wear it already

Lyn Collett said...

This is lovely! I think it looks fab.

Terepix said...

Hi Zoe! been reading you for a while, but first time I comment, so.. hiya! *hand wave* :-) I love these dresses, have been making somthing similar, though from a different pattern (but it's practically identical) aanyway, I found a really nice variation on it by adding round pockets with piping; here's one I made: http://terepix.blogspot.be/2014/03/petite-robe-de-capuchon-rouge.html
But the credit really goes to her: http://lacabanedelilou.canalblog.com/archives/2012/01/16/23126217.html (there's even a tuto if anyone's interested)
Now I'm off to put on a me-made garment:-)

Kathryn said...

This is so cute! I love the idea of using leather for applique. I've got lots of leather scraps that belonged to my mum & this would be a nice way to use some of them. Dolores looks so happy in her dress, I don't think you need to worry about the shape of it!

MaryJones said...

Very cute! I never heard of the Kids Clothes Week challenge, but it sounds good to have a specific target. I usually have to aim at Christmas or birthdays or similar to get things finished. Strangely enough, I found your blog when I was hunting for something else (a mystery pattern for baby pants). And as soon as I saw your pinafore dress, I was struck by the similarity with something I just made (from a free internet pattern) for my grand-daughter's first birthday. http://newgrandmawantstosew.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/birthday-outfit-dress-jumper-and.html
I shall save your blog in my favourites!

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