How to Make a Little Girls Pinafore Dress, Age 18 Months
Updated: Apr 14
Make this adorable young girl’s pinafore dress, with a front panel which can be easily decorated with embroidery or embellishments to make it more personal.
Time it takes to make: 5-6 Hours
Skill level : Beginner/Intermediate
You will need:
1Mtr (1 ⅛th yds) of fabric
65cms (¾yd) of 25mm (1”) wide elastic
25cms (¼yd) of fusible interfacing
Pins, Safety pin or Bodkins
All seams are 5/8” or 1.5cms unless otherwise stated.
Before you start your project, gather all your supplies and have a quick read through the instructions just to familiarise yourself with the terminology. It is always a good idea to wash your fabric before you begin work to eliminate any possibility of shrinkage at a later date. Iron your fabric with a suitable temperature to ensure it is flat and easy to work with. You would be amazed with the difference in size a few creases can make.
1. Fold your fabric right sides together, you can either make a pattern out of greaseproof paper or just draw on the fabric with either tailors chalk or an air erasable pen. Cut out all the pieces as measures and quantities below.
2. With the right sides together fold the bib band in half, top to bottom. Tack the raw edges together. Sandwich the band between the two bib pieces. Stitch the upper edge in a 3/8” (1cm)seam.
Trim/layer the seam. Turn the top (lining) to the inside, press. Tack the raw edges together.
3. Take the straps and mark the position of the buttonholes 2” (5cms) from the right side. On two of the straps apply a piece of fusible interfacing to the wrong side to cover the buttonhole marking. With right sides together, pin and tack one strap to the left of the bib, making sure the interfacing is at the free end. Sew 3/8” (1cm)seam. Reinforce at the top and bottom by back tacking. Press seam towards the strap.
4. With right sides together, pin and tack the strap facing (no interfacing), to the strap. Starting at the lower edge, stitch 3/8”(1cm) seam all the way to the top of the bib, backstitch to reinforce the seam. Trim and layer the seam and corners.
5. Turn the strap right side out, roll the edges between your fingers to get a sharp edge, press. Press under 3/8” (1cm) on the open raw edge of the facing. Slip-stitch the pressed edge of facing over the seam. Complete the remaining strap to the right side of the bib in the same way. Tack across lower edge of the straps.
6. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the front waistband.
7.Find the centre of the bib at the lower edge and centre of both waistbands, pin to mark this point. Sandwich the bib between the waistband and waistband facing, matching the centres marked with the pin (right side of the waistband to the right side of the bib, then lay the right side of the facing on top).
8. Stitch a 3/8” (1cm) seam. Trim the seam in layers. Press the seam towards the facing.
9. On the back casing with tailors tacks or air erasable pens mark 7/8” (2.2cms) from the top and 5/8” (1.5cms) from side edge and 15/8” (4.1cms) from the top and 5/8”(1.5cms) from side edge.
10. With right sides together pin and tack front waistband and facing to back casing at the side seams. Stitch leaving a gap between the dots in the casing. Back tack at the dots to reinforce the seam. Press the seam open.
11. With right sides together stitch the front of the skirt to the back at the side seams, neaten the seam by either a zig-zag stitch, over-edge stitch or the use of an overlocker if you have one. Press the seams to the back. Gather the upper edge of the skirt by sewing on the right side with the longest stitch length, ¼” inside the seam allowance and ¼” outside
12. With right sides together, place the top (bib, waistband and casing) over the skirt, pin skirt to the front waistband and back casing, matching centres and side seams. Pull up the gathering stitches using the bobbin thread to fit.
13. Pin the skirt in place, tack if required, stitch. Stitch again inside the seam allowance to reinforce the seam. Trim. Press the bib out, pressing the seam towards the bib.
14. Press under 5/8” (1.5cms) on lower free edge of waistband facing and back casing. Trim to ¼” (6mm)
15. Turn the waistband and back casing to the inside along the foldline (middle). Press. Pin the pressed long edge of the waistband facing and back casing over seam. Slip stitch in place.
16. Cut the elastic 10¼” (26cms). Insert the elastic into the back casing through the opening in the side using either a safety pin or bodkin. Secure the elastic at one end by stitching through the side seam. Try on for size and comfort. Secure the elastic at the other end. Tuck the ends of the elastic under the front waistband, slip-stitch the opening closed.
17. Cross the straps at the back, try on the dress for size and mark the position for the buttons on the inside of the dress and buttonholes on the straps. When happy with the fit, make the buttonholes in the backend of the straps and sew buttons to the back casing.
18. Press up the hem to the required length. Press under ¼” (6mm) on the raw edge. Stitch close to the inner pressed edge. Your dress is now finished.
19. I have used the fabulous Peter Pan fabric from Craft Cotton Co. but if you are using a plain fabric why not have a go at some applique or machine embroidery with the bib panel. Happy Sewing
Made by Bernadette Wainwright for The Craft Cotton Company 2018
Find her on Instagram @bernie_sew_whats_new