Winter. It’s the end of July here at Plum Towers & feels like Spring is a looong way off. However seeing the images of those poor people in Greece & California struggling with wild fires it would be rather churlish to complain about a bit (or a lot) of rain. It might make my deck look pretty terrible, but it isn’t going to hurt me or mine.
Instead, I shall embrace some winter dressing! When Jennifer Lauren asked for reviewers for her Pippi Pinafore I was tempted, but torn. Tempted because I’ve made her patterns before, and know her fit for me is spot on , and her instructions are clear & through. Torn because I’m a woman in her *cough cough* early (ish) forties, is a pinafore really the go? Or will it bring back terrible memories of my high school uniform, a pinafore symphony of green & gold plaid. Australian Olympians can get away with green & gold, spotty gangly 14 year olds not so much…
Also it’s cold right now. While a linen version with a cute Breton style stripe top underneath is very appealing, I’m a soft Aucklander, in my world anything below 10 C is actually freezing. So I spent a few minutes* on Pintrest & was intrigued. Could I take what I think of as quite a summery look, and make it drizzle & cold appropriate? Im happy to say I took the plunge , spending a pleasant half an hour cutting and taping the PDF together . I know many people loath this task (I actually find it quite relaxing to do with UKTV on & a glass of wine to hand), but I’m happy to say the notches match up & it all comes together very easily.
First stop, fabric. I had a lovely wool crepe in my stash, brought yonks ago at Drapers Fabric . Even after making the worlds crappiest pants, I still enough left for a dress, yay! Light enough to sew with a lining, and still wear a jersey underneath, yet with more weight & warmth than a linen or cotton, perfect. I also though the navy colour would make the dress look a little more grown up & season appropriate. It would work a treat with my pink Uniqlo jersey.
The pattern is reasonably simple, there are quite few pieces once you have your lining & interfacing cut out, but the pattern directions are really clear, a competent beginner could make this with time & attention.
The pockets are lined, and plenty big enough for cold hands (or car keys & a hanky?). I was concerned the pocket size and placement may not be a great look for me, but they are actually a nice design feature.
The patterns comes in multiple cup sizes A-D and sizes 6-24. I cut a straight size 20, with no alterations. The skirt part of the dress is really nice, the pleats at the front & darts at the back give a nice skim of tum & butt, without acres of fabric adding bulk. If I want bulk I’ll eat it thanks! I couldn’t find buckles that worked so I used the button option instead on the straps. So much potential for fabric/button combinations. Please don’t look too closely at my buttonholes however…
The lining keeps everything look pretty on the inside, I use a sweet Japanese Lawn , I love the idea of this somber navy, with such a pop of colour & print inside. The pockets are also lined.
You may notice the lack of buttons on the side of the pocket. My machine absolutely refused to deal with so many layers of fabric, and asserted her authority in no uncertain terms. After the fifth attempt sanity prevailed & my frock is still quite lovely thank you very much. Please also forgive the overlocked hem. I was running out of daylight & my photographer was very firm “I’ll take the pics during halftime”. Well, he is very patient, so I like to be flexible.
Would I make this again? Absolutely. I really want a gorgeous linen version for spring, to wear with a stripey top (of course!) and sneakers. I also intend to make a skirt from this pattern. I’ve struggled to find great skirt patterns, a pencil skirt is too slim for my hips, and as I usually wear flats, can just look frumpy. But I don’t want the loads of fabric around my hips & butt a gathered style can bring. This is a great combination, ease from the darts at the back, interest from the pockets , a couple of cheeky pleats around my tum for less cling & jobs a goodin!
Thoughts on pinafores? If, like me, you were on the fence , I’d give this pattern a go, you wont have high school flashbacks, I promise!
Have a fab week, I hope where ever you are the temperature, as Goldilocks so famously put it, is just right!
*Has anyone ever spent “a few minutes” on Pintrest? Yeah, right!
** Jen offered this pattern for free in exchange for a fair & honest review, the only kind worth reading obviously