Jayne V-neck Pinafore Dress

I was so disappointed with the Babycord fabric that I used for the ‘not quite Texas pants’ #6 that I ordered 2 metres of Yarn Dyed Stretch Denim in 10 Gold at £7.25 per metre from Hot Pink Haberdashery to make pair #7.

The fabric is described thus;  A stunning range of soft, yarn dyed stretch denim fabric in 10 exquisite colour tones. Blended with polyester to control shrinkage and creasing, together with spandex to add a gentle, comfortable stretch, this lovely denim fabric is perfect for denim clothing from denim shirts & lightweight jackets to denim dresses and skirts. The colour range covers classic denim shades of blue, black and greys together with rich, brights to suit all ages and styles. With a soft feel & midweight weave, this denim range would also suit soft furnishing & craft projects. – Available in 10 colours – Rose, Pink, Fuchsia, Peacock Blue, Gold, Sky Blue, Blue, Stone, Grey & Black. 140cm/55″ wide, 255gsm,75% cotton,22% polyester,3% spandex.

When I showed the fabric to my husband and discussed my plans he suggested that I make a skirt or dress rather than trousers as I would surely get more wear from either of those. Thinking about his suggestion I decided to make a new pinafore dress that I will be able to wear with all the pretty new viscose fabrics that I plan to make into blouses.

I did not want to make a third ‘Jane’ pinafore style, instead I would take advantage of the plain Mustard colour and design something with the opportunity for lots of contrast top stitching. I started out with my TNT bodice block and made the following alterations:

1 Made a V-front neckline into button closure.

2 Drew an angled shoulder front yoke and straight back yoke (to be cut on the bias) with centre back seam.

3 Added princess panel seams by moving the fullness of the darts from the side and waist on both front and back bodice.

4 Fullness of the skirt panels would be made into unpressed pleats.

5 Would add either side seam or patch pockets on the skirt.

6 Would make a feature of the button closure down the front bodice and skirt with additional top stitching.

The fabric was pre-washed and ready for cutting out. I just managed to get the outer pattern pieces from the 2metres. I had intended also to cut the yoke lining and front facing from denim but there was simply not sufficient fabric – even with piecing. So the lining would have to be edge-to-edge, the same as in the previous pinafore dresses. For the bodice lining I used some of the Golden Palm print viscose from Rainbow Fabrics. I also cut some self-fabric bias binding from the Palm print viscose to make Hong Kong finishes on the skirt seam allowances.

All the construction was sewn with in a coordinating colour thread. Contrast top stitching was in Paprika with two threads in the needle. The bodice and bodice lining seam allowances trimmed with pinking shears. Pocket and skirt seam allowances were overlocked.

I searched through my extensive button stash but could not find just the right buttons for the pinafore. Armed with a scrap of fabric with the contrast top stitching I browsed the button stands in Franklins, Salisbury. I bought 12 buttons ‘Vogue Star’ which came to the grand sum of £7.20.

When I got home I was still not sure, searching a second time I came across these Traeknapper buttons that I purchased when on a cruise in Norway. Isn’t it just typical that I had the ideal buttons all the time and just the right number too?

I completed the pinafore with some top stitching around the armholes and neckline which was yet another trial as the tension went adrift. I switched off the machine, changed to a new needle and disassembled the bobbin case. I removed all the fluff and gave the bobbin chase a good clean. Once that had been done I unpicked the original top stitching around the armholes and re-stitched. This time I used only one thread in the needle but completed the circumference twice to get the depth of top stitching that I wanted and that would match all the other top stitching. The hem was turned up by 2½ inches and hand stitched in place. At last – finished!

Conclusion: The fabric is lovely and is complimented by the contrast top stitching and the Norwegian buttons. The pinafore dress will be an excellent component of my Autumn/Winter wardrobe as it coordinates well with various tops and blouses.

I will need to re-draft the bodice pattern as there is a little gaping in the front armscye and of course, I need to remedy the sizing so that I can use 5/8th seam allowances throughout. I had not accounted for the replacement of my right hip which throws out the alignment of the pleats on that side of the skirt back. Another time it will be best to gather fullness in the back of skirts.

Project #67 completed 19th October 2021