A sewing project – girl’s pinafore dress

I had a remnant of cotton fabric, which I realised would make a pretty dress for a small girl.  A pattern in a Woman’s Weekly Treasury from 1985 seemed ideal.

I can follow a sewing pattern, but constructing garments is not something I find easy.  Having to sew pieces right side together and then turn them the other way out involves some imaginative processes which almost defeat me.  I have to experiment and find out what works.  Over the years I have learned that it is best to spend some time testing what a pattern means than guessing and getting it wrong!

It took me some time to realise that the pattern outlines were full size.  I traced them onto greaseproof paper and cut out the pieces from the folded fabric..

The pattern suggested adding a motif to the pocket on the bib.  As I was using printed fabric I decided to cut the pocket with a flower near the centre and dispense with the motif.

The instruction for sewing the bib to the waistband confused me. I realised that it was necessary to join both bib pieces at the side edges before carrying out the printed instruction.  Both bibs and both waistbands had to be joined.  Without a picture of the back view of the garment, I had puzzled over whether I was making one or two bibs!  Insertion of the word pieces after bib and after waistband would have helped me. (Have I mentioned that I find words easier to understand than picture instructions?  I like the words to be precise too.  Fussy, or what?)

Then I found that I had made a mistake measuring the waistband pattern.  I realised that I could lengthen it by inserting a single extension.

The project is almost complete.  It needs the hem to be stitched and button holes to be added to the straps and buttons to the waist band.  I did not follow the instructions for the straps as given in the pattern.  Turning a long length of tube is time consuming, so instead of stitching right sides together, I folded the strap and top-stitched it instead.

Front view

Front view