Pinafore dress


Style analysis: pinafore dress featuring a waist cut, princess lines ending at armholes on bodice and flared skirt with pleats. Dress has a fake buttoning in center front and an invisible zipper as closure.

You can sew it in any woolen fabric for a winter version (we recommend lining for it not to stick to tights), or in denim, corduroy, canvas for something to be used also with warmer weather. If you choose a plaid as the one in the image, pay attention to matching lines!

To draft the pattern start by tracing a copy of your basic dress with darts and 8 to 10cm wearing ease at bust circumference. You can learn our method for drafting perfectly made to measure basic blocks (contoured ones, and the ones with wearing ease) and for fitting them in our basic blocks course/module 1.


Step 1

Trace back and front separate to knee line, then flare 10 to 12cm at side seam and shorten both skirts to 20cm above knee (you can change length and flare according to your preferences).

Cut through the new hemline and through waistline to separate bodice and skirt.

Step 2

Get bodice. On back:

  • drop 2 to 4cm from nape point in center back and square across 5 to 8cm
  • move sideways 3,5 to 5,5cm from high shoulder point and connect to center back to redraw the neckline
  • measure 4 or 5cm from new point along shoulder line for shoulder strap width
  • redraw armhole from new point to original armpit point.

On front:

  • measure from back to match starting point of new neckline on shoulder
  • drop 10 to 15cm in center front, square across to dart line then connect to new point on shoulder
  • match shoulder strap width and redraw armhole
  • widen shoulder dart by 1cm at the new neckline.

Cut through all lines.

Step 3

On back, measure down 8 to 11cm from shoulder point along new armhole, mark the point and redraw waist dart slanted ending to that point. Make sure dart length is consistent (above dart apex you just have a slash line, with no discard).

On front, measure down the same amount and connect with a soft curve to bust point. Highlight also underbust dart and make sure waist dart is as wide at underbust as it’s at waist level (as in contoured bodices).
Cut through slash line on front and close shoulder dart.

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