I realized that many readers of my blog are totally new to sewing – some even told me that they only started sewing in May or June when the pandemic forced every one to stay at home. I love how the hobby of home sewing becomes more and more popular. I was also one who was first curious about sewing – and got addicted – and finally became a professional pattern maker and sewer! I believe even after the pandemic is gone, we are going to have lots and lots of home sewists!
In order to help sewing novices with some easy projects that still look great – I am focusing on simple designs that do not require too much skills. But the designer in me always tells me to look for those that will look good – if not great – on just anybody.
And one of the one I found super lovely and classy is shared today – the Vera pinafore dress!
You may think that wearing a pinafore dress may make you look like a little girl – but that’s a wrong idea. This dress is versatile and can be worn during any season! You can have a look at how one of my favorite bloggers styled her pinafore dress here: Style not brand
So back to the Vera pinafore dress today. It features a shorter length (above the knee), with a loose fitting, deep V neck, button down front and two large patched pockets. All you need is some time and patience, and you will get a great piece of garment to play with.
And what’s more, the Vera pinafore dress is created in 10 sizes from XXS to 5XL, which means even if you are skinny or chubby, you can find one that fits you best!
The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the instruction here.
You can print this using your home printer and A4/Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!
Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit.
HOW TO SEW THE VERA PINAFORE DRESS
You will need
- Fabric of your choice
- Some interfacing
- 6 buttons – I prefer the ones with diameters of around 5/8 inch (1.5 centimeters)
- Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
How much fabric do you need for this dress? You may need to check how much fabric you need before buying. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Just to be sure, print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 centimeters or 35 to 60 inches). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don’t forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.
After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this image:
Fabric will be cut into following pieces:
- Front: 2 pcs
- Back: 1 pc (it’s cut on the fold so be sure to fold the fabric before cutting)
- Patched pocket: 2 pcs
- Front facing: 2 pcs + 2pcs fusible interfacing
- Back facing: 1 pc (again, it’s cut on the fold) + 1 pc fusible interfacing
Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as pleats etc. from the pattern piece onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.
1. Apply fusible interfacing onto the front and back facing pieces.
2. Serge all the pieces or use zig zag stitch of your home sewing machine to prevent the fabric from fraying. If you are using a fabric that does not fray, it’s totally fine to skip this step.
3. Fold the top edge of the pocket piece twice and sew it in place. Repeat with the other pocket.
4. Fold the edges of the pocket piece toward the wrong side and press. You may need to clip the corner to make it flat.
5. Place the pocket piece on the front dress piece, both pieces facing the same direction. Pin the sides of the pocket along the marked line so they match. Top stitch the pocket to the main dress piece. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of the seam so it will not tear away easily. Repeat with the pocket on the other side.
6. Pin the shoulders of the front and the back pieces right sides facing, sew the shoulder seams. Press the seams open. Repeat this step with the front and back facing pieces.
7. Align the joined facing piece with the joined main piece. Pin along the neckline toward the hemline. It’s going to be a long way to go, but make sure all the points and curves match. Start sewing from the hemline toward the neckline and to the other hemline. Try your best to keep the edges straight and do not pull to much at the neckline.
8. Clip the curves and the corner of the neckline. Turn the fabric over and do a top stitch on the facing piece to keep it from turning out. It may get tricky at the corner, but with some practice you can do it.
9. Pin the armholes of the main dress and the armholes of the facing piece right side facing. Sew the armhole seams.
10. Clip the curve of the armholes seam, then turn the fabric inside out through the shoulder of the dress.
11. Hem the dress.
12. Sew the buttonholes by hand or by using the buttonhole function of the sewing machine. Attach the buttons so they match with the buttonholes. If you have the tools, you can also make snap buttons.
Voila! Now you have it – the Vera pinafore dress! I’m so sure you will be happy wearing it!
And here is the download link: