Kia ora lovely sewing friends
Now I’ll start by being totally honest. When Jennifer Lauren put out a call for reviewers (not testers) of her recently released Pippi pinafore pattern, I was ambivalent. I haven’t worn a pinafore since my green & gold plaid monstrosity at High School; would I want to go there again (*cough cough* with the addition of 25 years wear & tear)? While I may have briefly dallied with dungarees in the early 90’s (be fair, didn’t we all?), a pinafore dress was another step.
While seeing some very cute warm weather versions all over Instagram, I was initially more interested in something I could wear in an Auckland winter, neither warm nor usually very dry. I did have some lovely navy crepe leftover from a disastrous attempt at pants making, could I make a dress that felt a wee bit grown up, but still fun and appropriate for some wind & rain?
The dress has a fitted bib, patch pockets and a side button fastening. There are darts & pleats for shaping, and either a buckle or button finish on the bib.
Pattern name: The Pippi Pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.
Size range (with measurements): 6-24 which is 29/24/35 to 49/42/53 (74/61/89 to 126/106/134). The pattern has multiple cup sizes, A-D.
What size did you make? I made the 20 which is 44/38/49. My measurements are actually 44/38/48, and it fits a treat, so pretty true to sizing. I have made several other Jennifer Lauren pattern & found this to be the case also.
What are your measurements, height, and body type? (If reviewing a top or dress, bra size is very helpful for our readers.) I’m 5.5 “ (166 cm), and am all about the curves, full bust (16DD), a wee tum & generous hips & thighs . I was most concerned about the waist & hip fit in this pattern, but they both fit well, with a nice “skim” over my tummy & hips.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? The only adjustment I made was to not use the button detail on the dress, my machine refused to deal with the buttonholes on the crepe & I decided it still looked nice without. Otherwise I stuck to the pattern. Next time I would add maybe an additional 2-3cm (an inch) of length to the hem
What fabric did you use? I used a soft navy blue crepe with just a hint of stretch for the main fabric, and a pretty patterned Japanese Lawn for lining the bib, pockets & waistband.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? Great pattern. Clear, logical, and thorough. Lots of instruction and plenty of clear diagrams to follow. I haven’t really lined anything before (not successfully anyway!), but the instructions to line the bodice and pockets were easy to follow & came out a treat. The pockets are a lovely design detail, again easy to construct & sew. Even the separate button band is relatively easy, and again makes for a more professional finish.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape? I’m really pleased with the fit, especially around my waist & hips. I was worried the skirt would be too tight, but it just skimmed comfortably, without being too full & adding volume around my hips. I like volume as much as the next girl but my hips can manage that on their own thanks! I was quite happy with the amount of coverage across my bust but it would be quite easy to make the bib bigger if you preferred.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make? I will definitely make this one again. I’d like a linen version for spring to wear over a cute striped Breton style top, or floral lawn blouse with sneakers or sandals. I’d also like to make the skirt on its own, just adding a zipper at the side. The fit is so nice & I really like the pocket detail.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up? The instructions are good, I think a competent beginner could manage this one alone without any additional help.
Pattern Rating System:
Size Range (1-5) 4.5
Up to size 24, and multiple cup sizes make it a bit more inclusive than some other indie patterns. I also like the fact the pattern, in my experience, runs true to the measurements given.
Instructions (1-5) 4.5
Clear, detailed & a plenty of diagrams to follow along with.
Construction Process (1-5) 4.5
Came together really logically, especially lining something the first time, and button facings. There is quite a bit of top stitching, which I personally enjoy, but does take a bit more time.
Final Fit (1-5) 4.5
Pretty much spot on as far as I’m concerned, the only thing I’d change next time was a wee bit more length.
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation 4.5
This is a really nice pattern, good instructions, great fit, something that works in both a Summer & Winter wardrobe. I’m looking forward to making my linen version (if Spring ever arrives…?)