Much like pairs of dungarees, I can never have too many pinafore dresses. The Helen’s Closet York pinafore is a favourite and features in my wardrobe 3 times, but Jennifer Lauren is the queen of pinafore patterns – I have made 2 each of the Ivy and Pippi and Georgie is the latest addition to my collection!
I bought the Georgie pattern as soon as it was released. The classic shift style is so wearable and I loved the exposed zip and in-seam patch pocket details, which give it a retro but also modern vibe. Jennifer Lauren patterns come in two size bands (original and curve), which cover sizes 6 to 34. Even better – there are different cup sizes included in the pattern (A all the way up to F), so no bust adjustments required! I made my pinafore in the size 10 with B cup option and I’m really happy with the fit.
The fabric I have used was a remnant I bought at the Merchant and Mills yard sale back in July last year – it’s Italian brushed denim and it’s absolutely delicious. The piece was 150cm wide, but only 1.1m long and the Georgie fabric requirements state you need 1.5m for the pinafore in my size. It took A LOT of jiggling and I had to cut my facing pieces from a different fabric, but I JUST managed to make it fit! I had originally intended to use the denim to make some shorts, but I will get so much more wear from a pinafore and I’m pleased I could use something I already had in my stash.
Patsy was just as keen to make the Georgie pinafore, so we decided to buddy sew it! Other than the zip (we’ll get to that in a minute), the construction is very simple and it was a lovely project to work on over the course of a few days. Now, inserting an exposed zip is not complicated and the instructions are very thorough and clear – no issues there. The process involved a fair bit of basting, but that resulted in a very well-positioned zip and no unpicking whatsoever.
However, the method used leaves you with an area just under the bottom of the zip-stop that is very vulnerable to fraying. There are other methods of inserting an exposed zip that would avoid this, but by the time I realised the issue, my zip was in and there was no way I was taking it out again! To resolve this area of weakness, I stitched a small patch of denim to the seam allowances behind the bottom of the zip and then sewed a bar-tack parallel to the bottom of the metal zip-stop through the dress, seam allowances and this extra layer. I have worn my pinafore several times already and this fix is holding up perfectly, but next time I would definitely change the method of insertion to avoid the problem in the first place.
Overall I am delighted with my pinafore and I think it’s my favourite Jennifer Lauren pattern yet! It works so well with my vast array of Bretons and I can fit chunkier layers underneath too for when it’s really chilly. I have been meaning to try the True Bias Nikko top for absolutely ages and having a new pinafore to wear it with was excellent motivation to get sewing! I used some lovely bamboo jersey from 1st for Fabrics and made a size 6, which turned out perfectly – I especially love how long the sleeves are so I can tuck my permanently cold hands inside them!
So there are now 9 pinafore dresses in my wardrobe (there’s a self-drafted one snuck in there as well as those I have made from patterns) and I’m sure there will be more soon enough! Do you have a favourite pinafore? Is there an absolute gem of a pattern out there that I should try? Let me know in the comments!