To the pinafore lovers out there – you are welcome.
I think there could possibly not be a more adorable pinafore pattern than this, and after swooning over it for the last few months since I discovered it, I can safely say that I am not disappointed!
The Steele Pinafore is a pattern from Elbe Textiles, who need no introduction (especially those of us that have made their very popular Sorrento Bucket Hat)! They have a thoughtfully curated pattern collection and focus on slow sewing and building up a useful collection of pieces, concentrating on quality over quantity which is something I am trying to work on.
To describe the Steele I am going to quote the pattern cover..
‘The Steele Pinafore features subtly shaped bodice panels that meet deeply scooped pockets. Adjustable straps tie up at the back and button loops work as closures at the side waist. Designed to be worn over a shirt or a dress, the pinafore skims over the bust, flaring out over the waist and hips. View A has an A-line skirt and view B has a gathered skirt. Both view finish below the knee. Available in a B cup and a combined C/D cup in sizes A to N’.
(Sizes A – N measure from a 29″ bust to a 55″ bust).
I made up view B which is has the gathered skirt. I used the bodice pieces that were for a C/D cup, and cut a straight size C. My measurements atm are 35-29-39 and I am 5’2″.
Watch out – this pattern has a 3/8″ seam allowance.
The rust coloured linen fabric that I used is so lovely and was a bargain from the Birmingham Rag Market 3 or 4 years ago.
The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I think the most fiddly part of the process was making the button loops, but a little patience and they came good. I feel like you need a shank button to work with these loops and fortunately I had the most perfect little brass coloured shank buttons in my button jar.
Whilst we’re talking about this part of the dress, lets talk about the side openings of this dress. So the buttons attach the front bodice to the back bodice at either side. If you follow the pattern instructions then you will be left with quite a large opening from the waist seam down to the top of the pockets. This is intentional and is the style of the pattern, however I felt that this opening (whilst necessary to be able to get the dress on and off) was just a bit too large and gaping for me. I had two choices – I could either attach more fastenings (although I didn’t fancy making more button loops), or stitch up some of that opening and see if I could still get into and out of the dress.
The latter worked for me and in the end I decided to stitch up the side seam to about the halfway point between the top of the pocket and waist seam and still comfortably be able to slip in and out of the dress. To reinforce the bottom of this new opening I sewed a bar tack.
I adore how the princess seams run down the front bodice to meet with the pocket edges. It’s like magic! I am also a big fan of topstitching so these details were an absolute pleasure for me to sew too. Oh and I used leftover floral cotton for the pocket facings and the bodice linings. Cute.
I was really pleased with how the red mirror acrylic scissors necklace from my shop matched with my outfit.
Ok, drumroll now to my favourite part of the dress … The tie back … isn’t this the cutest thing you ever saw?
Two simple vertical buttonholes allow the ties to thread through the back bodice. You guys know I am hooked on anything with a bow, and this was what did if for me #partyattheback
Finally I just want to mention, not in a big headed kind of way at all, but on the day that we took these photographs three, yes THREE ladies told me that they liked my dress! This has never happened before. Just sayin’ 😉
I think we all know that this isn’t the last Steele I will make. Winter or Summer, this will always be part of my wardrobe from now on. It’s love.
Take care, and I’ll be back soon,
Kathy x @sew_dainty