A Line Pinafore Dress - A Tilly And The Buttons Pattern Hack

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A little black dress...

Hi guys! Just before I get started on this weeks post I just wanted to say, I know it's early days, but I'm really enjoying this new little hobby and thank you for all the lovely things you've been saying, it means a lot. 

So on with the post...

Take one Delphine Skirt and one Pinafore dress...

I've been after a little black pinafore dress for a while now but never got round to buying one. Then for Christmas one of my lovely auntie's bought me 'The Great British Sew Bee' 2nd book. I really loved the first one so I was eager to see what was going on in this one. I was instantly drawn to the guidelines on how to make a pinafore dress and couldn't wait to use the guide for my next make.

Just whilst I'm on the subject of this book I just wanted to say how great it is. I think the first one in the series presumed you had some basic sewing skills but this one, along with the great patterns, has a big old section on all the ins and out of sewing. I'm still fairly new to dress making, I had my first sewing machine only 2 years ago, and apart from one little lesson from a friend a while ago I am pretty much self taught. Therefore, I will always find books like this useful as I am still learning. So if you're just starting out or thinking about sewing I'd say put this book in your wish list, I think it would be a great help. 

Anyway, the pattern asked for you to start by making up your favourite A-line mini skirt. No hesitation there, it had to be Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt. Just so you know I love love LOVE Tilly and the Buttons patterns!!! Not only are they super duper stylish, they are, by far, the clearest patterns I have come across. I made one a while ago and completely copied the way Tilly styled hers...

Well, if it ain't broke don't fix it ay?!

 Again, this book is brilliant for newbies (for the hints and tips) or the more experienced, just for the absolutely beautiful wears you could make. You must go and check out Tilly and the Buttons website. The blog posts are a great read and the step by step instructions she provides, for some of her other patterns, never fail to produce super neat, super cute items of clothing. I honestly love this site! 

So I chose a black denim look fabric that had a bit of stretch for the dress and on I went with the skirt. I particularly like the chunky waistband on this skirt and I think it works well with the bib of the pinafore because looks like a belt. 

In the Sewing Bee book it asks you to get to the point on your skirt before you attach the waistband and then attatch the bib of the pinafore but I just couldn't fathom how this would work. I dunno, maybe I was being silly but I just couldn't see it. So I fully completed the skirt then attached the bib... It also suggests you put two pieces of fabric together so you would have a seam up the front of the bib but I didn't have a seam up the front of the skirt so I thought it would look a little disjointed, so I just used one piece of fabric (measuring 12 x 14in)sewn with a 5/8in seam allowance. I then attached two cute anchor buttons, which you can't really see to clearly on the pictures. 

Always have to have a bit of nautical(ness) involved!

The straps where measured at 6 x 14in each, which was a little long but easy to fix after your have put your buttons holes in. I really like how the straps cross over at the back. When you sew them at the back of the skirt put them at a bit of an angle so they follow how they will go over your back (does that make sense?!?) 

So here is the finished article...

I love love love this dress! I wore it last night for my dad's birthday celebration and a stranger asked where she could get it from, result! (But my dad thought I was a waitress at one point, tut!)

I'm already planning on making a denim one, maybe even a light denim for the summer. This could be so versatile. 

I love to see if any of you try out this little pattern hack. 
Thanks for reading!

Amy x


  1. Make me one in denim, please!

    1. Come round and we'll make it together. I want a denim one too so we can do it together one time when you loan the MachIne

  2. I'm just about to attempt this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. This looks great! Might try it too :)