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The OTY Toddler Pinafore - The Basic Dress

Updated: May 14, 2021

The OTY Pinafore Dress

We'd like to introduce you to our first FREE Sewing Pattern...the OTY Fabrics Toddler Pinafore! This simple to sew Pinafore Dress is drafted for sizes 9 months to 2-3 years. (updated to add sizes Newborn to 6 months) The sizing is quite forgiving owing to the drop waist and ease within the bodice. This simple to sew dress uses the 95/5 Cotton Spandex available in solids and prints from OTY Fabrics. I have used Cinnamon in 198gsm CL that was available in retail solids for my example. I have also used the KAM 20 snaps and the iron on vinyl sizing and care labels available in the notions.

This tutorial will be an ongoing series as I have quite a few different versions planned for this simple Toddler dress over the coming months. I made this one simple to start us off, but you can easily add one of the OTY HTV vinyls to the front of your dress bodice or have different fabrics for the skirt and bodice. I think the Bodice will be a great Stash Buster. So play around and have fun! To make this dress easier I have chosen not to use clear elastic for attaching the skirt to the bodice. Instead I've used the tried and true gathered method I always use LOL. So without further ado lets get onto the first part of this tutorial Series....

What you'll need...

  • The Bodice Pattern (Click on this LINK to download the PDF)

  • Approx. 50cm x 150cm wide piece of 95/5 Cotton Spandex from OTY Fabric with 4-way stretch (at least 20% across the WOF)

  • Iron On Interfacing Scraps for reinforcing the straps

  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter

  • Thread

  • Pins or Pattern Weights

  • Pins or Wonder Clips

  • Overlocker and a Plain Sewing Machine (using small zig zag stitch or twin needle you can sew this dress without an overlocker)

  • at least 2 sets of size 20 KAM Snaps (You can add more if you want)

  • Iron

Print the Pinafore Bodice...

Printout the Bodice Pattern making sure you use Actual Size with Adobe Acrobat and not 'fit'

when printing. The Pattern is made for A4 pages not US Letter. So make sure you choose correct page type as well. There is a 2cm square on each page for testing it has printed

correctly. If you are doing sizes 18 month or 2 years you will need to attach the strap top to the Bodice Back piece before tracing or cutting your pattern out.

The pattern is fairly forgiving BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE SEAM ALLOWANCES.

After printing out choose your size (either cut pattern or trace off the size you want) and remember to add Seam Allowances to all edges as this is a lined Bodice. Its up to you how large a seam allowance you want to add I usually do around 1cm ones as I cut with my overlocker when sewing.

Cutting the Dress Out...

Lay your Bodice Pieces on the fold making sure the grain runs up and down not across, stretch should run across your pieces. You will need 2 pieces of the Bodice Front and 2 pieces cut of the Bodice Back. DON'T FORGET THOSE SEAM ALLOWANCES!

Add seam allowances when cutting

I'd advise cutting the Bodice out on one end and leave the rest of your fabric piece for the Skirt. Here is the Cutting Guide for the Skirts (You will need to mark this out on your fabric when cutting as there is no paper pattern piece) - seam allowances are already added to these Pieces.

Cutting Skirt for Size NB-6 months =>

⦁ 2 pieces (Width x Length) = 18 x 8" - 46cm x 20cm

Cutting Skirt for Size 6-9 months =>

⦁ 2 pieces (Width x Length) = 19.5 x 9" - 49.5cm x 22cm

Cutting Skirt for Size 9-12 months =>

⦁ 2 pieces (Width x Length) = 19.5 x 9" - 49.5cm x 22cm

Cutting Skirt for Size 12-18 months =>

⦁ 2 pieces (Width x Length) = 19.7" x 9.5" - 50cm x 24cm

Cutting Skirt for Size 2-3 years =>

⦁ 2 pieces (Width x Length) = 20.5 x 11" - 52cm x 28cm

Now you should have 2 Front Bodice Pieces (Outer and Lining), 2 Back Bodice Pieces (Outer and Lining) and 2 skirt pieces.

Cut 4 strips of Iron On interfacing and iron onto the tops of the wrong side of the straps on both the Front and Back pieces, and the Front and Back lining pieces.

You are now ready to sew up your Pinafore.

Sewing up the Pinafore Dress...

1. Clip or pin the Bodice Back Outer and Bodice Back Lining right sides together and stitch the armhole, strap and neckline together in one seam.

2 . Repeat with the Bodice Front Outer and Front Lining.

3. Turn back and front right side out and iron flat

Turn right side out and Iron

ut the sides placing back bodice outer side seam edge to front outer edge right sides together and continuing on with the inner seam edge back and front pieces. Stitch the seam with overlocker or small zig zag on a normal sewing machine

5. Repeat for the other side of the bodice

6. Turn right side out and iron smooth.

7. Clip or pin base of bodice together, you can at this point baste the lining and outer waist edge together if you would like. You can also choose to topstitch around the armholes, straps and neckline with a small zig-zag stitch (I don't recommend straight as this top can stretch and the threads will break)

The Bodice is Done

8. Grab your two skirt pieces together right side to right side. Stitch the two side seams (the shorter edges)

9. Overlock or finish the skirt hem with a zig zag edge, I recommend hemming the skirt now to save time and effort later. I usually coverstitch the hem using a 1.5cm turned hem. Or you can use a twin needle or small zig-zag stitched hem.

Finish the skirt edge
Hem the skirt

10. using a standard sewing machine and the longest straight stitch your machine can stitch sew 1cm down from the skirt top from one side seam to the next, leaving a long thread cut off and then stitch the other side of the skirt top the same. Do this a second time making the second stitching half a cm below the first row of stitching. This makes two rows of gathering stitches.

Choose longest straight stitch
Two rows of stitching
Gathering Stitches done

11. Grabbing the back long cut off thread from both rows of stitching pull the threads (those only) making the gathers until you have a nice bunch of gathers. Do this with the second side of the skirt, ensuring that you don't break or pull out your threads..

Grab the back threads together
Pull to gather top

12. With the lining side of the bodice facing you insert the skirt (right side of skirt facing you) into the bodice so that the outer right side of the bodice is facing the right side of the skirt pieces. Matching side seams and making sure the gathers fit the bodice back with no droops or bunches (try to make it as even as you can) clip the skirt and bodice pieces together (or pin)

Insert gathered skirt into bodice
Clip skirt evenly to bodice

13. Stitch the skirt top to the bodice waist, I advise you do that with the gathered skirt side facing you, easing the gathers and trying to make them even as you go. Make sure the bodice and skirt are not bunching or folding weirdly as you go, keep stopping periodically to check the underside is smooth. You can stitch this with an overlocker cutting the gathering stitched seam off as you go or you can stitch with a slightly wider zig-zag stitch on your standard sewing machine.

Even out gathers as you stitch

14. Turn pinafore right side out and check for any gathering threads that may show, unpick and remove the gathering threads (especially if you didn't cut them off with your overlocker)

Unpick and remove gathering thread
Right side out dress - add snaps

15. Time to add the snaps! Put the Snap cap on the outer side and socket on the lining side of the back straps. Put the snap stud on the outer side and the cap on the lining side of the bodice front straps. If needed you can add more sockets or studs as you prefer.

Socket to back strap, stud to front
Make sure snaps sit nicely on straps

16. And you are done!

Thanks for trying my tutorial! If you have any issues, need some help or want to show off your creations please go to our OTY Fabrics Facebook Share page.


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