How To Make A Pinafore Dress with Free Pinafore Dress Pattern

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I’ve been waiting for this cute dress I’ve had my eye on to go on sale for so long, I decided to make my own. Today on Happiest Camper, I’m going to show you How To Make A Pinafore Dress with Free Pinafore Dress Pattern! This dress is so cute and fun. If you have been looking for a dress with a unique look and style, this one is perfect. I love making my own clothing. Having a closet full of clothing you have made yourself is so rewarding. And the best part is that it all fits perfectly. The included free pattern makes it easy to cut out all your fabric pieces and size this for the perfect fit. You can pair this with leggings and wear it all year round. I used a solid color fabric for mine, but you could use a cute print fabric to make this dress even more unique. I love the straps and the way the back comes down. You’ll need to pair it with a cute top so keep that in mind when you are picking out fabrics. I used heavier-weight cotton and I think it turned out great.

If you want to make a dress with a retro-modern feel, this dress is for you! Gather up your supplies from the list below and let’s get started making this fun dress!

How To Make A Pinafore Dress with Free Pinafore Dress Pattern

What You’ll Need:

Pinafore-Dress-Supplies

Size Chart:

Imperial (inches)SmallMediumLarge
Chest343638
Waist283032
Hip384042

This pattern is drafted for a height of 5’ 4”- 5” 5” so you may need to length or shorten the pattern if required.   If you need to adjust the pattern, be sure to check our post on Pattern Grading – How to Scale a Pattern Up and Down!

Printing Instructions

This dress pattern has layers so that you can choose to print only the size you need. To achieve this Adobe Reader must be installed on your machine or device. Adobe Reader allows you to click on the layers icon which will show you each size with an eyeball beside it. Click on the eyeball beside the size you do not want to print.

Before printing check that your printer is set to No scaling or Actual size. Set the Page orientation to Auto or Portrait. And then print page 1. Measure the 2” test square to see if it measures exactly 2”.  If it does, print the remaining pages.

Trimming Pages

Cut off the right and top margins of each printed page before assembling the pattern. You can use tape or school glue to adhere your paper pattern together. 

Pattern Assembly

After the pages have been printed and trimmed as instructed above, use the quarter circles located at the corner of each page for perfect alignment.  When done your pattern should look like this: 

pinafore dress pattern

Pattern Pieces Checklist

Once you have printed and assembled your pattern you will cut:

  • Skirt  Cut 2 on Fold
  • Bib – Cut 2 
  • Shoulder straps – Cut 2
  • Waistband – Cut 1 

Seam Allowance

Use a 3/8” seam allowance unless otherwise instructed.

How To Make A Pinafore Dress with Free Pinafore Dress Pattern

cut out fabric for pinafore dress

The first step in this how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern tutorial is to print and cut out your pattern. You can also wash, dry, and press your fabric if you want. This process acts as preshrink for your fabric so your stitches don’t pull out the first time you wash it. Once you have your pattern assembled, use it to cut out your fabric pieces.

mark darts in fabric

Next, transfer the dart markings from the pattern to the skirt front and the back. You can use an erasable fabric marker or snip into the fabric for about a ¼” with a small pair of scissors. 

sew darts

Fold the skirt pieces right sides together and lay the dart markings on top of each other. Measure down 3” and sew the dart. Repeat for all the darts on the front and back of the skirt. 

pin pinafore skirt pieces together to make bottom of dress

Now on this how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern tutorial, pin the skirt front and back right sides together at the sides seams.

sew together

Sew using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Finish the edges with a zigzag stitch. 

pin waistband to pinafore dress

Find the center back of the skirt. Cut down the middle for 5”. Pin your waistband to the skirt waist,  right sides together.

sew waistband

Now simply sew the waistband to the skirt using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

fold over pinafore dress waistband and pin in place

Next on this how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern tutorial, fold the waistband raw edge over by ½” wrong sides together, then fold the waistband to the wrong side of the skirt, pinning it to the seam line where the skirt and the waistband were attached.

sew waistband to skirt pieces and finish zipper opening

Sew the waistband to the skirt. Finish the zipper opening if needed. 

pin zipper to pinafore dress

Now we will work on the zipper for your pinafore dress. To insert the zipper fold the raw edge of the back skirt opening wrong sides by ⅜”, pin the zipper to the wrong side of the skirt so that the zipper teeth is resting as close as possible to the folded edge. Install a zipper foot and sew ⅛” from the folded edge. Repeat the same for the other side of the zipper, pivoting at the bottom of the zipper and backstitching to secure.

cut out and pin bib pieces

Now on this how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern tutorial, we will work on the bib. Pin the bib pieces right sides together, sew the side and the top of the bib. You will leave the bottom of the bib open for turning. We are about halfway through this fun tutorial!

sew around, leaving top open

Trim away the sharp corners of the bib, and turn the bib right sides out. Topstitch the side seams and the top of the bib. Finish the open raw edge of the bib.

pin bib to main dress piece

Turn the skirt wrong sides out. Fold it so that the side seams are on top of each other. Pin the center front fold of the skirt. Fold the bib in half, pin the center front fold of the bib. With the skirt still wrong sides out. Align the center mark of the bib to the center mark of the skirt. The bib should be aligned with the waistband seam. Pin the bib and the skirt together and sew. 

pin and sew strap pieces for pinafore dress

Now on this how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern tutorial, we will make the shoulder straps. Fold the straps right sides together and pin . Sew starting from the short end towards to the other short end, leaving a 3” opening to turn the strap right sides out. 

trim corners and turn right side out

Trim the corners. Turn the strap right sides out and topstitch around the entire strap ensuring the opening is sewn closed. 

sew straps to dress

To attach the strap to the skirt, measure 3” from the zipper opening on either side of the skirt . Pin the strap in place so that ½” of the strap is inside the waistband. Sew the strap to the skirt. 

sew a buttonhole in straps

Now on this how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern tutorial, sew a buttonhole in each strap 1” from the end of the strap. 

hem dress

Hem the skirt by double folding ½” and sew. 

hand sew buttons on pinafore dress

Hand sew a button on either side of the bib. The button should be 1” from the top and 1” from the side.

completed pinafore dress

And that’s it! Now you know how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern! This is a cute dress you’ll love wearing year-round! Perfect for those summer days or pair it with leggings when the weather gets cool.

DIY Pinafore Dress

If you liked learning how to make a pinafore dress with free pinafore dress pattern, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

Yield: 1

How To Make A Pinafore Dress with Free Pinafore Dress Pattern

Pinafore Dress Create Card

This flirty retro dress is simple to sew and makes a great addition to your DIY wardrobe!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Cost $15.00

Instructions

  1. Use pattern to cut out your fabric pieces
  2. Transfer the dart markings to the skirt front and the back. You can use an erasable fabric marker or snip into the fabric for about a ¼” with a small pair of scissors. 
  3. Fold the skirt right sides together and lay the dart markings on top of each other. Measure down 3” and sew the dart.
  4. Repeat for all the darts on the front and back of the skirt. 
  5. Sew the skirt front and back right sides together at the sides seams. Finish the edges with a zigzag stitch. 
  6. Find the center back of the skirt. Cut down the middle for 5”. Pin your waistband to the skirt waist,  right sides together and sew 
  7. Fold the waistband raw edge over by ½” wrong sides together, then fold the waistband to the wrong side of the skirt, pinning it to the seam line where the skirt and the waistband were attached. Sew the waistband to the skirt. Finish the zipper opening if needed. 
  8. To insert the zipper fold the raw edge of the back skirt opening wrong sides by ⅜”, pin the zipper to the wrong side of the skirt so that the zipper teeth is resting as close as possible to the folded edge. Install a zipper foot and sew ⅛” from the folded edge. Repeat the same for the other side of the zipper, pivoting at the bottom of the zipper and backstitching to secure. 
  9. Pin the bib pieces right sides together, sew the side and the top of the bib. You will leave the bottom of the bib open for turning. 
  10. Trim away the sharp corners of the bib, and turn the bib right sides out.
  11. Topstitch the side seams and the top of the bib. Finish the open raw edge of the bib.
  12. Turn the skirt wrong sides out. Fold it so that the side seams are on top of each other. Pin the center front fold of the skirt. Fold the bib in half , pin the center front fold of the bib. With the skirt  still wrong sides out. 
  13. Align the centre mark of the bib to the center mark of the skirt. The bib should be aligned with the waistband seam. Pin the bib and the skirt together and sew. 
  14. Fold the straps right sides together and pin. Sew starting from the short end towards to the other short end, leaving a 3” opening to turn the strap right sides out. 
  15. Trim the corners. Turn the strap right sides out and topstitch around the entire strap ensuring the opening is sewn closed. 
  16. To attach the strap to the skirt, measure 3” from the zipper opening on either side of the skirt . Pin the strap in place so that ½” of the strap is inside the waistband. 
  17. Sew the strap to the skirt. 
  18. Sew a buttonhole in each strap 1” from the end of the strap. 
  19. Hem the skirt by double folding ½” and sew. 
  20. Hand-sew a button on either side of the bib. The button should be 1” from the top and 1” from the side. 
  21. Enjoy your new dress!

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