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Personally, I find winter quite tricky, it seems to go on forever. I know that getting outdoors, fresh air, the sound of the sea all help. So does sewing. There is lots of evidence about how good sewing is for your mental health. This is my excuse for treating myself to a new pattern, the newly released Scoop Pinafore from Sew Different.
The pattern is available to purchase either as a download or as a PDF. I am too impatient to wait for a printed copy in the post so I faced father-in-laws inevitable complaints that I had broken his PC by using his printer!!
I have sewn the pinafore up twice within a couple of week’s.
Scoop Pinafore Pattern Review
The pattern is 29 pages to print, coming in a fabulous range of sizes from UK 8-26 (US 4-22).
It helpfully advises that it is designed for the height 5’9”, as I am 6’ I added 3” to the front and back pattern pieces.
The pattern, once cut out, sews up in a mere two hours.
I did find myself scratching my head at times re the side panels and pockets pieces – in the end, I told my head to quieten down, to logically follow the instructions step by step. After all, I don’t need to understand how it is coming together/working. Laura has done the hard work, she has created a pattern which when followed works out perfectly!
Having seen a few versions of the scoop pinafore on instagram I choose different fabrics for the side and bottom panels. The main fabric is from Cool Crafting, the accent fabrics from my stash.
Now I have to admit I never thought a pinafore dress would suit my body shape, but I think it looks great when I have good posture (a work in progress, let’s hope the time invested in Pilates classes works out!).
Having made the pattern once you may be tempted to sew it a second time.
Recycled Jeans Scoop Pinafore Dress
Fancy making the scoop pinafore from old jeans? You can make the scoop pinafore from four pairs of jeans. Look for jeans where the outside seam is straight, so that when you fold it out the leg fabric lies flat.
Prep jeans, cut the hem off, cut just below your back pocket across. The length of the leg needs to be long enough for the main front piece. Cut along the inside trouser seam.
Fold your denim trouser leg out. Pin the front pattern piece following the grain of the denim parallel to the inside trouser seam, adding a seam allowance (this piece is usually cut it on a fold but we are piecing two trouser legs together).
Use the back of the trouser leg as this has less wear and tear on the fabric, particularly around the knees.
Fold the pattern piece down for the straps, out of the way. I have added as much length as I can due to my height.
Cut out with added seam allowance down the fold mark. Repeat with the second trouser leg.
Sew the pieces together along the fold line to create your first fabric pattern piece.
Most of the side seam piece will be visible once the pinafore is sewn up. In order to ensure the inevitable seam from the former jeans is inside the pocket and not visible place the pattern pieces on top of each other.
Open out the denim trouser leg and place side seam pieces the trouser seam will be inside the pocket – hopefully, these pictures explain what I mean!
Following the instructions, place the pocket piece onto the dress right sides together, ensure you match the notches as the pocket does not start at the corner of the front body piece. Fold the side piece out of the way.
Continue making the dress as per the instructions. When you reach step 7 pause and make the pinafore dress straps. Create the straps out of a former waistband. Unpick a larger size jeans waistband then sew the open side shut. The straps are then cut to the length of the straps, plus an extra seam allowance.
Follow the instructions at step 10 for attaching the front lining. Finish the bottom of the lining, then stitch down the sides. I stopped when I reached the pocket although I suspect you are meant to keep going. Insert the waistband straps so they butt up to the side seams, sew along the top.
If you have stopped your side seams at the pocket like I did turn in the lining by the pocket and hand stitch in place (see pins in picture below).
The bottom panel is made from two pieces of denim trouser leg, and stitched together as it’s not possible to cut on the fold. When sewing this to the dress pin your joined seam of the panel to the joined seam on the front of the dress so they align, then pin round before stitching.
Styling the dress
This dress is so versatile, wear it with short sleeves or a sweater. I felt the need to make a fun necklace out of buttons to wear with either of my versions. A quick visit to a charity shop I was soon armed with a selection of buttons and thread. Using two threads at least a meter long each, tie a knot where you wish your first set of buttons to be, thread on your buttons, tie a second knot in place, repeat several times.
Once you are happy with the length an position simply tie your threads together.
I have to admit I wouldn’t want to pick a favourite between the two pinafore dresses. The denim is practical, great for everyday practical life, I’m happy upcycling in it. The mustard and blue dress I can’t quite believe I own – it seems a little stylish for me! But I have worn it several times, at home, to work, out for a meal.
Have you made dresses from old jeans? The first pattern I made by Sew Different is the Essential Denim Dress from old jeans, then the Colourblock Dress (beautiful design) followed by the Tulip Dress. I love how none of these patterns have zips to contend with, stylish dresses which are easy to sew. Gradually I seem to be sewing a wardrobe designed by Sew Different.