H’s school has a pretty relaxed school uniform policy – as long as you’re wearing the school jumper or t-shirt you can pretty much team it with anything plain – jeans, blue, black or grey trousers, dresses or skirts. H has outgrown last year’s uniform staples and was adamant she wanted a grey pinafore dress. I had visions of cute vintage styles with buttons and crossover straps, but unfortunately for me, yet perfectly understandably, she was also pretty insistent that it should look exactly like everyone else’s. (It’s worth mentioning that I am well aware that M&S and all the big supermarket sell good ranges of reasonably priced pinafore dresses exactly like the ones she wanted but given her slight build it is impossible to find any that fit. They are either obscenely short or ridiculously wide.)
I found some £3 a metre brushed polyester drill in my local fabric shop, (I used just over a metre for 2 dresses) pushed my creative instincts aside and set about my slightly uninspiring task. I drafted a basic body block using H’s measurements and Winifred Aldrich’s instructions in ‘Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear’ and then redrew the neck and arm holes to create a pinafore shape. The skirts of the dresses were made with rectangles – one with two inverted pleats back and front and one with pleats all the way round – and because I rushed them they’re definitely not even. I used invisible zips on both styles and let H choose a lining of elephants for one and foxes (Poplin Foxes Grey from Plush Addict) for the other.
Dull mission accomplished and I’m really happy with the fit. I’m also forced to admit that H might be right about her style choice. Sometimes simple is best.