This is the second pinafore I made with this pattern from Aliyahs Hope Chest. (The first pinafore is here.) This was actually a kit so I got the fabric from the same place, but it's no longer available on her Etsy site. Believe it or not, the zoo animals print is an IKEA print. I had no idea that IKEA sold fabric. That's pretty cool.
Anyway, I made the dress for my dear friend E's little girl who just turned four, and although I would normally have made her something in her favorite colors (purple, pink), I thought that the black and white would be more striking with her darker coloring. And it was! Also neat was the fact that it looked like an awesome mod mini-dress on her since she's not very big or tall. Vintage style FTW!
To make this pinafore more special for the birthday girl, I decided to appliqué the first initial of her name on the dress on both sides. I thought that I'd be able to use a satin stitch to secure the "J"'s on the dress, but I didn't realize that the fusible webbing I had bought was a "no-sew" kind. I don't remember there being a lot of choices at the store (Jo-Ann's). Even though merely ironing on the appliqués without the extra step of sewing around the edges cut down quite a bit of time, I felt frustrated because I'd been going for a particular look. Unfortunately, because I left the appliqué until the last moment (the week was just too busy), I had to go with the iron-on look. Thank goodness I cut out the letters as neatly as I could.
On the bright side, while I wasn't happy with how the appliqués turned out, the recipient simply LOVED having the first initial of her name on both sides of her dress. In fact, she even loved the decorative "J" that I attached to the gift as a piece of flair; she wanted her mother to place it square on her chest using the safety pin. So adorable.
A brief process note on sewing the pinafore:
The last step is to close the side seams by sewing through all layers with a topstitch. Below are photos of the side seams. Because of the color difference between the fabrics, I decided to switch out the bottom (bobbin) thread in order to match the reverse fabric, in this case white. I had to redo the seams twice (my seam ripper got a good workout) so that I could make it look neater. Still not as neat as I would have liked, but it's better than it was originally.
The white/zoo side was the first side of the pinafore to be stitched closed (from the inside), but because it was necessary to topstitch from the other side in order to close the black/polka dot side, there is a rather prominent seam line on the white/zoo side. I think the black/polka dot side actually looks pretty good since I worked to topstitch as close to the edge as possible. If I could do it over, I would have closed the black/polka dot side first from the inside, then topstitched the white/zoo side closed. I don't think the black thread would have been as prominent on the black/polka dot side. Live and learn. At least it was good enough for both the birthday girl and her mom. :-)