The Fleur Pinafore

Untitled Thoughts

Introducing the Fleur Pinafore, the new pattern from Untitled Thoughts. This was my first time making an Untitled Thoughts pattern and if you haven’t made one before, you’re in for a treat! Brittani writes her patterns as if she is talking you through them. And she even tells you the best time to pause for a snack break. (And you’d better believe I listened!)

The Fleur has 2 strap options (tie straps or button straps) and has a cute button placket on the sides and has an optional bib pocket. It is intended for confident beginners and up.

If you’re looking for more Fleur inspiration, check out the tester round-up here.

Construction

I made my tester version in a stretch denim that I’ve had in my stash for many, many years and lined the bib and waistbands with a plain white broadcloth. There were a few testers who made the pinafore in a solid and the lining in a really fun print, and now that’s something I’m interested in doing in the future.

I made the pinafore in a size 8. I decided to lengthen the skirt by 3″ just for personal preference. I also decided to use snaps and not buttons on the side placket openings because a) I didn’t have 2 sizes of matching buttons, and b) I wanted to make the waistband slightly smaller than it was (and it would be obvious if the buttons weren’t lined up completely vertically).

The skirt itself was an easy sew. The instruction booklet has clear pictures and instructions. Also, the method of doing the side plackets was new to me, and I love learning new sewing tricks.

The only problem that I ran into during construction was that the top of the bib didn’t lay flat. It would either gape quite a bit, or if i tried to push it back in, it would wave (as seen in the picture on the left). I wasn’t the only one who had the same problem in the tester group, but it seemed like it was only the people with a larger cup size that were affected. I decided that I would fix the problem by adding a strip of lightweight boning across the top, and it worked great. (Picture on the right)

Note: For my next version, I won’t need to use this method. I could just sew the boning in as I go. In this case, I had already understitched the lining and attached the waistband and skirt before noticing the problem.

Adding the Boning

I chose a lightweight plastic boning. I didn’t want to make the top heavy, because that would cause the same problem.

I sewed a casing for the boning. I took the measurement of the boning, added a small amount of ease and my seam allowances.

Trim the seam allowance and use a rouleau turner to turn the seam allowance to the inside. Press with seam centred on the back

Insert the boning into the casing and tuck the two ends under. Handstitch the casing to the top edge of the bib.

Final Thoughts

This pattern was so much fun to sew and is so much fun to wear! And the pockets are so nice and roomy.

I would like to try this pattern out again, but just as a skirt. I think the side plackets with buttons would make it an original and flattering skirt pattern.

Circle Skirt

Sewing For Your Life

 This month I had the opportunity to test Sewing For Your Life’s newest pattern. (Click here to see theNina DressI made back in December). This skirt has 8 different waistband options and 3 different options for straps (like suspenders). Sandra also released a double circle skirt and half circle skirt pattern with the same waistband and strap options.

When I saw the sample of  the skirt pattern, I knew that I had the perfect fabric for it in my stash. I purchased this fabric from my local fabric store (Tania Textiles), but I only had 2.2 metres of it. (I know that 2.2 metres seems like an odd length to buy if you’re just going to put it in your stash, but I bought what was left on the bolt). The skirt pattern calls for 2 metres if you are using a fabric that is 150 cm wide, but just over 3 metres if you have a fabric of 140 cm wide. Of course, this fabric was 147 cm, and I was not able to fit the front piece on the fold. Note:If your fabric is narrower than 150 cm, you have to fold the fabric so that the fold is perpendicular to the selvedge edges. 

In the end, I decided that my fabric choice was more important to me than the length of the skirt, so I trimmed the hemline of the skirt just enough for the pattern piece to fit perfectly across the width of my fabric. I’m happy with the way it turned out. Being only 5 feet tall, trimming an inch of the length didn’t end up making much of a difference to the overall look of the skirt. 

 

The circle skirt was easy to put together. It only required 3 pattern pieces (the skirt, the pocket and the waistband).

The only tricky part is that seam allowances are not already added to the pattern, so you have to cut the front on the fold, and then add a seam allowance to the fold line and cut 2 of the same piece for the back. It’s not difficult to do, but could easily be forgotten if you aren’t paying attention. 

 

Finishing Touches

The only other change I made to the pattern was to exchange the pocket pieces for larger pockets.

To hem my circle skirt, I used bias tape all the way around on the inside to give it a nice clean finish. Using bias tape helps you to have an even curved hem, and it gives it a fun contrast on the inside. For this project I needed to use just short of 5 metres to complete the hem. 

 

FinalThoughts

This is a skirt that I can see myself making multiple times. The silhouette is classic and it’s nice to have the different waistband options. I didn’t need to make any major changes to the pattern and was able to construct it in no time at all.

The only downside is that you need to let the skirt hang for 2 days before hemming it. (Circle skirts are cut with part of the skirt on the bias. This causes that part of the skirt to relax or stretch out a little more than other parts. By letting it hang for a couple of days, you will be able to cut your hem evenly and not have any surprises later). Even though the construction is fast, it will be a few days before you can wear it. 

You can purchase this skirt pattern (and Sandra’s other patterns) here.