There is a bit of a story behind this pinafore dress, so if you are sitting comfortably, I shall begin.
I saw a rather interesting pinafore in the local COS store, and immediately wanted to replicate it. It’s made from some sort of felted wool and I really like the style lines.
As luck would have it I found the perfect felted wool at the epic Fibres West Garage Sale, so I began to plot how to make this pinafore in a way that it might look ok on me. I had arranged to catch up with Sarah from Pattern Union, and within a few minutes she had a pattern designed for me, based on my bodice block, which I forgot to take off for this photo. The lovely nutmeg coloured wool is in the foreground. It cost me a whole $3!
Having drafted the pattern, we had to toile it (Sarah insists!), and so I needed fabric to toile with. Sarah had been to a deceased estate house clearance where she had acquired boxes and boxes of fabrics and notions from the sixties and seventies. She generously passed a bit of it on to me, because I don’t have enough fabric! Anyway, she had given me a piece which I thought was a light cotton rug, but I liked the design, so we used that. Fabric was duly cut out and construction commenced.
Apart from pattern matching, it was a reasonably quick sew, although we had to work out how I was going to get in and out of it, so an invisible zip was put in the back, and I sewed snaps under the long front strap.
I began to call this the COS pinafore, but as we worked we talked about the lady who owned all this fabric, and we fancied we could feel her presence in Sarah’s studio, so Sarah renamed it the Cosmos Pinafore, which I think is a lovely nod to that lady, who lovingly acquired a huge amount of fabric and passed away before she could sew it all. Sound familiar?
Here is my Cosmos Pinafore in its toiled state – clearly a wearable toile!
We also added bias cut pockets which Sarah designed into the French darts, which had been added to give me a bit of shape, and darts in the back, although we also shaped the centre back seam. I really wanted to use the fringing on the selvedge, which finished up perfectly along the bottom.
The back is more like the original but with more shaping.
I didn’t do the topstitching as I thought the fabric was busy enough, but I will on the next one – maybe!
During the course of the sewing I began to be a bit suspicious of this fabric. It seemed to have a bit of a sheen and it pressed absolutely beautifully. We did a burn test, twice to make sure, but it transpires that this fabric is silk. The most amazing textured, woven silk.
I had a bit of fun styling it with a Pattern Union Beverley Cape or two, and a scarf I knitted for my MiL which came back to me when she passed away.
This pinafore has identified a bit of a gap in my wardrobe – I really need some coordinating fitted turtleneck tops or even body suits. I can’t wear anything bulky under it. For these photos I wore a merino funnel neck top that Sarah had designed for me years ago.
I am so entranced with this pinafore dress that I wore it to lunch with my Ladies Who Lunch group. We are a group who all worked together at the same university years ago and we catch up nearly every month. We have two members missing for this one, but we always enjoy catching up. We had lunch at Samson’s Paddock in Mosman Park and I think it was the best food we’ve had for a long time, absolutely delicious!
I am really pleased with this pinafore dress. I had planned to make a quite different style, but I like this one so much I have another three planned – one for each season of the year. My spring version is currently giving me enormous trouble with the pattern matching, think large daisies, all different!