The Pippi Pinafore Dress by Jennifer Lauren Handmade is a sweet overall dress with pockets, side button closure, buckles, and a slightly flared skirt.
Overall/Pinafore style garments are some of my favorite. When I was younger I had a pair of bib shorts that I wore non-stop. It is a scheme of mine to figure out how to make a similar pair for myself now. But until that's sorted, I would have no problem making a dozen or so Pippi dresses to satisfy my pinafore dress addiction.
If you are a fuller busted gal, you will know how easy it is for this style to make a bust look. . . well, more busty! Knowing how well Jen drafts her patterns, I knew I definitely wanted to try out Pippi and I have been nearly 100% satisfied! (Any dissatisfaction comes from mistakes on my part and are not as a result of something amiss with the pattern.)
One of the details I immediately liked about Pippi was the use of darts in the bodice. I need bodice darts. If I don't have them it usually results in an unflattering sack and nobody wants that.
While we're discussing the bodice portion of the pattern, I wanted to make a quick note here. The bodice you see on my dress is slightly different from the final pattern. Jen redrafted a portion of the bodice to eliminate the bust dart resulting in a cleaner, simpler bodice. My dress was made using the original bodice draft that had both waist and bust darts. I have an adorable whale print fabric in my stash just begging to be another Pippi dress and I intend to use the updated bodice to see which I like better.
The fabric I used was a late Christmas/Birthday gift from my family. While I love the print and think the finished dress is adorable, I did run into a couple problems with it. Perhaps one of the best features of the Pippi dress is that it is designed for a wide range of fabric weights. You could make a lighter weight, floaty Pippi, or a practical, hardwearing Pippi.
My fabric is on the lighter medium weight end of the spectrum. However, it is a looser weave which means it stretched in some places and less in others. I made it work, but it wasn't the most fun fabric to work with. Which is another reason why I want to make a second Pippi in a nicer fabric. Watch this space!
Overall, the fit of this dress is spot on. The bodice skims across the bust perfectly. The waistband cinches things in to give that all important waist definition, and the skirt is flared perfectly to fit over the hips.
I sewed a size 12 for the bodice and waistband. For the skirt, I graded from size 12 at the waist to size 16 at the hips and down. This accommodated my hips/derrière perfectly. I did find the waist band on my finished dress to be too snug, but that is due to the fabric going wonky on the skirt and my trimming the waistband when I shouldn't have. So while the button closure is pulling weirdly on this version, that is entirely my fault. I will be sure to remedy the situation on Pippi 2.0.
As I mentioned above, I love overall/pinafore style clothes. I think they are cute, flattering, and quite practical. Despite my mistakes and issues with the fabric, I am overall quite pleased with the finished dress. I have worn it several times already and I find it very comfortable. The pockets are a huge plus, and using real buckles on the straps definitely makes the whole thing look more polished. I fully expect to get loads of wear out of this dress over the summer. Now I just need to make a couple more tops to go underneath it!
P.S. Wouldn't this dress look AMAZING with a white button up blouse?? Maybe a Tilly and the Buttons Mimi blouse from Love At First Stitch. . . Or a modified Megan Nielsen Matilda. Now putting a white blouse on the sewing to-do list!