This was such a fun dress to sew! The majority of Christmas outfits I sew are using my own patterns, but when I happened to come across the Ainsley Pinafore pattern by JillyAtlanta, it had me at hello. The low scoop neckline, the ruffle straps, the back buttons – I loved every detail! It was the girl’s pinafore dress pattern that I had been dreaming of :).
I actually ended up styling all my other kids’ Christmas outfits around this dress and design, and today I’m sharing all about it! As I mentioned in my post about Hattie’s Pretty in Peplum Christmas dress, I’ve divided up my kids’ Christmas outfits into a few posts to avoid one suuuper long post. In addition to Hattie’s and this post, you can check out all the details for my boys’ outfits here! I’ve also sprinkled some photos of everyone together throughout the posts, and a fun flashback of previous years in Hattie’s post!
I actually found every fabric I used for my kids’ outfits from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores this year. The white and black polka dot fabric I used for Lola’s Ainsley Pinafore is a fairly lightweight shirting, and I was worried it would be a little too lightweight, but when I read that the entire bodice and straps are interfaced for this pattern, I knew it would work. And it did!
The pink top Lola is wearing underneath is a hack of my Pretty in Peplum Top pattern (that pattern has had some good use this Christmas!). I omitted the peplum, keeping the side seams quite straight so they’d be close fitting.
The fabric has really good stretch recovery and is quite heavy – almost like a scuba knit but I don’t believe it’s actually scuba. It sits a little bulky since there’s no drape, but the extra volume is kind of cute I think under the pinafore so I don’t mind it.
Like on Hattie’s dress, I used my regular sewing machine’s stretch stitch for topstitching and it worked great – I love that the single line gives a daintier look than my coverstitch would have. As as I mentioned in Hattie’s post, with thicker knits the stretch stitch zig zag sinks into the fabric and looks like a straight stitch! I’ve always avoided it and used my coverstitch instead but now I’ll be using in much more often!
Also, I hacked the long sleeve into a bell sleeve. To do that, I cut the sleeve pattern piece off at about the 3/4 length, and slashed and spread the bottom part to add the fullness. Then I just had to add seam allowance to each piece where it had been cut, and it was ready to go! I love that the bell sleeve gives it a vintage vibe that goes perfect with the pinafore.
Back to the dress… It was an absolute pleasure to sew up this pattern. Everything went together perfectly, and the sizing was great. I made Lola a 5 in width and 6 in height and it was perfect. She measures a 4 in width but I knew it would be forgiving enough in a 5 – and now that Hattie’s chest measures a 5, I wanted to be sure it would fit both of them!
I really can’t get over how darling both the back and front of this design are. It’s perfectly vintage but not old fashioned, and Lola absolutely loved it when I showed her the finished dress!
I know I’ve said this since she was born, but if I had to describe Lola in one word, it would be sweet. She is a peacemaker, rarely gets her feathers ruffled, and is always genuinely nice to everyone around her. She helps keeps my own attitude in check because I don’t want to diminish her natural goodness!
We call Hattie and Lola “Wiggles and Giggles,” and for good reason, lol! Their personalities go so well together and they never stop having fun!
If you’re looking for the perfect girl’s pinafore dress pattern, you can find the Ainsley Pinafore Pattern here!