Camilla's Dani Pinafore

I’m about to embark on an epic tale of sewing, a tale where woman was pitted against machine in a battle of wits, where one thing after another went wrong and still she persevered and in the end she was victorious and managed to pull together a garment (believe me, there were times when it did not seem likely at all!!)

Sometimes it’s nice to sit down with a ‘palate cleanser’, one of those makes that seems fairly simple to construct and you think will be a nice gentle make to wind down after creating something more complex. Having just finished the Closet Core ‘Carolyn Pyjamas’, I was definitely hopeful that the Seamwork “Dani” Pinafore would be just that. I was excited about the prospect of sewing with corduroy. I love sewing with corduroy. I know it’s not for everyone, but the silky soft texture of it makes my heart sing and let me tell you, this jumbo cord from The Sewist Fabric Shop is stunning. The colour is a really lovely blue grey and I fell in love with it as soon as I unwrapped the packet. 

Camilla's chosen fabrics

I was in high spirits as I sat at my machine this morning : cotton poplin had been selected for the lining and I was raring to go. I cut out the pattern pieces (the part of the process that I loathe, don’t you?) wound the bobbin, marked on the darts and I was good to go...but then it all started to go wrong.

Camilla's Pattern Pieces

Sometimes a make takes you on a journey and believe me, this was definitely the case today!! I don’t know what I did wrong, but something went awry with my lining and facing pieces and none of them matched up. I checked and double checked and rechecked and still can’t figure out what I did wrong in the cutting, but literally nothing matched. Then I accidentally cut two front bodices instead of one front and one back. Then I forgot to pin the darts. Then the darts didn’t match and had to be unpicked. The list goes on. In the end I was so annoyed by being unable to get the lining to fit into the outer shell that I abandoned the lining altogether and finished the neck and arms with bias binding instead. 

Camilla at her sewing machine

This tale so far seems as if it is going to be one of woe but worry not, dear reader, there is a happy ending! For even though the pattern did not work for me, it turns out, I discovered today, that I’m a competent enough sewist now that I can absolutely one hundred percent wing my way out of anything and that’s exactly that I did. Take that, fittings and lining, who needs you?! After cutting my finger on the thread (I’m not sure how that happened), my hand on the rotary cutter (I was losing my temper by this point), misplacing my scissors seventeen million times and having to walk away for snacks (snacks soothe me, don’t judge!) the end result was a perfectly wearable pinafore that I actually really like, so let me tell you a little bit more about that!

Camilla in her finished pinafore

I opted to make the pinafore big, because I think it’s nice to have the option of layering underneath, especially in winter and especially when the neckline is so low. In my opinion, this big chunky RTW jumper that I’ve had forever (I think it originally came from a supermarket) looks great underneath it. The colour of the corduroy is lovely, photos don’t do it justice; in some lights it looks blue and in others it looks grey and for once I remembered to cut everything in the right direction so the nap of the fabric is laying the right way and when I smooth my hands down the front, everything is nice and soft *sigh* perfection!

Camilla in her finished pinafore

So no, this may not be a Seamwork Dani as it was designed to be when the pattern was first created but it’s still a pinafore and I’ll still get a lot of wear out of it. It’ll keep me lovely and cosy at my desk at work over the winter months and every time I wear it I’ll remember that though I may have been tested in the process of its construction, I did not give up and in the end, my hard work was worth it and I’ve definitely done justice to this lovely corduroy. 

Camilla in her finished pinafore

You can find me, Camilla, on Instagram @she_sew_fabulous. 

I also run @we_sew_fabulous, a community blog which showcases different members of the sewing community. It's currently on hiatus, but hopefully will return in 2022 bigger and better than ever! 

Keep your eyes peeled for my up and coming YouTube channel (I've been promising it for ages, I hope to be able to bring it to you soon!) 

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