So ta dah! here she is! …. Mildred!
As you can see from the pictures above, Mildred is A-line shape, in a choice of short or long lengths. She’s got adjustable shoulder straps attached with buttons, one large front pocket, two cheeky back pockets and bags of practical style. Whats not to love.
I wear this pinafore a lot. I’ve made it in 8oz soft denim (see above), needlecord (see below), linen and a linen mix. Here is a link to my Etsy shop where I have stock of 8oz indigo denim and linen to buy as bundles.
To say this dress is quick to make is an understatement. An afternoon’s sewing and you are done. I couldn’t wait to try it on and was very reluctant to take it off! Its very roomy because I wanted to be able to wear a jumper underneath in winter and a tee in summer. I really love the big front pocket, a great place for plonking glasses, ideal for me as I’m someone who spends half her life looking for them…. groan! Sometimes I sew a vertical line down the centre of the front pocket to divide it up, or split the pocket pattern and make two front pockets instead of one. The back pockets are just the right size too. Mildred was inspired by an apron style so is a practical for sewers to keep their equipment whilst on the job!
By the way, lets talk about topstitching. I didn’t topstitch my Mildred (pictured), I was worried about wobbly lines, but you could easily do so with either a contrast colour thread and lengthen the stitch, or use a special top stitch thread for a more defined line. Or why not do a double line of stitching around the pockets.
Lets talk about INTERFACING! – I know -its a boring subject but it has to be said that the Mildred pattern asks you to interface the facings (essential) and also the pockets and straps (not so essential). Ive made this pattern up in a gorgeous linen viscose mix which was quite ‘floppy’ and I found it needed the pockets and strap to be interfaced to give them more body. However when it came to making it in denim and linen, all I interfaced was the facings. I found that the pockets didn’t need it.
I always find using my walking foot a fantastic help when topstitching because it helps glide over those bulky seams that can sometimes obstruct the flow of the stitching. If you’ve got one, I would recommend popping it on, if you haven’t just lengthen your stitch when it comes to this bit.
A walking foot
What else is there to say about this pattern?
You may wonder why it’s called Mildred? Well, when I was courting my husband (or was it the other way around? hmm) we enjoyed hanging out at a place called Mildred’s cafe in London’s Soho, I think it was one of the first Vegan cafes in London, anyway its a fab place and still going strong. I really loved the name ever since.
Mildred Pinafore dress can be made in a shorter length, I made a shorter one in printed needlecord. It looks great with knee high boots and woolly tights in Winter.
Here is all the info you need to know about Mildred.
please note the text above the layplan should read:
Seam allowance is 1cm (3/8″), however if you would prefer to use a 1.5cm (5/8″) then cut 5mm away from the edges all around (except the edges indicated ‘Place on Fold’).
HOW TO MAKE MILDRED
Firstly the straps are sewn down each long side and one short side with the right sides together (RST), trim the seam allowances to 5mm. Nick across the corners at the straight ends. Then, turn them inside out.
These loop turners are quite good tools for doing this. If you haven’t got one, get one! They are cheap to buy and I’m sure you will find them really really useful.
Press them, then top stitch like so…
SEWING THE FRONT AND BACK
Join the back pieces RST, Press the seam allowances open. Topstitch. By the way, its a good idea to finish your raw vertical edges beforehand either with an overlocker, zig zag stitch or pinking shears.
Now there are no pics here about the pockets, but I would advise attaching them at this stage. In the pattern it leaves this bit to the end, which allows you to re-position them to suit you if you want to, but if you are happy with the position as shown on the template, its a lot easier to sew them on before you sew the front and back together. Just saying!
Next pin, tack stitch the straps at the slanted edge at the back.
Join the interfaced facing pieces at the sides with the RST. Press. Finish the raw outer edge.
Join the front to the back at the side edges.
Insert the facing. pin, matching up the cross seams. Hand tack.
Sew! Nick the seam allowances, trim across the corners.
Turn it to the RS, push out the edges. Press. Topstitch along the upper edge.
Hand stitch the facing on the inside at the side seams with a few stitches to secure it down more, or ironing on some wonderweb really helps.
POCKETS Fold over the hem at the slanted edge (front pocket) or top edge (back pocket), press. Stitch. Fold over 1cm at each remaining edge. Pin to the front (front pocket), or back (back pocket) in the position as shown on the template. Hand tack. Topstitch.
Finally, attach a button on each strap and buttonholes on the top of the front bib if you want to be able to undo it. If you don’t want to bother with buttonholes, just sew the strap and button on together so that it’s fixed.
Tip: try it on first and adjust the strap to the correct length first, pin then sew.
Here is a handy link to making buttonholes.
Ta dah! Easy peasy pattern don’t you think?
This is the back view. Some great pockets with a little bit slanted on the corners.
If you would like to make your own Mildred Pinafore Dress from a pattern, here is a link to my SHOP.