Doll Pinafore Instructions

construction fall

This page is still under construction, no pictures or sketches, which are coming, but not finished, yet. On the off chance that someone sees the fabric that lists this page as info before it’s actually up for sale… well, I figured I’d better get an explanation and some instructions!

Violet pinaforeThese doll pinafores are sized to fit a number of different dolls, but were developed on a Daisy Dolly (TM) from Daisy Kingdom and an American Girl (TM) doll, so they should work with any 18 inch doll. For shorter dolls with toddler bodies, they’ll fit down to 12 inch or so, if you shorten the skirt. They’re too large for fashion doll size. We tried one on a 22 inch doll and it worked…sortof, but looked a little off. That’s a pretty good size range!

Doll Pinafore Instructions – This is one of those patterns that is far more complicated to explain than to do. It’s more “fiddley” because of the small size of the parts than complicated.

  1. The first step is to wash your fabric to pre-shrink it and get the sizing out. Just a touch of soap, and a delicate cycle on cold in the washer is fine. If that’s not possible, soak overnight in cold water with a tiny bit of soap and then agitate it well, then rinse and rinse and rinse to get the soap out.
  2. Smooth the fabric out and let air dry. Hanging it over a shower rod or a plastic hanger works very well.
  3. Iron flat on a medium setting from the wrong side. This is important to get the best results.
  4. Cut apart along the solid black lines. There is a skirt, a bib, two shoulder straps (the shorter purple pieces) and two ties (the longer purple). The dot/dash lines are stitching lines and the one on the skirt near the top is a gathering line.
  5. Start by sewing the skirt. It needs a hem around the two short sides and the bottom and was measured for an 1/8 inch, top-stitched, rolled hem. This is most easily done by ironing an 1/8 of the edges to the back, then flipping that over for another 1/8 inch. That should hold well enough to do a tidy running stitch to hold it in place. Miter the corners if you know how. Knot and trim.
  6. Next run a long gathering stitch along that faint line near the top of the skirt. ¼ inch stitches would be best. Leave gathering ends free.
  7. You want to have your doll handy for the next stop. Make sure she’s wearing whatever dress you want to put this over.
  8. Pull the gathering strings up so that the skirt fits the doll’s waist, leaving a 1 inch gap. Knot to hold the measurement then set aside.
  9. Do a narrow hem along the top of the bib piece, knot, trim and set aside.
  10. Take the two longer tie pieces and stitch them together along a short end, creating one single length, then press that seam open.
  11. On the solid purple pieces, press along the stitching (dot/dash) line inwards along the wrong side of the fabric. Then fold each piece in ½ longways and iron flat.
  12. Take the two strap pieces and slip them over the bib piece. One end of each should align with the bottom of the bib piece, and the dot/dash stitching line on the bib sides be hidden by the strap sliding over it. Top-stitch each strap closed close to the pressed edge, catching the bib with the stitching line hidden. Set aside.
  13. Optional – Turn a tiny amount of the far end of each strap to the inside and top stitch closed.
  14. You’re going to do something similar with the skirt. Match the little purple arrow to the stitched seam where the two ties join and slide the gathered edge into the tie piece. Starting from the center top stitch closed close to the pressed edge, catching the skirt with the gathering line hidden. When you’re getting close to the edge of the skirt….with an inch of stitching to go, double-check for size, then finish stitching closed, turning the tie ends and and stitching around the corner. Knot and trim and repeat with the other side of the skirt.
  15. Center the bib piece on the inside of the tie at the seam line. Tack at each side and then top stitch close to the top edge of the tie to hold the bib to the skirt.
  16. Turn the pinafore to the wrong side and put it on the doll, tying the tie to hold it closed. Flip the straps over to the back of the doll down to the tie, matching the edge to the skirt back hem. Tack in place.
  17. Press the whole piece with the iron, then put on the doll right side out to check for fit and adjust as necessary.
  18. Tie the ties in a bow and enjoy!

Take some pictures and send them to me at I’d love to see what you do!

Page created and published 12/4/14 (C)2014 M. Bartlett
Last update 12/4/14

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