Rooibos and the pinafore dress experiment

Long story short, I made the Colette Rooibos dress for the third time. I had a sizeable remnant of stretch denim and a desire to make a pinafore dress, and also a hope that the idea would work for me.

I had a pinafore dress once. I remember liking it a lot but I think I was twelve then, so you can understand why I had my doubts. That, and pinafore dress patterns that I’d been finding were, for the most part, very apron-like. There was a risk, too, that the lovely dark denim would give it all a decidedly early-shift-at-the-factory feel. Some can pull off that look successfully, give it a little edge, but I just end up looking very unhappy.

Those midriff pieces and bust shaping should introduce some curves and softness, I thought, and cut into the denim remnant. And then I sewed. This is the result:


Obviously, (a) you can’t see my smile in the photo above, and (b) you might disagree with me (and that’s fine, one half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other, as we learn from Austen’s Emma), but I’ve been wearing this dress almost every day since finishing it. Love, unabashed.


The pattern is Rooibos from Colette Patterns with a modified neckline, which I went with on both of my previous versions.

A further modification this time was replacing the facing with a narrow bias facing on the neckline and armholes. I also used a regular zipper this time in lieu of the recommended invisible zipper.

The fabric came from my stash: a dark blue stretch denim leftover from my Beignet skirt. I bought it about a year at a Craftsy sale. I believe it’s a Robert Kaufman fabric.

It’s probably time to sew something other than another Rooibos. Or not? Can you believe that the first time I made this pattern I thought it would most likely end up a one-off?

Do you like pinafore dresses or do leave them in the closet of memory, with your twelve-year-old self?

PS: That’s a Plantain/Tonic mashup tee underneath the dress — need to make more of those.


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

3 thoughts on “Rooibos and the pinafore dress experiment”

  1. I’m also a fan of a good pinafore – and factory worker styles too. I once wore an actual smock with a silver and black mesh boob-tube over the top, and a head scarf. I was young and working in retail at the time, but I stand by my choices!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That outfit sounds truly intriguing 🙂
      I have to say, in spite of whatever doubts I had while I was sewing this dress, I’m now loving every bit of its pinaforeyness (except for the word I just made up for it).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh it looks great! I think it actually looks very Merchant & Mills (a good thing in my opinion; hopefully in yours too). And that feeling of something you love, it’s like reading a WONDERFUL book after a flood of mediocre novels, or at least it is for me. Yay!


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