Tuesday, 23 July 2013

RainBoo! Bright Pinny Tutorial

I was very excited to make the RainBoo! Bright Pinny and even more excited that it turned out how I'd hoped. But, wow, the positive feedback I've had from the online sewing community has been a bit humbling. So I decided to do up a mini tutorial to explain how I made it.

I made the 18month size but you can certainly use the same idea for other sizes. I'll explain how I worked it out. Warning... there is a little maths involved (but super simple maths).

First... You need the Boo! Design Your Own Pinny Pattern

For the ruffles on the straps.
I wanted to use the same colours as the skirt and make double sided gathered ruffles on the straps. So I cut little rectangles of the fabric and pieced them together. For mine I used pieces 3" x 4" and sewed the 3" sides together in the order I wanted, then folded them in half and ironed them. Then used my overlocker to gather them.

The skirt:
You need to decide how long you want the skirt and how many tiers you want. I wanted there to be 5 full tiers and one half/ruffly tier at the bottom. To be honest There was a degree of guess work that went into mine. I knew I wanted the skirt to be about 10" long and I initially planned 5 tiers (then decided, rather than hem it I'd add the half tier ruffle along the bottom).

So, we need to calculate the height of the strips for the skirt.

height of strips =  (finished skirt length ÷ number of tiers) + (seam allowance x 2)

So for mine:
height of strips = (10" ÷ 5) + (0.5" x2) = 3"

(Amusing side note. I am Australian and use the metric system for everything but sew using imperial measures?! Mostly because that's what markings are on my machine and quilting rulers and a lot of the PDF patterns I buy)

Then we need to calculate the length of the strips.
I used the measurement of the front waistband as the starting point and multiplied by 1.2 for each tier thereafter.
waistband = 18"
tier1 = 18" x 1.2 = 22"
tier2 = 22" x 1.2 = 26"
tier 3 = 26" x 1.2 = 31"
tier4 = 31" x 1.2 = 37"
tier5 = 37" x 1.2 = 44"
tier6 (half tier) 44" x 1.2 = 54"

(I know this maths doesn't quite add up. What I did was to punch in the first number to my calculator then i rounded each answer but multiplied the un-rounded amount left on my calculator - but, IT DOESN'T MATER). This is not like quilting where if you are off by 1/2" it might throw out the whole thing. You can gather more or less to make it work.

This is what my strips looked like (there is two of each and they are folded in half):
(I must have taken this shot prior to deciding to add the blue ruffle at the bottom)

To assemble the skirt.
I started at the bottom and I made the front and back as two separate parts. First I made my bottom ruffle strips (mine were in two pieces (44" and 11")) so I sewed them together ironed the seams open then folded the ruffle along it's length. The I used my overlocker to gather it (leaving long threads to adjust). Then I pinned it to the next bottom piece and sewed them together (then overlocked to finish the seam). I ironed the seam towards the top piece and topstitched it. Then I gathered the top of that piece and attached it to the one above... and so on until I had an identical front and back skirt piece.

In order for it to all line up the back piece has to end up longer than the front. So I cut a piece of fabric, the same fabric with the same dimensions as the front waist band and attached it to the top of the back skirt without any gathering.

Then I just followed the instructions for the pinny and treated the skirt pieces as though they were single pieces of fabric. I took special care to line up the tiers along the side seam when I got to the last part of the pattern. 

Those who have made the pinny before will notice I have made a slight change to the pattern. I actually made the back waist band shorter than the pattern calls for (ie. I made the width of the front and back the same). I was able to do this because I was making it a bit big for my daughter anyway and I knew there would be plenty of gather at the back without as much gather from the back band piece being wider. I kept the elastic measurement the same as the pattern size. If you'd prefer to make the back waist band the same as the pattern (ie wider than the front) you can. You'd just have to do the maths for the back separate to the front and cut wider strips for the back. (My way was the lazier way and it worked out).

Now if working all of this out is not your cup of tea... I think (though I haven't tested it myself) that if you used the rainbow twirly dress pattern  and just shortened the tiers or used fewer tiers it would probably work the same way. Another option is to get the twirly skirt pattern make up a cheerleading skirt and add a couple of tiers to that and use that as the skirt. Don't hold me to it...just looks as though it would work. Then Kristie has done all the maths for you :)

Wow...that ended up being very wordy... I made it late at night so I stopped taking photos as I went in exchange for getting it done as quickly as possible so I could go to bed :/ Feel free to ask questions if it doesn't make any sense (likely). I'm thinking of making another one but in a different colour way, if I do I'll try to take more photos and update this tutorial :)

Such a practical dress. Miss E was happy to play in the rock garden, ride bikes and play trains while she wore it

I should mention I am not affiliated with Boo! Designs I am just a big fan. I have never been disappointed with any of the projects I've made using these patterns.
Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to leave a comment or question :)

Kerry xx

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