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Projects & Patterns

Pattern Roundup: Pinafores, Apron Dresses, and Overalls

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The pandemic did a doozy on our fashion sense, style, and/or size. For some, coming out of our pandemic cocoon might look like the glitz and glam of the Roaring Twenties. For others, emulating the simpler lines and more androgynous looks from the casual side of the 1920s may be more up your alley.

If you’re interested in bohemian and retro-inspired workwear, then pinafores, apron dresses, and overalls are worth a try. They are trendy and comfortable. The following pattern collection includes designs that can be worn in the streets and to casual parties.

Your fabric choice determines how casual or dressed up your garment is. Most of these patterns work with wovens of many types and weights including silk, linen, denim, corduroy, chambray, and cotton twill.


The Assembly Line Apron Dress

The Apron Dress design got a little extra style from @victorialucilleanne, who embroidered a flower motif on the neck straps.

Combine function and style with the Apron Dress. The pinafore workwear-inspired design includes crossed straps in back, buttons closing the back pleat, and perfect front pockets. It is easy to make and fun to embellish. The size range is EU 34 through 46 (bust 80 cm to 105 cm, waist 64 cm to 92 cm, hip 91 cm to 116 cm).


Wearing History WWII Homefront—1940s Overalls, Playsuit & Trousers

Reader Tory Browning's Make
Check out Threads reader Tory Browning’s version of Wearing History’s Homefront Overalls. The outfit is super adorable, from her fabric choice to her styling.

These overalls are functional and fashionable. This pattern features a V-neckline, crisscross straps on the back, a set-in belt, and optional front pockets. Sizes range from A through C (bust 30 inches to 46 inches, waist 24 inches to 40 inches, hip 33 inches to 49 inches). We have linked to the size B page but the other sizes are easy to find from there.


Made My Wardrobe Olivia Dress

Made My Wardrobe Olivia Dress

Wear this adorable pinafore-style wrap dress on its own or over a top. With essential deep pockets, an adjustable waist tie, and shoulder straps that cross at the back, the possibilities are endless. Woven fabrics of most weights will work best for this pattern. The Olivia dress pattern is available in UK sizes 6 through 24 (bust 78 cm to 126 cm, waist 61 cm to 109 cm, hip 86 cm to 134 cm) .


Seamwork Beckett

Seamwork Beckett Overalls

Layering is one of the features that make overalls flexible and fun. This design would stand out with a smocked top, T-shirt, or camisole. These overalls have a modern, relaxed fit. They feature tapered legs, a bib with grommets for securing the straps, and button closures at the hips. The Beckett overalls are best in medium or heavyweight wovens. The pattern is available for sizes 0 to 26 (waist 25 inches to 47 inches, hip 35 inches to 58 inches).


Sew Liberated Penny Pinafore

Penny Pinafore PDF Sewing Pattern

The pleated pockets, godets inserted with French seams, straps that cross at the back are details that  makes this pinafore truly special. With knee-length and full-length options, Penny can be paired with tees and tanks or worn over long dresses and jeans. This pattern is a digital PDF and includes sizes 0 through 34 (bust 31 inches to 58.5 inches, waist 25 inches to 52.5 inches, hips 33.5 inches to 61 inches).


Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs

Burnside Bibs Pattern

Similar in functionality and style to the Beckett overalls, the Burnside Bibs have a special surprise: gathers at the back waist. The straps that transition to narrower ties offer many options for how they can be tied. Front bib options include a scooped neck or straight front. Two pant styles include a fitted back pant with back waist darts and an invisible side zipper or a looser back pant that slips over the hips with no closure. Back patch pockets are another option. The wide legs can be made long or cropped. This is an intermediate-level pattern comes in sizes 00 to 20 (bust 31 inches to 47 inches, waist 23 1/2 inches to 39 1/2 inches, hip 34 inches to 50 inches).


Pipe Dreams Willow Wide or Chino Leg Overalls

Pipe Dreams Willow Overalls

The Willow Overalls may be the best beginner pattern of their type we’ve come across. The pattern has a generous cut through the hips and thighs and comes in wide- and chino-leg versions. Visit #willowoveralls Insta for inspiration. We couldn’t love those makes more. The overalls pattern is available in sizes 2 through 30 (bust 32 inches to 58 inches, waist 24 inches to 54 inches, hip 35 inches to 66 inches).


Folkwear 123 Austrian Dirndl

Folkwear Dirndl

Often seen at Renaissanc fairs and Oktoberfests, the dirndl design also embodies the cottagecore style. The complete dirndl consists of a close-fitting, sleeveless bodice with full skirt, worn over an blouse, and finished with a contrasting half apron. But we also like it as a summer dress. Pattern variations include knee-length or low-calf length, dirndl bodice with high or low neck, high- or low-neck blouse, and an optional apron. The pattern features many opportunities for adding details like ruffling and ruching. Sizes 6 through 32 (bust 30 1/2 inches to 54 inches, waist 23 inches to 49 inches, hip 32 1/2 inches to 56 inches).


Sew Different Scoop Pinafore

sew different pattern
This version of Sew Different Scoop Pinafore was sewn and is worn by @oneflewtoofar.

This collection wouldn’t be complete without our pattern review of  Sew Different’s Scoop Pinafore, published in Threads #207, Feb./March 2020. This pullover jumper has an interesting feature—semicircular insets, which form two large side-front pockets. It’s available in US sizes 4 to 22 and UK sizes 8 to 26  (bust 33 inches to 50.25 inches, hip 36.25 inches to 52.5 inches).


Have you made any of these patterns? If so, be sure to share pictures in our Readers Closet gallery or tag us on Instagram with #memadethreads.

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