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Sewing Pattern Problem

PatCasey | Posted in General Discussion on

I think I just posted this same message…but don’t think it went through properly.  Patience, everyone!

After years of not sewing, I am tackling making a costume for my grand-daughter.  I am stumped by one of the pieces in the Simplicity pattern for the Raggedy Ann outfit.  It is labeled “Pinafore guide” and is included in the layout diagram to be cut out.  What do I use this for?  Is it just something to use a a fitting guide and then discarded?  Or is it supposed to be sewn onto the costume somewhere?  There are no instructions as to what this “pinafore guide” is for!????

Frustrated Nana Pat!


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    It has been years but I have made the Raggedy Ann and Andy pattern.  If memory serves, the pinafore was a rectangle for the skirt and one for the front bodice  plus some strips for the straps and back ties so you should have pieces for each.  The guide is probably for the pinafore skirt?

    1. PatCasey | | #2

      Thanks for your reply, Mary..

      The "guide" piece is shaped differently than the rectangular skirt piece.. The picture on the front of the Simplicity pattern package doesn't show a bib on the pinafore...just the gathered skirt with the wide shoulder straps attached to it.  This extra piece is somewhat rounded on one side and straight on the other.   The dress also had a "guide piece"... which was the neckline of the dress.  You just measured it to the size you wanted and adjusted the neck size by cutting it accordingly.  The pinafore one doesn't seem to fit anywhere!  Duhhhh!  Am I getting dumber in my old age?  I think I'm missing something somewhere in making this pinafore!  The dress turned out fine, though. 

      Pat in Ohio

      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        It has been so long, I don't remember.  Could the "guide" be an  example for the size and shape of the skirt part of the pinafore after it is gathered?  I don't have the pattern here, I probably ignored the piece if it wasn't necessary.  I wonder if I used the McCalls pattern rather than the Simplicity. 

        Just use your instincts, and maybe long stitch length so if you need to you can rip it out. 

        1. MaryinColorado | | #4

          It isn't for the bloomers or hat is it?  Mary

          1. PatCasey | | #6

            No...it's not for the hat or bloomers.  It has "Pinafore Guide" printed right on the pattern piece.

          2. HeartFire2 | | #8

            Not having seen this pattern... is there anything printed on the "guide"? is it to help placement of decoration on the pinafore? Thats what I would think a guide was.

          3. PatCasey | | #10

            Well....I have gone over and over the directions of this @#$% pinafore pattern and find nothing.  Came to the conclusion that it must be a part of the pinafore...not just a guide as the pattern piece indicates.  The piece is huge...  the same width as the pinafore rectangle... 8 FEET long!  It is cut on the fold..the fold part being 10 inches, the other end 5 1/2 ".  On the pattern (guide) piece it allows for a 1/2 inch seam on the straight edge.  No printing on the curved edge.  There is a line the length of the piece which is the casing guide for the elastic.  The number of the pattern piece is 9.  Printing on the piece says.."Guide for Pinafore front and back".  Cut 1 on fold. 

            I think I will take this whole thing into JoAnn Fabrics and see if there is someone there who understands this pattern.  If this piece is supposed to be a part of the main rectangle, there is nothing that shows it in the instructions sheet!  That sheet only shows the rectangle, how to sew on the bias tape for the elastic, hem it, add shoulder straps, etc.  There is no curved part to it.  Sure hate when I run into speed bumps like this!

            Thanks again, everyone!

            Edited 10/18/2006 8:26 am ET by PatCasey

          4. HeartFire2 | | #11

            Is there another piec like it for the pina fore? does it have the markings for where to put the elastic casing? that may be what its for,
            Sorry I can't help more, I looked up the pattern on line but it wasn't very helpful.
            Please let us know how it turns out

          5. Teaf5 | | #12

            After looking at the patten online, I think I have your answer: the Guide for pinafore is actually the pattern piece for the bottom of the pinafore. You'll notice on the photo that the pinafore isn't exactly a rectangle; it curves under her arms and is higher in the front than in the back. It's also very gathered, which explains the 8-foot width, which is about 4 times the child's chest measurement. So the curve on your pattern piece is the top edge that will be gathered; the straight edge opposite that is the hem.Hope that helps in time for Halloween!

          6. PatCasey | | #13

            That's EXACTLY what it is.... and I went and cut it out seperately!  I wish it had said.."do not cut on this line" or something that a dummy like me would understand.  Looks like it will be easier to go out and buy more fabric, than to take out the hemming and gathering on the rectangular piece.  Thanks so much for solving that problem for me!!!!  I may try to just remove the elastic and sew the piece onto the one I have finished before starting again from scratch!

            THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!

            Nana Pat

          7. Teaf5 | | #14

            You're very welcome! I'm grateful for Threads forum for all those times I look at something and just can't get my head around it--an all-too-frequent event in sewing!

          8. PatCasey | | #15

            Whatever did we do before computers?  It sure has opened up some wonderful avenues, hasn't it?


          9. ctirish | | #16

            Pat, it looks like you have this figured out. I have run into that problem before. I always check to see if they have in the cutting layout, if it is there, I figure I must need it for something.

            I know what you mean about these patterns. I am making a dalmatian for my grandaughter and it has 14 pieces. For a costume? It looks like a jumpsuit with mittens and feet on it.  My first problem was I didn't lay it out the way the cutting sheet said too. I have been sewing for 40 yrs and I never lay it out the way they show. It wastes material and I like to have extra in case I have to recut any pieces.  Last night I was trying to make these mittens that have a sole, a sole pad, four little pads that go on the sole pad, then when I am looking at how it will go on the sleeve, I realize it looks like I have the sole, the sole pad and the little pads on the wrong side of the mitten. So I look at the layout for cutting out the mitten and they laid everything out on one layer.

            So, I called the number on the pattern for help and I get a voice response system that goes through the entire menu. When I finally get to the selection fo help with a pattern and constructio; I get a message that says, leave a message and we will call you back. I leave a detailed message so they can leave me a message if I am not at home. They call back when I am at playgroup and they don't leave a message. 

            I wanted to scream... sorry  for my soapbox, I just watched Jeffrey win Project Runway and I just want to go in a sound proof room and scream for a few minutes.

            Good luck with your costume; there is a photo area on here so please post your photos and I will post mine of the dalmatian and the last couple of years of Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet. 

          10. PatCasey | | #17

            Gee...glad to hear I'm not the only one who has problems with a pattern!!  That Dalmation one sounds like a lulu!!

            How do you get to the picture section of this site?  That sounds great!


          11. ctirish | | #18

            If you keep going down the column to the left of the screen you will find Photo Gallery at one of the threads.  You can go on and on, there must be more than 150 folders to choose from when you want to do a topic.  A lot of the photos are older and I didn't get my dalmatian photo in there yet. I asked my daughter to take  picture of the costume with and without Cate wearing it.  I am going to put my pictures from last year on the site, they are of Piglet and Eeyore costumes.

             I would like to see the Photo Gallery have new pictures in it. The reason it is so far down the list is the more active the topic the higher it will be in the list.

            I had written a note to Amber E on the Letter to Editor thread it is in the Feedback on Threads header.  She told me how the topic list works. She is always looking for ideas and feedback so if you have anything to add, send her a note.

          12. PatCasey | | #19

            Thanks for that info about how to post pics.  I'm going to go look for eeyore and piglet now!  I had my grand-daughter here for the weekend...and guess what??  I FINISHED THE RAGGEDY ANN CONSTUME!!  I'll try to post a picture of her on that page!  It really turned out cute...thanks to everyone's help on here...AND to purchasing some more material and starting over again with the pinafore!

          13. HeartFire2 | | #20

            you can post a picture within your post here. at he bottom of the reply page are several purple icons - 'post' 'preview' 'spell check' and 'attach files' just click on the attach files and follow directions

          14. PatCasey | | #25

            Well...I posted a picture of my Raggedy LeAnne (Grand-daughter).  Now let's see if I can find it on here somewhere! :-)  FINALLY finished that costume!  The pinafore directions sure left a lot to be desired, and the help from many of you is what got it all done!

            Thanks everyone for all your help!  This is a great place to be!


          15. User avater
            Becky-book | | #26

            Very cute!

          16. MaryinColorado | | #28

            Absolutely adorable!!! You did a great job!  I enjoyed the lovely background also.  What a great place to take photos.  She is so pretty, looks like a little model, my grand daughter is around the same age and we have so much fun together.  Mary

          17. thehat | | #30

            good job you made her look like the doll again good job

          18. thehat | | #23

            has any one ever had a problem with a pattern that the pattren envlope  is the right size and the pattern numbers are not the same on the in side

          19. ctirish | | #24

            Yes, one of two things happened.  The correct pattern may be in the envelope but the number has been changed. The other option is they put the wrong pattern in the envelope. Can you look on the directions at the cutting layouts and see if they match the pattern you purchased?  If it is a Simplicity/ McCalls, Butterick, Vogue pattern you should be able to go their website and see what was supposed to be in the envelope and you can look at the back of the envelope.  I don't know about other pattern makers.




          20. Teaf5 | | #27

            Sometimes customers take out the pattern contents to compare them, then put them back into the wrong envelopes, leaving the mess to we poor souls who buy them. Patterns are self-serve in our area, and I observe people doing all kinds of things that the clerks just can't control--unfolding them, putting them back in the wrong place, "hiding" them till the sale comes up, etc.If you can get back to the store with the receipt and have a clerk check the other copies of the same pattern, you can find a correctly packaged one or at least get your money back. Then the clerks will know that either the store or the pattern company has a problem.

          21. thehat | | #29

            I used the pattern and then finnished it and gave it away to a neice and it looked nice oh just to give a little glitz I  added a gold frog 

          22. thehat | | #22

            I did to the out fits that he made was the kind of stuff that I made for my self in school and what is with all the halter tops no class or talent   sorry they made a bad call I think

  2. suesew | | #5

    Sometimes a pattern will have a piece that will be called a guide but isn''t actually cut out of the fabric. Instead you might cut elastic to that length or gather the shoulder ruffle to that length. I'll bet if you read through the pattern very carefullly it will be menmtioned somewhere.

    1. PatCasey | | #7

      Thanks Sue..  But I do have the elastic guides too... and there is no place on the cutting layout for them...  as there is for the one marked "Pinafore guide".  I'm going to go back to the instruction pages and read them from start to finish tomorrow.  As I have put the Pinafore together, it seems way too short.  Maybe this "guide" piece is supposed to be sewn onto it somewhere.  ????  Frustration!! 

      I'd like to thank all of you who have tried to help me.  This is really a great website!  I'll probably be joining in on a knitting forum one of these days too.  Took that up again also, after over 30 years!  While raising my 5 kids, I sort of gave up on doing any kind of sewing, knitting, crafts, etc.  But since losing one of my daughters to cancer, at the age of 31, and having her little girl with me a lot of the time, I have been teaching her how to knit and sew.  Got me interested in it again..  But I'm afraid I've forgotten more than I ever learned so I'm learning all over again.!!!  And as for the Raggedy Ann pattern, it's more complicated than I thought It would be!  Dress has 7 main pieces.  The pantaloons look quite simple though.

      Nana Pat in Ohio

      1. thehat | | #21

        I made a pin afore and they are shorter then the dress the dress should have a ruffel on the bottom  is it a pin afore that is over the top and slip I made mine to have the ruffel with embroidery and bottons in the front.

  3. mem | | #9

    Its probably a guide for button placement or how much to gather etc . Dont worry about it !!

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