Back again with another new-to-me pattern company: Nina Lee patterns. When I saw this new release, the Camden pinafore, pop up on my social media feed I thought it looked worth a try. There are so many pinafore patterns around at the moment, but I liked the look of this one, with its princess seams, V-neck, waistband and A-line skirt.
On the whole I think this is a cute style, and a good match for my body shape. However, let’s address the one thing which I am disappointed in: the excess fabric in the high bust area. I think this could be due to the fullness being too high for my bust? i.e. the pattern being drafted for someone with a very high bust (sighing for my youth right now). Now, normally, on Big 4 patterns the bust apex would be marked on the pattern, and before doing a FBA I would move that apex point down to suit me (maybe an inch or so). In case there are some readers not familiar with the concept let me show you:
The cross inside the circle which I have marked with the red arrow corresponds to where the bust apex should lie. And, in case anyone doesn’t know, those crosses inside circles appear on Big 4 patterns (not always) to signify things like waist position, hip position and where the fullness of the bicep should be. Unfortunately on this pattern the bust apex was not marked and I went ahead and did a 1 inch FBA. If I was going to make this pattern again I would definitely want to address that excess fabric and I think the way to do that would be to move the fullness down? As this is a relatively new release I haven’t been able to see if anyone else has encountered the same issue or not, and if they have, how they have dealt with it.
I don’t think this issue will stop me from wearing this pinafore dress though. I think the fit every where else is good. Aside from fit alterations I did make some other changes to the construction of the dress.
I added an exposed zipper to the back of the dress (the instructions call for an invisible zipper). In my experience invisible zippers and bulky fabrics like denim and corduroy are not a great match.
The instructions have you fully line the dress. I decided to draft all in one facings to finish the neckline and arm hole, and I also used a facing to finish the lower hem and the inner waistband.
Fun, versatile and fully-lined, Camden is a joy to sew and wear! Choose between the full pinafore or the skirt option (with two lengths); both are lined and feature stylish patch pockets! The pinafore has a deep V-neckline and princess seams that pleasingly flow into the lines of the skirt. The close-fitting bodice and waistband make the Camden pinafore perfect for layering over finer tops, or wearing on its own in the summer! The simple skirt on the other hand is there for you all year round, ready to be paired with chunky knits and woolly tights through to camis and espadrilles!
UK 6 – 20
I cut a size 18 in the upper body and graded out over the waist and hips.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes. Mine is knee length though.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t really follow them. I did my own thing. I did notice that I think there may be a step missing in the pocket instructions?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I do like the overall shape and design. I think there are plenty of fit opportunities with the front and back princess seams. I like the waistband and the V-neck and also the A-line skirt. The shaped, angled pockets are edge and top stitched into place. On me at least, there seems to be excess fabric at the top of my bust. I think this is because I need to move the bust fullness down. I will still wear this pinafore but if I make this again it’s something I need to address. It’s a shame the bust apex was not marked on the pattern.
Plus points for being a layered pattern so you only need to print the size(s) you want and for providing finished measurements. Also, this is a relatively small PDF pattern so few pages if you printing at home.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I did a 1 inch FBA, and took the extra inch down through the waistband and the front of the skirt.
- I also added 0.5 inch to the front and back side seams below the waistband.
- 0.5 inch full tummy adjustment.
- 0.5 inch full bum adjustment.
- Drafted all in one facings to finish neckline and armholes inside of lining the pattern.
- Added 1 inch to the length.
- Finished the skirt hem with a facing (1 inch depth).
- Interfaced the waistband and finished with a facing.
- Changed from invisible zipper to exposed zipper (ended up only taking 3/8ths inch seam allowance for this due to the width of my zipper tape).
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew again. I recommend. With any pattern it’s a starting point.
This is fun, feminine and on trend. It is a perfect layering piece and I can see me wearing it even into spring with bare legs and trainers. I do like the overall shape a lot.
See you all soon!