Anne of Green Gables – Pinafore Tutorial


Welcome two day 2 of our Anne of Green Gables dress. If you missed the brown dress, you can see the directions for making it here

We’re going to use Simplicity 1179 pattern again today. This time we’ll modify view E to make Anne’s pinafore.

Materials needed:

  • Simplicity 1179 pattern
  • Blue and white/cream striped cotton fabric (I surprisingly couldn’t find shirting in the right pattern at several stores , so I ended up using Blue Striped Flannel Fabric (Sku 425090)  from Hobby Lobby.
  • 2 snaps
  • 2 buttons
  • Tracing Paper*

*Tracing paper will help us make the modifications to the pattern to get the look we want. If you look at the big sheets the patterns are printed on before you cut out individual pieces, you’ll sometimes have blank areas. I save these and use them for tracing/modifying new pieces. You can also use purchased tracing paper, or typing paper – anything that you can trace on. To be honest, you might be able to eyeball the changes and cut them without tracing. Read on to decide if you need to or not.

If you look at images of Anne’s travel dress from the 1985 mini-series, the bodice is rounded and higher than the pattern we are using. The pattern also has a lace collar that we just get to leave off.


Bodice Back #33 -modifications to top

The Bodice Back (piece #33) directs you to make 4 total copies. Two of this pieces will make the outside back of the dress and 2 will be on the inside as a facing. We’re making modifications to two sections of the pattern.

1) The top is raised and rounded, and the strap is widened. The picture shows the pattern with tracing paper underneath. I traced the original pattern, drew the changes on the tracing paper, and cut out the modified pattern. I then cut all 4 pieces of fabric out based off the tracing paper at this point.

dsc_004612) The bottom of the bodice is shortened. Using the same piece of tracing paper, I drew the line straight across and drew a second line for the seam allowance. We’re only going to make this modification to two of the four pieces from here. Why only two? More on that next…



dsc_0016Here are the four copies of Bodice Back #33 cut out. I decided to only modify the bottom of 2 of the 4 because I didn’t want to have trouble with the armhole when everything is sewn together.  For the two I modified, I folded them up and pressed them before I cut.




For the Bodice Front #32, the modifications are similar:


I started by tracing the Bodice Front #32 pattern onto tracing paper just like we did for Bodice Back #33. Once again there are two changes to make.

1) I raised and rounded the collar. Make sure it’s the same proportions as the changes to the Bodice Back #33 so that the pieces will match up. Since we’re cutting on the fold, there are only two pieces. I cut the two bodice pieces based off the traced pattern at this point.



2) I drew the lines where I wanted the bodice to curve at the bottom. Draw the seam allowance too.




dsc_0017Now it’s time to modify the bottom of one of the two Bodice Front pieces. Once again, we’re only going to modify the bottom of the outside piece, so that the facing can help to maintain the armhole shape. You can see the curve I wanted and the tracing lines on the bottom. I traced and ironed it before cutting out the curve on one of the bodice pieces.


From there you follow the directions on S1179 for assembling the bodice. The longer, facing pieces will be on the inside of the dress and will help maintain the armhole’s shape. The shorter bodice pieces will be on the outside.

Follow the directions in the pattern to sew the bodice pieces together.


Ouside Bodice – you can see the cut lines and the wrong side of facing



Reverse side – The inside facing







Next it is time to sew the skirt onto the bodice. Follow the directions that come with the pattern I did make the skirt a about an inch longer to accommodate for the higher, curved bodice. I left the hem raw until I could put it on and make sure it was the right length compared to the dress. I made sure it was just about half an inch shorter than the brown dress.

Anne has two buttons on the back of the pinafore so you can follow the pattern’s directions for sewing the snaps and buttons. No changes needed.

dsc_0022Finally, you need to add two patch pockets to Anne’s dress. There are lots of tutorials online if you’ve never made patch pockets before.

I cut two strips of fabric 6.75″ X 3.75″. The picture above is with the top of the pocket hemmed and folded in half with right sides together. I gently trimmed the bottom of the pocket to make it curved before sewing it together.

I centered the pocket under the front third of the arm hole about 2.75″ down. Pin them in place and sew.

There you go! The next post will be on the accessories.


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