This is not Laura Ingalls Wilder's pinafore. No calico. No ruffles. This one is about as modern as you can get.
I didn't know we needed one of these, even as I started to make it, but now that it's finished all I can think is, doesn't every little girl need a pinafore? For the big pockets to hold her treasures, if for no other reason? At least for this girl who picks up every leaf, flower, stick, rock, and bug she comes across. It would, of course, work great as an art smock or cooking apron, but my vision involves a magnifying glass in one pocket and a sketchbook and pencil in the other. (We'll see what Maia's vision involves... Probably bottle caps and dandelions.)
I used the pinafore pattern from Wendi Gratz's Absolutely A-Line. It's a little large (I went with size 5 and she still wears a 4), but it'll give her some room to grow and will probably fit perfectly by this fall.
Here's the back view of the pinafore. Maia calls it a dress, but you can see why she needs to wear it over clothes. The tab is velcro so Maia can fasten it herself.
I asked Maia if she would like to draw pictures for the pockets and she said yes, of course. I taped some muslin down taut and flat and got out the fabric crayons. We use these Pentel Dye Sticks and I really like them. They draw on smoothly like oil pastels and an iron sets the drawing.
This is pirate girl on the left (in a blanket) and slime (?!) on the right. How completely awesome is that? I think we all need pirate girl on our side.
I love creating with Maia in this way. And love that she's excited about wearing an outfit with her own drawings on them or a skirt that she helped print the fabric for.
I'm trying to think of other ways to involve kids in making clothes. Let them help choose the fabric is an easy one. Embroider one of their drawings onto a shirt or dress is another. What else?