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11 of the best Pinafore Dress sewing patterns

No longer just a trend, pinafore dresses have become a staple that we love to wear every season. Discover our favourite pinafore dress patterns and apron dress patterns to add to your stash today.

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pattern
Published: May 6, 2021 at 9:34 pm
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No longer just a trend, pinafore dresses have become a staple of our every-season wardrobes. Great for layering up with our handmade T-shirts and blouses and always cool when paired with chunky boots, they're easy to sew and easy to wear, we just can’t seem to make enough of them!


Luckily, there are plenty of pinafore dress patterns for us to add to our stash, if w're looking to make our own pinafore dresses. The sewing patterns we've included in this round up range from casual, loose-fit dungaree styles to more tailored, vintage-inspired pinafores. Here are a few of our favourites, and we've included a couple of bonus apron dress patterns too for those of you who, like us, are interested in making this close cousin of the classic pinafore dress.

This round-up is just one of our series of dressmaking pattern guides to inspire you if you're on the hunt for sewing patterns to make your own wardrobe. Check out our sister guides to the best summer dress sewing patterns, the best coat sewing patterns and the best blouse patterns – or whip up our favourite free skirt sewing patterns.

New to sewing? Take a look at our how to use a sewing machine guide and beginner's guide to sewing.

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1. The Pinafore Dress

Of course, we had to kick start this round-up with our very own pinafore dress (what can we say? We genuinely love it). This classic design was first published with issue 61 of Simply Sewing magazine and it's available now as a PDF download in our Etsy store. It's the ultimate mix-and-match layering piece for wearing all year round. Colourful corduroy, classic denim and heavier-weight cottons are all ideal for this style, and you can customise it with the two pocket and strap options included to switch up the look.

Pinafore dress pattern

2. Mildred Pinafore Pattern by Sew Girl

Looking to sew a classic apron-style pinafore? This loose fitting dress called Mildred is a lovely beginner dressmaking project, though you'll find it easiest if you've had a bit of sewing experience. Choose between long or short lengths and make it in sizes UK 8-22. It has an A-line shape, two adjustable buttoned straps, a large front pocket (happy days) and two small back pockets. We think it will look lovely sewn in soft denim, linen or needlecord.

Pinfore Dress Sewing Pattern

3. Say hello to the Pippi Pinafore

If you’re looking to give your sewing skills a boost, add Jennifer Lauren’s Pippi Pinafore, available in sizes 6-24, to your project list; a vintage-look style with a fitted bib, pleated skirt, curved patch pockets and a side button placket, there are lots of fun techniques to tick off the list here – perfect for confident beginners who want to take their dressmaking to the next level.

Pippi Pinafore sewing pattern

4. Go big on pockets

With its flattering scooped neckline and armholes, modern cocoon silhouette and oversized round patch pockets, this cute design is all about the curves! Included with the York Pinafore pattern are two versions in sizes 0-30: view A has those large scoop pockets, a dipped neckline, and is knee-length, while view B is a shorter length with a higher neckline and a kangaroo pocket.

York Pinafore sewing pattern

5. The Maria Apron Dress Pattern

Hundreds of five star reviews from fellow sewists have voted this one of the hottest Apron Dress Patterns on Etsy. Make your own practical and stylish apron dress inspired by a traditional maker's apron. Make it in a choice of small, medium, large and extra large sizes and opt for version A (with a wrap style back and cross over straps) or B (a classic pinafore style with a side tie closure). Oh, and it has large patch pockets... just sayin'.

Maven Apron Dress Pattern

6. The Cleo Dress

Tilly’s Cleo has become a cult favourite (just search #sewingcleo on Instagram for thousands of versions!) and it’s easy to see why. With a flattering straight fit, a mini or knee-length hem, optional centre-front split, patch pockets, topstitching and buckles or buttons, this beginner sewing pattern can be made differently every time. Don’t forget to share yours using #sewingcleo to join in the fun!

Tilly Cleo dungaree dress sewing pattern

7. The Apron Dress

Is it an apron? Is it a pinafore dress? No – it’s both! This apron-style design by Swedish pattern brand The Assembly Line is a workwear-inspired pinafore with cross-over back straps, useful oversized patch pockets and a unique pleat skirt opening that’s closed by two buttons, and it comes in sizes XS-L. We’re big fans of its Scandi simplicity and classic styling; make it in a practical cotton canvas for a utility feel.

The Assembly Line Apron Dress

8. The Camden Pinafore

Named after one of London’s coolest areas, you’ll definitely feel like you’d fit right in there wearing this fun pinafore dress. This fitted style is fully lined for a professional finish, has a deep V-neckline and fitted waistband, and, with its statement patch pockets, has a bit of a mod vibe to it – think London in the Swinging Sixties! The pattern includes a skirt version with an A-line silhouette, too.

Nina Lee Camden Dress

9. The Scoop Pinafore

Oh, how we love a stash-busting pattern! Sew Different’s Scoop Pinafore has clever side panels and a hem band, which give us plenty of options for customising and playing with different fabrics and scraps. Also, it has pockets hidden in those contrast side panels. Hurrah! It can be made in lots of different fabric types, from cotton to scuba – pick one with structure to make the most of the pattern’s cocoon shape.

Scoop Pinafore sewing pattern

10. The Amber Pinafore

Want a pinafore that works for casual daywear and an evening out? Look no further than Named’s Amber pattern. This chic number has an elegant curved, deep-V neckline, swishy lined skirt and a racerback detail with a statement buckle fastening and eyelets. Pick a fabric with a soft textured nap to give it a more dressed-up feel: Named’s sample is made in a luxurious velveteen. Just pair it with a simple tee for daytime, and swap for a slinky satin blouse for the evening.

Named Patterns Amber

11. The Faron Dress

Founders of new indie pattern brand Fig + Needle, Ping Mathre and Sandra Helsley, want to get us all feeling amazing in our me-mades – and you’ll definitely feel just that in their Faron Dress. Designed with beginner and advanced beginner stitchers in mind, their pinafore dress combines modern lines, a unique statement zip fastening and skills-boosting techniques – and it comes in two size options: 0-12, and 14-26.

Fig and Needle Faron pattern

Find your next sewing project

Learn how to make a face mask or check out collection of best sewing patterns for beginners. Looking for a simple project? Find out how to make a drawstring bag.


Do you enjoy curling up with your WIP and a crafty TV show? Check out our guides to The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great Pottery Throw Down and Interior Design Masters.


Michelle GradyFeatures Editor, Homestyle and Your Home

Michelle started sewing six years ago after finding a handmade dress in a thrift shop and thinking: “I could make that!” Passionate about sustainable fashion, she’s usually found rummaging through her existing stash of fabrics and patterns for inspiration, or looking for second-hand garments she can repair, alter or upcycle. She shares her makes at and on Instagram @threadseclectic

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