Ivy pinafore and Alexi top

Hi. I am Jenya. I used to be scared of spiders and small bust adjustment. Until I got obsessed with the Ivy pinafore from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

You see, Jen designed the Ivy for a C cup bust. I am a proud bearer of a very humble A cup. I have attempted SBA a few times previously, with very sad results. Because of my apparent inability to perform a successful SBA I admired the Ivy from a safe distance for quite some time until UpCraft Club offered a discount on dress patterns and I decided I loved the look of this pinni enough to put myself through a torchure of yet another SBA attempt.

I am a good girl and made a muslin first. Then another. Then another... I made five all up! Yes my friends. Five! Am I persistent? Am I crazy? Probably both haha However I feel my crazy persistence paid off. On my last attempt I had a pinny that fit my humble bust just fine. The version you see in these photos feels more snug around the bust comparing to my practice pinny, I am wondering if this has something to do with the weight of the fabric. I used quilting cotton for the practice run. I am not sure if I need to make any adjustments to the pattern or maybe just use a slightly narrower seam allowance next time I make this pinafore. What would you do? I don't feel restricted, so should I even bother?

I contemplated doing a sway back adjustment but decided to make the pinni as is and see how I feel after I wear it for a while. This pinafore is not too close fittings, which makes me believe I can get away without having to adjust the back.

I liked the length of an unhemmed pinafore when I made a muslin, so I added 3 cm to the hemline for my final version. This way I can sit or bend down without traumatising people around me too much.

The Ivy is designed as a lined garment, however Jen offers this clever tutorial on how to make an unlined pinafore. This is exactly what I did.

I knew I wanted to sew my Ivy in denim. I love denim! I chose this indigo denim from The Fabric Store. When the fabric arrived it was a little stiffer than I imagined. I am still learning what numbers indicating the weight of fabric really mean. I hesitated for a few minutes but decided to go ahead and use this denim anyway. The fabric turned out perfect for this project, in my humble opinion. 

I bought two metres of denim for this project, but because I didn't cut anything on the fold but played some crazy tetris instead I managed to use only just over half of it! I made a skirt from this fabric as well, and there is still enough left for one more project. I might make a pair of jeans for my little girlie. I have not decided yet. Three garments out of $40 worth of fabric? Not bad, not bad at all! 

I lined the yoke pieces and made the pockets from a small piece of indigo chambray I have been hoarding for a couple of years. 

Now, denim is practically demanding topstitching, don't you think? I had yellowish topstitching thread at home but no buttons to match it. I had these awesome silver steel buttons that were just the right size for the project, but the colour clashed with my yellowish topstitching thread. I needed either different buttons or a different coloured topstitching thread. My little love and I headed to our local Spotlight. Now, I can be extremely indecisive when it comes to fabric, buttons or topstitching thread. My little helper, on another hand, wants everything she sees... You guessed how our shopping trip went, right? Well, we managed to get the thread and the store was not completely demolished upon our departure, win-win!

You may have noticed that my pinafore features more topstitching than Jen's sample. That is because the centre front seam was supposed to be flat-felled. Oops! I was so eager to finally make the real pinni after so many practice goes I just went for it without re-reading the instructions. I simply sewed the centre front seam, pressed it open, went crazy with topstiting and moved on. I didn't realise my mistake until I had to refer to the instructions at a later stage. I really like the result, but I am keen to do a proper flat-felled seam next time. 

While I had a couple of tops to go with my new pinafore I really wanted to make the Alexi top from Style Arc as it is seasonally appropriate for us in Victoria. I bought absolutely divine cotton/modal ribbing from The Fabric Store in Melbourne last summer. The wrong side of this fabric is slightly brushed which makes it feel oh so wonderful against the skin. I am convinced this fabric was made to be used with the Alexi pattern! 

I made a straight size 8 without any modification and the fit is spot on. I wear my Alexi with jeans and a cardigan, but I especially love it paired up with the Ivy!

Hi. I am Jenya. I am now only scared of spiders.

At a glance:

Pattern: the Ivy pinafore from Jennifer Lauren Handmade purchased through UpCraft Club.
Size: 8.
Modifications: small bust adjustment, lengthened at the hemline by 3 cm (I'm 170 cm tall).
Fabric: mid weight denim from The Fabric Store Online.

Pattern: Alexi top from Style Arc
Size: 8.
Modifications: none.
Fabric: cotton/modal ribbing purchased from The Fabric Store in Melbourne. 


  1. Love this post! I know what you mean about doing an sba -- and I'm afraid of spiders too, haha! I love your persistence; it definitely paid off. Your sewing is beautiful, reminds me that it's so worthwhile to muslin. I think I need to start tackling more projects that intimidate me, too. Love your Alexi top, too.

  2. Beautiful! I love the top stitching and I think the hem length is spot on. Congrats on conquering the SBA! I would try to a smaller seam allowance before another SBA but you’re probably right about the fabric weight - it may just be the stiff denim �� Looks fabulous!

  3. Your multiple tries were well worth the effort. Very cute. I can see it in summer made from cotton & wool for winter. Well done.

  4. Great outfit Jenya! I'm glad you worked it out in the end but I would certainly have given up! Both garments are lovely!

  5. That is lovely - inspiring! Might see you at the self sewn wardrobe on FB - I'm Lorraine Field over there :D


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