Callie - Pinafore Dress

Things that I love:
  • versatile clothes
  • cute clothes
  • pockets
  • toptsititching

The Callie Pinafore Dress* by Designer Stitch ticks all those boxes. This dress is great for layering - fantastic in summer or winter, is super cute, has soooooo many options for pockets, and well and truly scratches my topstitching itches.

I haven't had a good crack at some major topstitching since my Tanner Culottes. I love how some nice neat rows of topstitching can make a project really pop. I enjoy the process: picking the right colour, figuring out the best tension to use, taking my time with the stitching, and getting everything just so. It's like the opposite of much of my regular sewing - quick pieces to keep the kids covered.

There are 3 different pocket locations on the Callie - centre front, lower front, and back. There are two options on style for the centre front pocket, and 3 options for the lower front. I ended up with the slant pocket on the lower front pockets. I skipped the centre front pocket as I was worried about crowding the dress front. And I only added one of the back pockets - I'm still debating final placement - and one of them wasn't quite up to scratch with the topstitching.

There's a bit of strain placed on the open corners of the pockets. This looks like more than what my tied off topstitching thread can handle long term. So as soon as the dress is out of the wash, I'll be adding some bar tacks to the top corners to help secure them.

This is the racer back version - it cuts in a little more at the top back. There's a fuller back version, and options for straps including knots or square rings. I'm toying with the idea of a hack with buttoned straps.

I wasn't sure on what style of buttons I wanted to use, and grabbed a few packets of metal buttons at Spotlight to decide on later.  When I got home, and looked at the colour of my topstitching, these slightly rose-gold tinted buttons were a perfect match.

When given the specs for checking fit, Ann from Designer Stitch wanted to make sure there was enough ease in the pattern to be able to "walk and climb fences".  This dress was thoroughly tested for fence climbing. And even with the short length, I managed to maintain my dignity.

Honestly, this fabric is borderline weight for this pattern. It's super nice and comfortable, but a smidge more drape than I'd really like. So I'll be keeping an eye out for some pretty duck or denim to make another.

Like many of Designer Stitch's woven top/dress patterns, the Callie Dress has options for different cup sizes. Make sure to read the instructions for measuring and determining your cup size, as it's different to your normal bra cup. I sewed up a B cup, in a size 4 bodice, blending out to a 5 in the hips (check the standard size chart here). And ended up taking in an extra cm in the front bodice for a closer fit. I made a toile first, to check sizing and adjust fit. Something I'm learning reluctantly that I shouldn't skip, especially with all that topstitching - you don't want to have to unpick and resew that.

All up, I'm really happy with my Callie. While I've already worn it out and about with a long sleeve tee or bodysuit, cardigan, tights, and boots, I'm looking forward to summer options with a tank or short sleeved tee underneath.

The pattern is on sale for release, so don't miss out the discounted pricing!

*this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All the sewing and opinions are my own.


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