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The Dulcie Pinafore - Tutorial: Finishing the Waistband

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Dulcie Pinafore is aimed at Intermediate seamstresses mostly because there are some time-consuming parts (hello button holes!) and some bits that are a bit fiddly. If you're a confident beginner looking to sew up Dulcie,  this tutorial will help put you at ease when tackling the construction of the waistband, especially if you're a visual learner like me! 

It's pretty straight forward, but it can seem confusing until you do it... 


1. Assemble your bodice and attach your waistband pieces to the finished bodice as per the instructions.

2. Open out your waistband, then right sides together, line up the interfaced waistband (the one that sits on the outside of the garment) along the skirt waistline. The waistband should stick out 1.5cm (5/8") on each end. 

Due to the curve of the skirt, it may feel like it doesn't fit, but it does! Just line up your notches and ease the waistband in.

3. Back-tacking at each end, stitch your waistband to your skirt. Trim down the seam allowance along the waistline leaving 1cm (3/8"). 

4. Draw the interfaced waistband down, bringing the bodice with it, so that it is now wrong side down (or right side up!). 

5. The non-interfaced waistband will now sitting on 'top' with the bodice sandwiched between.  The two waistbands will now technically be right sides together along the length. Pin the waistband seam allowance together at each end along the 1.5cm (5/8") seam allowance, being careful not to catch the bodice or skirt.

6. Back-tacking at each end, stitch the waistband closed at the ends, being careful not to catch your bodice/skirt.

Tip - you can use a zipper foot to get close to this seam without catching your bodice. AND, once you've got past the edge where the bodice is attached, you can fold it out of the way.

7. Trim down the side seam allowance and notch the corner.

8. Pull the non-interfaced waistband down so that right sides of the waistband are now facing out and the bodice and skirt are pulled out.

9. Press the non-interfaced waistband down.

10. Tuck the raw edge of the waistband up to the wrong side by 1.5cm (5/8"). Pin in place.

12. Stitch in place around the entire waistband, 3mm (1/8") away from the outer edge of the waistband.

And you're done! Like any 'tricky' step when sewing, just take your time, you can do it!!

You can purchase your Dulcie Pinafore pattern here, it includes both the Original pattern (6-24, A to D cups) AND the Curve pattern (16-34, C to F cups).

Happy sewing, 



How to do a Bust Adjustment on a Princess Seam - A Dulcie Pinafore Tutorial

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Even though Dulcie now comes with 6 cup sizes (A to F), you may still need to do an FBA if you sit on the edges of where the 2 patterns cross over, or if you are larger than an F cup (if you're smaller than an A cup, you will do the opposite to the below. Though, there is only a 1cm difference in the high and full bust for the A cup, so you may find you don't need to do one). 

Have a look at the size charts here and work out whether you'll need to do an FBA using the guide on working out your cup size, included on the same page.

For example, if you have a High Bust measurement of 94cm (37") AKA a size 14, and a full bust measurement 104cm (41"), you have a difference of 10cm (4") and therefore an E cup.  The Original Sizes don't have an E cup included, and the Curve Sizes start at a 16, so therefore, you will want to do a small FBA.

In this example, I would recommend using the 14D cup so that you only have to do a small adjustment to get to the E cup.

The D cup has a difference of 7.5cm (3") so to get to the E cup, you'd need to do a 2.5cm (1") bust adjustment. BUT, because we are working with half a bodice, divide this measurement in half to get 1.25cm (1/2").

If you need help with choosing your size and how much to adjust by, just send me an email, I'm more than happy to help. 

You'll need:

  • Your Dulcie Pinafore Pattern - both pattern piece A (Centre Front Bodice) and piece B (Side Front Bodice).
  • Scrap paper
  • Pen + ruler
  • Scissors + sticky tape


1. Draw stitching lines in on both the Centre Front piece (A) and the Side Front Piece (B) of the Dulcie Pinafore (purple lines below).  Your seam allowance is 1.5cm (5/8").

After making a toile, note on your pattern piece where your Full Bust sits. On the pattern itself, the full bust sits approximately at the bottom notch indicated on the princess seam itself. Draw a line straight across on both pattern pieces . This line will be called Line A, in blue above.

Note: on pattern piece B, draw the line stopping at the purple stitching line along the princess seam.

2. On pattern piece B, draw a second line from the notch on the armscye down to line A at the princess seam end (this is line B). Then draw a third line from the bottom of the waistline, up to meet at Line A and B, along the purple stitching line. This is line C.
3. Cut along Line C, starting at the bottom, and pivoting into Line B. Stop cutting at the purple stitching line at the armscye, circled in red below. 
4. Place an additional cut along Line B at the armscye down to the stitching line, leaving a pivot point at the purple stitching line circled.
5. Now cut along Line A from the side seam - you now have a Transformer (hehe).

6. Place a piece of paper underneath your bodice and tape down the seam allowance along the princess seam on the bodice at the arrow indicated below.

7. You now want to open out Line C by the amount you worked out above. For this example, it's 1.25cm or 1/2" (noted by the red lines below - they measure 1.25cm). 

Make sure Line C is open equally by that measurement all the way down, pivoting your other cut lines out until the pattern piece is flat. Tape the bottom left section of the pattern down along Line C.

8. To true up the length of the princess seam, cut along the waistline stitching line (marked in red below) and move that little square down so that it matches up at the bottom. Tape in place.

9. Draw in your new bottom right corner lines.

10. Now we need to remove the dart created along Line A. Trim down the additional paper behind the pattern from step 6, leaving the paper under the Line A dart. 

Extend the top Line A down to the outer edge of the pattern (in red below). Cut this line from the outside in to the pivot point at Line A. Leave a pivot point here too - circled in red.
11. Close Line A by moving the top of the pattern piece down. This will open up a little dart at the outer edge of the pattern, marked in red below.

12. Now we need to remove the additional width the adjustments above created at the waistline, for this example, it was 1.25cm or 1/2". 

At the side seam waistline stitching line, mark in the measurement you added to Line C earlier (ours is 1.25cm) - noted in red below. Then, from the side seam end of Line A, draw a line straight down, removing the extra waist measurement (blue dotted line). 

13. Now we need to true up the Centre Front Bodice length. Measure the purple stitching line length (not the outer edge!) of the little dart created at Line A in step 11, as well as the waist, both circled in red below.  

Cut along Line A on your Centre Front bodice and draw and cut an additional Line D along the bottom waist purple stitching line (in red below).

14. Place a piece of paper under your Centre Front Bodice pieces and spread them apart by the corresponding lengths from step 13. Tape in place.

15. Draw in your new pattern piece lines (blue dotted lines below) and cut out your new pattern. You will then need to re-adjust your buttonhole placements, depending on how much additional length was added.

And you're done!! They look a little funky after you've done all that cutting, taping and drawing, so feel free to then trace over these pieces so you have fresh new ones. Also, I promise that this adjustment looks more complicated than it really is. It's mostly just drawing, cutting and taping lines at the end of the day, so don't stress too much.

If you have any questions about sizing or bust adjustments, drop me a line at jen at jenniferlaurenhandmade dot com. 

You can purchase your Dulcie Pinafore pattern here!




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New Pattern Release - The Dulcie Pinafore

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 Designed with autumn layers in mind, Dulcie brings 60s charm to a structured pinafore dress.

I am so excited to be releasing the Dulcie Pinafore to you today - the first pattern in my new extended JLH Curve sizing.

Dulcie includes additional sizes 26 to 34 as well as E+F cups within the new Curve pattern. The Original pattern includes the usual 6 to 24, A to D cups and the Curve pattern includes sizes 16 to 34, C to F cups.

If you fall into the cross-over sizes (16 to 24, C+D cups) you can choose to use either pattern. For more information on the new pattern block, you can read the blog post here.

Pattern Details

Autumn is in the air for many of you, so meet The Dulcie Pinafore, a structured, button-down pinafore dress with a square neckline and semi-fitted A-line skirt with square in-set pockets. 

Princess seams provide shaping through the bodice for a smooth fit over the bust and back, and deep roomy pockets carry all of your daily essentials. The bodice is fully lined for a clean inside finish, and optional top-stitching in key areas can add a modern element to an otherwise 60s mod design.

Wear Dulcie over light-weight blouses and shirts or fitted knit tops, for a warm layered dress. If you're heading into the warmer months however, and don't want to be wearing additional layers, Dulcie has plenty of coverage and is able to be worn on its own as a sleeveless summer dress. 

Dulcie works perfectly paired with any of the JLH knit top patterns. Dulcie is styled here with a Gable Top, but Ostara, Bronte and Vielle would also look lovely, as well as the Aisling Blouse.

Throw on a cardigan and a pair of gumboots for a stroll, or layer with a shirt and add heels for the office.

Skill Level

Dulcie is a perfect project for intermediate seamstresses or confident beginners looking to up-skill.

Several tutorials will cover some of the tricker steps in the coming weeks.

New Sizing

With the addition of the extended size range, all JLH patterns have had a slight measurement makeover to ensure everything is cohesive.

You can find the new sizing information here, including how to choose your cup size. Make sure you re-measure yourself, then compare these to the new sizing tables.

The Dulcie Pinafore includes both the Original and Curve sizes, ranging from 6 to 34 with cups A to F. You can find out a bit more about the new JLH Curve block and patterns here.

Multiple Bust Cups - A to F

If you were ever worried about performing FBA's on princess seams, worry no more...

Dulcie includes pattern pieces for A to F cups, so that you'll no longer need to make additional bust adjustments for the perfect fit.

Included in the instructions are a full set of Finished Garment Measurements, as well as detailed instructions on choosing the right size for your unique shape.

Fabric Options

The Dulcie Pinafore is best suited to mid-weight fabrics with some structure. Denim, corduroy, wool, suitings, tweeds and mammoth flannel will make a great Dulcie Pinafore.

For the bodice lining, look for light-weight woven fabrics such as cotton lawn or voile to help reduce seam allowance bulk.

If making Dulcie for warmer weather, denim is perfect, though most mid-weight cottons (or any natural/breathable fabric) will work well.

Note: if you are using a bulky/thick fabric, you may want to cut your second waistband (the one that will sit on the inside of the dress) in a lighter weight fabric to reduce bulky seams.

Meet the Models

Oh hey there Stacey!

I've added a new feature to the pattern listing page - this will be included with all new pattern releases.

In the Meet the Models section, you can find model information like their measurements, the size and block (Original or Curve) they are wearing, as well as any additional pattern adjustments made to suit their individual bodies.

It's me, Jen!

Digital Release Only

You will recieve both pattern size ranges delivered instantly to your inbox! From there, you can choose my easy-to-assemble print-at-home file or you can send the A0 file to a PrintShop and have them print it for you.

The Layers Function is included in all pattern files, so you can turn on and off any number/combination of sizes your heart desires.

There will be no paper patterns available for Dulcie at this stage.

Purchase your Dulcie Pinafore Pattern here!

Why not share your Dulcie Pinafore on Instagram? Tag me and use the hashtags #JLHDulciePinafore and/or #JLHCurve.



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