The Tui Pinafore takes it’s inspiration from the Tui bird, native to New Zealand. It’s a staple to our unique eco system, contributing to the regeneration of our native plants and forests.
Just like the Tui bird, this sewing pattern will be a staple in your wardrobe. Creating a nostalgic look that nods to a simplistic childhood, this pattern embodies Below the Kōwhai.
This pattern includes a complete colour photo tutorial to guide you through the creation of this dress, including pockets, enclosed waist band and straps. It will result in a professional finish while being suitable for beginners and sewists of all experience levels.
This dress is versatile, practical and cute! You will love your new Tui Pinafore!
- Instant PDF download of pattern and full tutorial OR printed paper pattern
- Children’s sizes 1-10
- Flat front and elastic back waist band
- Fully lined bodice, straps and waist band
- Enclosed waist band seams
- Inseam pockets
- Rounded & gathered patch pocket
- Pattern Tracing dimensions included for those who would rather trace their own pattern pieces out.
- PDF includes: A4/Letter (to print at home), A0 copy shop version, and Specialty Projector File. All PDF files are layered for individual size printing.
- Exclusive video tutorial and other Tui Pinafore resources
- Full tutorial, photos and support to help you create this dress
The Tui Pinafore has been designed with beginners in mind. The tutorial is detailed with full colour photos and includes an exclusive video tutorial for creating the enclosed waist band, along with other exclusive bonus tutorials for applying interfacing, creating ruffles on the straps etc.
Beginners will learn or practice new skills such as applying interfacing, lining pattern pieces, gathering and pocket making. If you have some previous experience in sewing and feel confident in giving these skills a go, you’ll enjoy this thorough tutorial which will walk you through the process step by step.
The more advanced sewist will appreciate the professional finish and versatility of this pattern.
Look for light to medium weight fabrics that can be easily pressed to create nice edges. The waist band is enclosed, so avoid fabrics that will be too bulky to press.
For summer think: Cottons, voile, lawn, linen and linen blends, chambray and light denims, and anything of a similar weight.
For winter think: Quilting or upholstery weight cottons, corduroy, velvet, drill, and anything of a similar weight.
Fit and Ease of Pinafore:
The Tui Pinafore has been created to sit at the waist with a flat waist band and with the elasticated back. The elasticated back means there is a lot of room for growth and the straps could be re-positioned in the future to grow with the child.
Use the waist measurement to determine what size your child is.
This pattern has been created using Standard American Measurements and might seem different to what you usually buy in stores. Therefore, use the size the chart says you are to fit the waist, and if required, lengthen or shorten the skirt and straps as needed.
Fabric and Fit Chart:
Pattern tracing table within tutorial
Additional Notions Required:
- Thread, scissors and pins
- Non-roll elastic, 25mm (1″) in width. Length supplied in chart. Click here for more info on Elastic Types.
- Safety pin or bodkin (for threading elastic)
What You Get When You Purchase:
This pattern is available as a PDF digital download or printed paper pattern.
Digital file emailed and stored in your Below the Kōwhai account for future use. Includes files for pattern to print at home, A1 copy shop pattern and instructions.
These downloads will also be available in the “My Account + Downloads” section of this website. This is where the most up to date version of your patterns will be and you can access them any time. In the future I may revise this pattern and slightly alter it. If you’re sewing in the future, check back for the latest version.
You can print the Tui Pinafore pattern at home.
The digital pattern is 12 pages long in black and white, and can be printed on A4 or US Letter paper on your home computer and then assembled for use. You can choose which sizes to print using the “layers” feature when viewing the PDF.
You will also receive a comprehensive tutorial with instructions, photos and tips to guide you in your sewing of this garment. Please view this tutorial on your device or computer to save the trees, or if you must print, print in colour.
Pattern printed on quality sustainable newsprint with full colour instruction booklet and pattern envelope. Flat rate shipping worldwide. Click here to view our shipping and delivery information.
Pattern only, printed on quality sustainable newsprint. Comes with an envelope for pattern notes and storage. Must be purchased with a current or historical PDF pattern order.
What’s a PDF?
A digital document viewable in Mac Preview or Adobe Acrobat Reader. You will be able to save, view and print these documents on your computer or device.
Returns and Support
This is a digital product and can be saved to your computer, therefore I am not able to offer returns on any purchase unless at some fault of my own. So, please choose carefully and make sure you are purchasing the correct pattern!
In lieu of returns I offer comprehensive online support to those who are sewing! You can contact me on Facebook, Instagram and email, and you can expect a prompt reply! I will endeavour to help you in any way I can.
So, what are you waiting for? Create your own beautiful Tui Pinafore with this pattern and show off your creations!
This sewing pattern is by Sophie Laughton-Mutu. Sewists and children around the world have tested and tried this pattern. Please leave a review, or pop over to our Facebook page to show us a photo of your Tui Pinafore!
I love love love this pattern! Thanks to the detailed instructions it comes together easily and fits perfectly! I’ve made a couple for my toddler who loves her dresses – with pockets of course!! Great pattern for summer or winter, can’t wait to make more!
EJ Garnett –
I have made two Tui pinafores now. The first was my first sewing project that I did without the help of an expert, my mum! The instructions are really easy to follow and the pictures help a lot when doing steps that are new to you. I was really proud of the finished result of both dresses. They fit my girl beautifully and she gets many compliments when she wears them.
I loved sewing this pattern. I have made a size 2, size 4 and size 9 so far and they have all come out perfectly and a good fit. Love the style and the pattern is excellent with very good instructions. I will definitely be making more!
Helen James –
Love love love! Super sweet and nostalgic and it is fun and simple to create. Definitely a wardrobe staple for my girl and perfect for layering in the winter. Deleted my other pinafore patterns and tutorials after I made this!
Theresa Donnelly –
This pinafore is just to die for! I’d been searching for just this style, and couldn’t believe it when I came across the Tui – exactly what I was looking for! Excellent pattern with such good, easy to follow instructions. I shall be making this again…… and again !
Really sweet and simple pattern, straightforward with really easy instructions. Cute vintage style.
So happy with my Tui Pinnifore . An interesting project and very versatile sew . Can’t wait to try one in a winter weight fabric. The Tui will be on my favourites list.
I chose this pattern as my prize after winning Sophie’s birthday giveaway last year, pretty stoked I did! I finished the pinafore in one afternoon, all pockets included, and really enjoyed the whole process. I’ll definitely be making more!
Heather Kongs Taylor –
Beautiful pattern. A classic design that comes together easily with a polished result.
This is a fabulous pattern! The instructions are clear, and the finish is just beautiful. I love that the seams are enclosed – it gives such a professional result.
Lauren Parsons –
I just finished making my first of many tui’s! I joined the sew-along for fun, and enjoyed the companionship of fellow sewists
The directions were clear, The colored pictures in the instructions were a real bonus for me having been used to standard patterns. I plan on ordering more BTK patterns
Hannah Totman –
I adore this pattern, the Tui Pinny is such a gorgeous classic dress and the pattern itself is so easy to follow. Step by step instructions are easy to understand and follow even for a complete beginner to sewing. I love how adaptable this pattern is too in terms of size adjustments and embellishment that can be added to so each dress can look so different. Great pattern!
Paula and Sonia –
I love this pattern. It is so simple to sew and the options available mean you can style it to your own liking. This is such a timeless sew and I know I will make many more.
This is the first pattern I’ve ever purchased and it was so easy to use! Directions were clear and pattern made so much sense. I loved how she showed you how to cut the pattern to make the most out of your fabric.
I LOVE this pattern. I’m an everage sewer, and need reminding of techniques I don’t use often. The tutorial is fantastic, and I think a beginner could do this. I love the bodice/ pocket and strap options, as it gives you creative licence to add your own flair. Can’t wait to make the Manuka skirt next,
Anna Chapman –
Love this pattern, as a newbie to seeing children’s clothes this was easy to follow and I was able to create an adorable dress for my babies first birthday gift. Someone always comments on it whenever she wears it and I really enjoyed sewing it.
I love sewing the Tui Pinafore (have made 4 now I think!) For beginners, it’s perfect – the step by step instructions with photos make it so easy to follow and learn techniques like inserting elastic into a waistband. Also love that most seams end up enclosed, very neat and tidy 🙂 And for both beginners and the more experienced, the finished pinafore dress is just so lovely! It’s been a great dress for summer and we’ve had lots of use out of the corduory version I made layered for cooler months.
I love this pattern so much! The tutorial is super comprehensive and detailed, perfect for a beginner sewer, and above. The tui has become my go-to pattern for my daughters, as the finished result is beautiful and perfect for layering.
The Tui pinafore was my first ever BTK pattern and I was not disappointed! I’ve made a good few since then, and just love the pattern! It’s perfect for our Canadian seasons, wearing tights and a long sleeve underneath, and I just love the classic pinafore look. The pockets are GREAT!! My nature loving girls always have a place for their little treasures! Another amazing Below the Kowhai pattern, with excellent images and tutorial, and wonderful instructions. Thanks Sophie!
Eleanor Ross –
Absolutely love the Tui Pinafore. First time using a btk pattern. I found the tutorial very easy to follow and the pictures very helpful as a beginner sewer. Highly recommend!
Iemke Moore –
Love love love this pattern! Soo cute! The tutorial is well written and easy to follow!
My absolute favourite pinafore pattern in my collection. Clear and well explained directions that allow for all levels of sewist, enclosed seams and topstitching results in a professional looking garment that is perfect for layering or as a stand alone.
Lou Reeves (verified owner) –
I bought the pattern and made it all in one day. I chose difficult fabrics to sew it in but still managed to get a great result I am really happy with. The video is a great addition and helped when I had attached the skirt to the waistband wrong so I was greatful for that. My daughter is stoked and excited for cooler weather to wear it. 😄
Diana Newman –
I purchased the pattern and made it in my weekly sewing classes. Actually I made 3 matching pinafores for my grandchildren. I found the pattern Relatively easy to follow. My finished products looked so good i was asked to make some for money!!
Marieke Brugman (verified owner) –
I love the pattern and we have received so many compliments for my daughters cute Tui pinafore! The pattern is easy to follow, instructions are very clear.
Josie Durney –
A beautiful easy to follow pattern! Beautiful tidy finishing ❤️ The perfect, classic addition to any wardrobe!
Angeline Topia (verified owner) –
Beautiful pattern, step by step instructions were clear and easy to follow. I did benefit from watching the tutorials, it meant I could do ‘less thinking’ about it and more ‘sewing’. Finish on garment is seamless, Professional looking. I absolutely love this pattern and will be purchasing more BTK patterns to make. I’m actually into the Kauri dress now, have made the cat friends bag, and kea is in the pipeline. Suitable for beginners, also loved the prompt reply when I had trouble along the way. Job very well done to the BTK team.
Melissa Kelly (verified owner) –
Quick, easy, doesn’t require an overlocker, and doesn’t need all that much fabric!
Maree Beveridge (verified owner) –
I have just finished making my first Tui pinafore for my little granddaughter. I really enjoyed working on it and loved having the tutorials for back up. it was great to be able to send a message and receive a prompt reply for a little guidance. I also enjoy seeing others post their lovely finished products.
Just bought some more fabric and looking forward to starting the next one. Glad my daughter sent me the link to get me started !!
Sarah Owen (verified owner) –
A really lovely design. Really quick and straightforward to sew thanks to the really clear, well written instructions. I can’t wait to make more versions from the hacks in the Below the Kowhai blog as well as some more of the other patterns.
An absolute BTK favourite. An excellent tutorial that provides such professional finishes. I love all the enclosed seams. I especially love the Tui layed for winter but gorgeous all year.
Ali Radford (verified owner) –
This was the first BKT pattern I made and I Love it !! Such a beautiful fit, easy to sew, great instructions.
Will certainly be making this again
Kathryn Mardell (verified owner) –
My first time using a sewing pattern and I was so proud of the results!
Clear, easy to follow instructions and I was really happy with the result.
I would recommend making sure you use a material that can press well if you are a beginner, I think this is an important part of getting a beautiful finish with this dress.
Kinga Aslanidis-Fabian (verified owner) –
I chose this for my 1st ever dress as a beginner. easy instructions to follow for beginners as well. Love it and will make more from different fabrics.
Caitlin Clark (verified owner) –
The Tui Pinafore was my first BTK make and also the first piece of clothing I have made without needing help from mum! Super easy to follow instructions with step by step pictures as well as a professional looking finish. And my daughter loves loves loves it!
Pip Baxendine –
First clothing sewing project and the instructions were amazing and im so so happy with it!! 🙂
My first BTK pattern and one of my most used (together is the Kauri dress).
I love the simple, clean and classical look of this pinafore and the extra options provided in the blogs/tutorials.
Every girl needs a Tui pinafore in her wardrobe.
Debbie Ranapia (verified owner) –
Funnily enough my 3rd sewing make and 3rd time using BTK patterns…made it to celebrate this patterns 4 year birthday..Easy to follow pattern and tutorial. Super cute design…I really love how vintage this is…AND some more new skills to add to my repertoire. This will not be my last BTK make…thanks!
Britta Gandy (verified owner) –
I love this versatile pattern. I’ve been able to make three different versions of the Tui using different ‘hacks’ described on the BTK blog.
I really loved this pattern. Its absolutely perfect for any beginner with simple and easy to follow instructions. The versatility is one of my favourite aspects, my girls will be able to wear their Tui Pinafores all year round. I can’t wait to make more!!
Sam Gavin (verified owner) –
I really enjoyed making this dress, I’m looking forward to making it again. Easy and fast to sew up. A great way to use up that special fabric you have been hold onto for years. Being able to download and print off the pattern in A4 in the middle of a lockdown was a real treat.
Gina Troisi –
Clear, easy detailed instructions for a beginner. Quick and straightforward sew. I improvised and used snaps instead of buttonholes and it worked a treat. Can’t wait to make more.
Hanna Lin (verified owner) –
Lovely pattern to sew! Very good instructions for a beginner, and very straight forward. I finished it much quicker than I anticipated.
Rachel Kirby (verified owner) –
This is a beautiful pattern and the classic style is very adaptable for your own child’s preferences. The instructions are easy to follow for a confident beginner – this was the second item of kids clothes I had ever made and it was much more successful than my first!
Katie Peat (verified owner) –
Such a wonderful pattern! The Tui pinafore is a really versatile garment, and suits light summery fabrics or heavier weights for winter. This was one of the first patterns I sewed up as a beginner, and the clear instructions made it a great learning experience. I’ve since made another five Tui pinafores (they’ve made perfect gifts), and will no doubt make several more!
Anna Cunningham (verified owner) –
Fabulous pattern I have made it so many times and every one is gorgeous. Quick and simple enough to make for friends.
Erin Nixon (verified owner) –
This pattern has really, really boosted my sewing experience. As a new sewer and someone who has always struggled with following instructions, this was incredibly easy to follow and the end result is so beautifully finished, it almost makes me feel like I’ve been sewing forever! The dress is so versatile, I can see it being worn by my little girl over all seasons! In the fortnight that I have had the pattern I have made four tui pinafores, all with little variances (I.e ruffle hack from the blog). I’m desperate to make more because it is such a joyful process! I have a feeling that this will be a staple for my girl over the coming years. Absolutely love it 🤍
Michelle Smith –
This was my first ever item of kids clothing I ever made. As a beginner sewer I was so nervous but Sophie’s pattern made it simple! So easy to follow and with helpful photos. I was able to whip the dress up in a weekend and was so proud of the result. My friend’s daughter loved it!! Thank you 🙏🏼
Rebecca Blank –
I love this pattern for its simplicity, adaptability and ease of construction to such a polished finished standard. I’ve made so many over the past 3 years as I picked up sewing for my daughter from beginner to confident sewer that I don’t even have to follow the instructions anymore, it’s just that intuitive! Miss 4 just requested yet another as she’s grown out of the last so it’s a favourite all round!
Cath O’Connor –
Classic style. I’ve had the Tui pattern for ages but didn’t have the right recipient for one. I sewed this in two sessions which for me is slow, just because I had deadline. What a lovely sew. Awesome result with excellent fit. I used navy needle cord with cotton lining. ❤️ It.
Rachel Halliday –
My favorite pattern to date. Super cute and easy to sew. I’ve made 2 Tui dresses already and on to the 3rd!
rebecca guy (verified owner) –
The Tui pinafore is so perfect! I make a few for my daughter every year. Equally delightful in a corduroy for cold weather or linen and cottons for spring and summer. I love that it doesn’t take much fabric and there is very little fabric wastage.
Claire Le Grice (verified owner) –
First sewing project in over a decade and stoked with how this tui pinafore turned out. Thanks for an awesome pattern, and the video helping with the gathering!
Can’t wait to get going with Tipa dungarees!
Claire Le Grice (verified owner) –
First sewing project in over a decade and stoked with how this tui pinafore turned out. Thanks for an awesome pattern, and the video helping with the gathering!
Rachel Penney (verified owner) –
Super cute dress. This was the first thing I made for my daughter and though my sewing skills were rusty, the pattern was really easy to follow!