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How to sew a Reversible Tui Pinafore

Reversible Tui Pinafore

Create your own side opening, fully reversible Tui Pinafore with side ties with this easy hack!

Thank you to Britta Gandy for creating this tutorial for our Below The Kowhai sewing community.

To see more of Britta’s beautiful sewing visit on Instagram

Reversible Tui Pinafore Tutorial

Below the Kowhai patterns are classic shapes and designs, easy to modify for any level of sewer, but with professional techniques and finishes.

My absolute favourite pattern is the Tui Pinafore for one simple reason: All of the pieces (minus the optional inseam pocket) are rectangles!

Handy Tip: This means I don’t have to print out or trace multiple sizes from this pattern, because I can just fold the pattern pieces for the size I currently need and then unfold them when I’m done.

This also makes it easy to modify in a number of ways.

Below I’ll show you how to make it reversible and add side ties, a fun way to get a little extra something out of your pinafore.

Tui Pinafore sewing pattern by Below the Kowhai

Prepare Your Pattern Pieces

First, cut your fabric. Because this is a reversible garment, I will refer to one of your fabric choices as Fabric A and the other as Fabric B.

Cut the following pattern pieces from both Fabric A, and Fabric B:

  • Skirt (Front & Back)
  • Straps (1 Pair)
  • Waist Front (Cut 2)
  • Bodice Front (Cut 1)
  • and Patch Pockets (Optional)

You can find the Patch Pocket pattern piece in your Tui Pinafore resources (Page 3 of the Pattern Tutorial)

You will NOT need to cut out the Pocket or Waist Back pieces.


  • Straps (1 pair)
  • Bodice (cut 1)
  • Waistband (cut 2)

Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of their corresponding fabric pieces now. (See our video tutorial for applying interfacing perfectly each time)

Tui Pinafore Side Ties

Cut Your Side Ties

You will also need to cut 4 x 4cm (1.5″) strips of fabric from either Fabric A or Fabric B. These will be your side ties. I made a size 6 Tui Pinafore for my daughter and cut her ties at 76cm (30″) long.

Reversible Tui Pinafore Patch Pocket

Attach Patch Pockets

Next, assemble your Patch Pockets following the directions provided by the Tui Pattern (Page 3 of the Pattern Tutorial) and sew them onto the skirt fronts of both Fabric A and B.

I created the rectangular Patch Pocket by using the Bodice Front pattern piece.

Assembling reversible Tui Pinafore skirt

Assemble The Skirt

Lay the Skirt Front pieces right sides together, pin, and sew around the sides and the bottom, leaving the top of the skirt open.

Tui Pinafore Patch Pocket

Turn right side out, press, and topstitch. Repeat for the Skirt Back pieces.

Now return to page 12 of the Pattern Tutorial and assemble the bodice starting at Step 2.

Reversible Tui Pinafore Hack

Attaching Bodice And Straps

Follow the directions from Waistband Step 9 to sew the Waistband to the Bodice Front, as well as the Straps which will be the back of the Tui Pinafore.

Do not do step 10.

When attaching the Straps to the Waistband, make sure to measure and pin the Straps carefully in place to ensure they will be centered. I pinned my straps roughly 6.5cm (2.5″) away from the ends of the Waistband.

Side Ties Tui Pinafore Hack

Prepare The Side Ties

Fold and press the strips of fabric in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Next, press each side into the center crease. Fold one short end of each tie about 1.5cm (0.5″) toward the wrong side and press. Topstitch the long open side of the ties to close them.

Reversible Tui Pinafore Hack

Attaching Side Ties

Pin or clip the unhemmed ends of the ties to the interfaced ends of the Waistband. Sew in place.

Reversible Tui Pinafore hack

Repeat for the back Waistband.

Reversible Tui Pinafore hack

Press memory creases into the bottoms of the front and back Waistbands. (Step 19 on the Pattern Tutorial)

Tui Pinafore waistband to skirt

Gather And Attach

Gather the front Skirt piece and pin it right sides together with the front Waistband. Make sure to leave room for a 1cm (⅜”) seam on both ends of the Waistband.

Repeat this step with the back Skirt piece and back Waistband.

Waistband Tui Pinafore reversible hack

Bring the front Waistband pieces right sides together and pin. Sew along the short ends of the Waistbands. Repeat with the back Waistband pieces.

Be careful not to catch the long ties in your stitches.

Reversible Tui Pinafore Hack


Flip the Waistband pieces back, right sides facing out. Tuck the memory crease back in place, secure with pins, and top stitch all the way around the front and back waistbands.

Reversible Tui Pinafore Hack

Congratulations! You did it!

I just realised that I forgot to include tea breaks in this tutorial and that’s one of my favourite bits of Sophie’s patterns. Best go have one now!

Thanks for this reversible Tui Pinafore hack Britta! Show us your sweet side opening, fully reversible Tui Pinafore hacks in our VIP Community on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!

Love and happy sewing,
Sophie x

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