Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sewing a reproduction vintage pinafore or jumper

I've always liked pinafores, dungarees or any kind of skirt with straps that go over the shoulder. I've had 'vintage pinafore' saved on my eBay saved searches for years. But I've not had much luck. For some reason the pinafore skirt doesn't seem to crop up much in the UK. There's been a bit of a fad lately to have little skater skirts with braces attached to them but nothing really substantial.

So I decided to make my own.

I began searching online for patterns, and wasn't having much luck, but then I had a break through when I spotted a gorgeous pinafore on The Fiercest Lilliputian Blog (an awesome blog btw) and I saw that she called it a 'jumper'. Now in the UK a jumper is a wooly thing you have to put over a head (a sweater to my US friends) so I was a tad confused.

I took to eBay again searching for 'vintage jumpers' and got a load of Cosby sweaters...

But change that search to 'vintage jumper pattern' and a few results popped up. And then I saw on in my size (just about) from the US. It was a size too small but I was confident enough that I could adjust the pattern so that it would fit so I went for it. Being a pattern, international postage wasn't expensive and it only cost around £4 in total.

As soon as it arrived I went fabric shopping as I thought this would be a perfect Autumn transition outfit. I chose some softer green twill that was mid range in price, it cost about £16 for all the fabric I needed. I added extra full facing to the inside of the top because I wasn't doing the ric rac or binding from the pattern and that was a bit of a pain logistically. At one point I sewed the waistband on back to front and I had to unpick the WHOLE THING - that was 2 rows of stitching :( Oh, and fitting the bust was a nightmare! I've got to get a dress form.

Anywho, here's how it turned out!

Detail to the top (I LOVE top stitching!):

So here's the final product. I've not taken proper pictures yet, but I think the dress is a little too wintery for August/September so give me a few weeks. But you get the idea.
Saying that I'm pleased is an understatement. I think this will be the perfect transitioning into winter dress! I'm not on a mission to make it in ALL THE COLOURS!

If you like the look of a vintage style jumper/pinafore then Collectif's new season has a lovely one with a flock polka dot. I'm going to save up for that one now too as I'd love to try it out!


  1. You did a wonderful job! It looks great!

  2. Would this be an OK pattern for a complete beginner to make?
    I intend to start using my sewing machine soon.

    1. To do it with full facing was more complicated than the original pattern and top stitching takes a bit of skill but with facing as per pattern it's not too bad. But the skirt is really easy! Just 4 pieces with a gathered waist with a waist band, the most complicated part was the zip. It's a nice pattern as you can make the skirt first and if they goes well you can convert it to a pinafore by sewing the top in. Or just make the skirt then make another pinafore :) vintage patterns have weird instructions though but I find them easier than modern ones to follow as that's what I started with.

      I'd also really recommend twill for a first time, more expensive than polycotton but easier to sew.

  3. Wonderful job, this is such a cute outfit. I have a similar 40s jumper pattern. I've made the blouse but have yet to make the jumper.


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