Pretty Little Pinafore

on April 13 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 17 Comments

I’m putting off the unenviable task of deleting all those pesky little cyrillic letters seen throughout the blog, so I thought I’d share The Easter Pinafore.  I finished it at about 3 pm on Easter, just in time for the dinner guests to arrive.  The Easter Dress was not finished, and will now simply be The Spring Dress. (Or The Summer Dress, depending on how long the editing takes.)

Easter Pinafore

It’s hard to tell, but the bottom of the pinny is embroidered with designs inspired by (okay, lifted from) this Japanese Embroidery book.  It is ISBN4-8347-2421-2.

Japanese Embroidery Book

I did find that the scale of the designs in the book were all over the place, so I made a paper template of my embroidery space, then I just kind of free-handed the designs onto the paper.  That way the girl wasn’t bigger than the tree, kwim?  Then I taped the paper to the window and transferred the design to the linen with a Micro pen.  (Which does come off with Spray and Wash, by the way.)

Paper Template

The embroidery work was satisfying–cute little things and the opportunity to try out some different stitches. Plus, I got lots of kid-input as to color and content.

Embroidery collage

The pinafore itself was incredibly easy.  I cut a big rectangle, measuring it for length and width on my daughter.  I hemmed the top about 1/4 in., and the sides and bottom about 1 in.  I used some double-wide double-fold bias tape for the elastic casing (single-wide single-fold would be better.)  I slipped in some 1/4 in. elastic, added some straps and a button and that’s it!

Pinafore construction

This is a pretty fun project, but like Easter dinner, it was a long time planning, and over in just about 10 minutes.  Apparently pinafores cramp her style.

Now skip below and tell us about your favorite craft book for Free Fabric Friday.

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17 Responses to Pretty Little Pinafore

  1. Emily says:

    I keep forgetting to post my favorite craft book, Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing. I don’t own it yet, but I often look through it at the library to get ideas.

  2. Emily says:

    Thank you for the picture and description. It makes perfect sense to me now. I see many of these in my sewing future.

  3. Eren says:

    Oh, it is amazing! I might have to get this book. I keep seeing things done with it and drool every time. I think that is a good sign, dont you? Loving the SMS flickr group too.

  4. Kristin says:


    I put pinned the bias tape down and stitched as close to the edges as possible, so I was left with a narrow chanel for the elastic.  Then I put my elastice through (with a safety pin to hold it), and tacked it in both ends.  Maybe you can see what I did in this photo.  Notice I didn’t take the casing all the way to edges.


    elastic casing



  5. Emily says:

    That pinafore is to die for. So cute! My almost 4 year old would love it. Would you explain the process of using bias tape for the elastic casing? I’ve done lots of quilting, but only a little clothing construction.

  6. Cassie says:

    What a great way to show off some neato embroidery! I really like that 🙂

  7. Miriam says:

    Oh, that is the sweetest pinafore! My mother used to make me these when I was a little girl in the 1970’s and I just love them.

    You did a beautiful job on this. Great photos, too!

  8. Amy says:

    So cute…Love your embroidery…and the Pinafore….very cute !!!

  9. Great idea on the pinafore. We live near Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and it is fun to dress the part when visiting. The pinafore would be a quick and easy addition.

    My favorite craft book is my grandmother’s Treasury of Needlecrafts, complete with a large box of full-sized patterns. My nana was a wonderful sewer and crafter and I feel that some of that spirit lies in her belongings. I’d love to make a project for my daughter out of the book someday, but for now it is nice to have around as a reminder from where all my interest comes!

  10. Amber says:

    Oh, that pinafore is SO cute! I wonder if my eight year old (who wears a size 12/14) would want something like that?! Cute!

    My favorite craft book du jour is the Lotta Jansdotter book ‘Simple Sewing.’ I like the clean lines and the possibilities for making the finished projects your own with a little creativity…

  11. Jo says:

    I love how you take so long to make something and they wear it for about, oh, a good ten minutes, and then all of a sudden, it’s itchy, or it’s too hot etc etc. A beautiful little pinnafore Kristin, especially teamed up with the blue and white polka dots.

  12. carol says:

    Adorable, Kristin! Oh and the pinafore is pretty cute too 😉

  13. Ali says:

    What a great way to showcase your beautiful embrioidery.

  14. Kristin says:

    “So wonderful! I was wondering, the shop seems to be in a limbo between up and not. Is it ok to order, or should I wait a few more days for you all to work out the kinks? Either way is fine, I’ve just been waiting for you guys, because you are my favorite shop!”

    We are open as of today (Friday)!  We were closed for the better part of two weeks, but we’re back!  We upgraded our software and server.  Thanks for hanging in there with us.  Lots of beautiful things just added and more on the way 🙂

  15. Christina says:

    Hi there!

    I love the pinafore you made; I really feel like making one for my niece but unfortunately I don’t have her around to get measurements (she lives in Norway, I live in Scotland:( . Anyway; on to my favourite craft book; I think it’s quite hard to pick only one but since I am thinking of my niece, and children in general; I LOVE the book “Knit a Square/Make a Toy” (Home Library Craftbooks). It’s a great little book which is dead easy to use and leaves plenty of room for personalizing the finished toy. It is easy to follow and yields great results everytime. You just knit squares or rectangles; assemble them by sewing them together (that’s when they take shape) and finally stuff them and embroider on facial details. Even by just changing the colour or texture of your yarn (ie fuzzy, hairy, etc…) you get a totally new look. I made a lamb for myself a while back and my little sister (she lives in France, btw) asked me if she could have it… I almost gave it to her but then I thought it would be quick to make her one, and she could choose the yarn herself. Hers turned out completely differently but is just adoring and she loves it. She recently asked me to teach her how to knit (she is 9) and I think this is definitely something children could easily do. The only tricky part is the sewing but if supervised; I think a child would manage with that too.

    Hope to see great suggestions for craftbooks from other commentators.

    All the best,

  16. Sarah says:

    So wonderful! I was wondering, the shop seems to be in a limbo between up and not. Is it ok to order, or should I wait a few more days for you all to work out the kinks? Either way is fine, I’ve just been waiting for you guys, because you are my favorite shop!

  17. kirsten says:

    love it!

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