Hayley from Welcome to the Mouse House is back with today’s darling Sydney Pinafore. Hayley had lots of pattern testers try this super-cute design in various sizes so you’re sure to find success with sizes 12-24 months, 2t, 3t and 4t! Remember Hayley’s recent Spring Bird Embroidery Pattern and Tutorial? Learn more about Hayley in her introduction, and make a regular visit to Welcome to the Mouse House part of your routine! Be sure to share all of your cute “pinnies” in the comments.

Hi again! My name is Hayley and I post over at Welcome to the Mouse House. Last time I was over here, I posted the Spring Bird Embroidery Pattern and Tutorial, which I hope everyone enjoyed!

Today, I am here to share a tutorial for a cute little cross-back pinafore dress. I am originally from Australia and it was very common to see little girls running around in loose fitting pinafores (also referred to as a pinny) during the hot weather. Even though I am now in The States, I still dress my daughter in this style!


The Sydney Pinafore by Welcome to the Mouse House
(Scroll down to see more pictures of what the finished dress should look like.)

You will need:

  • Fabric (approximately 1 yard)
  • 2 buttons
  • 1/2 inch elastic
  • Pattern

Print out pattern page found HERE and double check that your inch square measures correctly.

Cut your fabric and elastic according to the measurements on the pattern page. Seam allowances are 1/2 inch.

These are the pieces you should have:

Prepping all the pieces:
With right sides together, sew your bib pieces on the three sides, leaving the bottom open. Clip corners.

Turn right side out, press with iron and top stitch if desired.

Fold and iron both strap pieces in half length ways, right sides together.

With right sides together, stitch the raw edges together, leaving the bottom open.

Turn both straps right side out and top stitch.

With right sides together, sew the skirt panels together on the shorter sides. Serge or use a zig zag stitch to finish off.

Flip the skirt so the right side is facing outwards. Find the center of the front skirt panel and attach the bib using a basting stitch. The raw edge of the bib will line up with the raw edge of the skirt panel.

Now, flip your skirt over to the back skirt panel. Using the bib width as your guide, place your straps that far apart on the back panel. Secure with a basting stitch.

Now, it is time to create the elastic casing. At the top of your skirt, fold down 1/2 inch and iron.

Fold down another 3/4 inch and press. You will see that your straps and bib have the raw edges tucked under now!

Now, sew your casing closed except for the bib area. Do not sew the bottom of the bib shut; leave that open for now.

At this point, you need to top stitch both straps towards the top of the casing to ensure that the straps will not flop down. Do this before inserting the elastic.

Inserting the elastic:
The design of this pinafore is such that the elastic only goes around the sides and the back, not the front. This creates the flat front and flared back, which is why we haven’t sewed the casing on the bib yet.

The easiest way to insert elastic is to attach the one end with a safety pin, which helps feed it through your casing.

Start feeding your elastic through.

Feed your elastic all the way until you get to the other side.

Secure your elastic on each side with a straight stitch.

Once your elastic has been secured, NOW you can close up the interior side of the bib.

Turn the bib right side out and top stitch the upper part of the casing on the bib.

This is what you should have so far:

Stitch your buttons onto the straps and create button holes on your bib. The button holes should be 1 inch from the sides and about 1/2 inch from the top.

Hem the dress, as desired. I folded up 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch for the 4t, but it always helps to measure your specific child before hemming.

The pinafore is finished!

Using different fabrics and different length skirts can create whole new looks!

I have included the tutorial and a PDF pattern for sizes 12-24 months, 2t, 3t, 4t. Please keep in mind that you should measure your own child before starting to get the best fit.

Enjoy, and please let me know if you run into any problems or have any questions!