Vintage Inspired Cross Back Pinafore

Have you ever wanted to make a classically vintage cross back Pinafore?  Today we will show you how to do just that using our Storybook Pinafore pattern.  With just a few modifications, you’ll have a brand new look! I have paired my modified Storybook Pinafore with the super easy and versatile Easy Peasy Peasant Dress. If you've not sewn for Easter yet, look no farther! This outfit goes together quickly and is sure to please!

We saw this image on Pinterest linked to Little Pink Studio Blog who used the images to make vintage hankie journals.
We fell in love with the pinafore!
(image from Little Pink Studio)
Inspiration was born, and today we give you our version of a cross back pinafore! While I didn't photo it this way, the pinafore could also be worn alone as seen above for a cool and breezy summer look.


Let’s start with cutting out.  Cut these pieces:

Add to both short edges
0-3 months
3-6 months
6-12 months
12-18 months
18-24 months

Here's what you should have cut:

Now, let's sew!  There are several changes in the construction, but I’ll stick to the order of steps for the Storybook Pinafore as well as I can.

Start with preparing the flutter as directed in Step 1. Then we will prepare the skirt by placing the two skirt pieces right side together and sewing the side side seams with a ½” seam allowance. Finish these seams.  Sew gathering threads at ⅜” and ⅝” from the top edge. Now hem by folding up the amount directed in the pattern.  If you are adding a pocket, do that now.

Next we will move on to constructing the bodice.  Lay out the bodice and straps as seen on page 7 of the instructions, except you have just one bodice piece and extra long straps.  Align the marked end of the strap with the bodice.  Sew the straps to the bodice and continue the seam to the end of the straps. Repeat for the other side.  Do not topstitch yet.

Attach the flutters as directed in the pattern gathering from bodice edge to the mark mid strap.  Be sure that the end of the flutter is within the seam allowance so that the end will be entirely enclosed in the strap. 

Finish the flutter and strap in the same manner as directed in the pattern.  To finish the extended strap fold under the end ½” and the unfinished portion of the strap and strap lining ½”. A little glue stick or wash away wonder tape can be helpful here.  
Note: because of the sheerness of my fabric
I have trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4"
Finally, topstitch starting at the bodice/strap seam, around the end of the strap, and down the flutter/strap edge.  The bodice is complete!

Let’s move on to the waistband.  Sew two waistband pieces together on the short sides.  Sew the remaining two together in the same manner, this will be the waistband lining.  You do not need to finish these seams.  Press the bottom edge of the waistband lining up ⅜”.  This will enable us to enclose the waist seam. 

Next, sandwich the bodice with the waistband and waistband lining in the same manner as described on page 11 of the Storybook Pinafore.  The only difference is that your waistbands have been sewn together to form a loop. Be sure that the center of the bodice is aligned with the center front of the waistband. Sew the waistband, bodice and waistband lining together.

Now we need to sew buttonholes for the straps to pass through on the back of the waistband.  Mark the buttonholes ⅝” from the top edge of the waistband and directly opposite the straps on the front as shown below. Sew buttonholes that are 1-1 ¼” long (1 1/4" is preferable if your machine will make them that long). I suggest slipping scraps of interfacing into the waistband at the buttonhole locations to add some strength and stability. 

*Edited to add: if you plan to wear this Pinafore alone as a dress rather than over another dress, you may like to add elastic to the back waistband. You can sew a narrow channel at the top of the back waistband (before putting in buttonholes so you are sure there will be room) and insert 1/4" or 1/2" elastic. Determine elastic length by subtracting front waistband length from child's chest measurement.

Finally, attach the skirt.  Gather the skirt to match the waistband. Pin in place being sure to keep the waistband lining free.  Sew and remove gathering threads. Enclose the seam in the same manner as shown on page 11, be sure to read the pink pin tip on page 9 also. Finish by topstitching both top and bottom edge of the waistband.

Your modified Storybook Pinafore is complete! Wear by crossing the straps across the back and passing through the buttonholes. Tie the straps in a bow!

If you'd like to take advantage of the discount bundle of all 10 sizes of the Storybook Pinafore Pattern, from 0 months to 10 years, we've returned it to the TDD shop for a limited time and you can find it at the link.

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