I’m not going to lie, when Helen first released the York Pinafore, I though to myself “what a strange garment”. It seems like pinafores might be a trendy garment elsewhere, but it takes a while for trends to reach us here in New Mexico. However, over the course of the last year, I somehow developed a York Pinafore sized hole in my closet! Large pockets, no waistline, and goes well with leggings? Honestly, what more could you want from a garment? Nothing, I say!!
Of course, the original pattern didn’t come in my size, but fortunately it was second on the list for Helen to make in her new size range. I was waiting impatiently when the tester call finally came and volunteered right away! I printed the pattern off immediately and sewed it the next Saturday. It is such a quick project, but it has a huge wardrobe impact! This item has really made me reimagine my whole style (and now I need more close fitting tees).
I made this tester version in a stretch corduroy that has been in the stash for forever, though I think it was originally from Joann’s. This was essentially my first time working with corduroy, though I had dabbled with it once when I first started sewing. I wasn’t going to treat it specially since its has a low nap and is a very fine wale and I thought it would be fine, but upon pressing the first seam (the center back seam, which you can see below), I realized that it could actually benefit from special handing. And by special I mean I laid an old towel over my ironing board and made sure to only press from the back side. Easy peasy, and it kept the nap from being crushed.
This pattern calls for 4 meters of bias tape, so I went with store bought. I am just not a fan of making bias tape and I don’t feel like it ever turns out as well as when I buy it. Fortunately, my local quilting store had two packages of 1/2″ double fold bias tape, which was exactly what I needed. To be honest, you can see that I had some trouble getting rid of the puckers when I finished the arm holes, and I’m not sure if its down to the stretch in the corduroy or the bulk of it, but its not majorly horrible and won’t keep me from wearing it. This is a lot of bias tape, so you just sort of have to get in zen bias tape mode and enjoy the process.
This is a 20-22-24. Helen includes a lot of great fitting info in the pattern, including details of how to grade between sizes. I removed 1/2″ at each of the lengthen/shorten lines (one above the bust and one below) for a total of 1″ removed above the waist on both the front and back pattern pieces. I’m about 5’7″ tall but most of that is in my legs. I noted that the versions of the York I liked the most had the cut out hit close to the high waist than the low waist area, so I didn’t want that sitting too low. I cut the shorter length of the pattern and did not add back in the inch I removed from the bodice length, but I may do that eventually as this feels borderline too short to wear to work.
I typically need a swayback adjustment, but honestly I’m not seeing any issues here. I’m really happy with the fit all around and have already made another version in denim. I did have to add a center back seam. To maintain the nap of the corduroy, I couldn’t follow the cutting layout, which calls for the front and back pattern pieces to be cut in opposite directions. Note this if you are using a directional print of fabric with a nap, you may need a little more fabric than called for.
The pattern has two necklines, two lengths, and two pocket options, so I think you can easily get away with multiple Yorks in your closet, which I know I plan to do! Plus, I feel like this garment is really just giving the finger to the patriarchy, which brings me great joy. It’s the opposite of traditionally flattering and has huge pockets, take that fashion industry!
Just the Facts:
Pattern: York Pinafore from Helen’s Closet
Current Measurements: Bust: 45″, Waist 41″, Hip 52″
Fabric/Notions: Stash stretch corduroy, premade 1/2″ bias tape
This pattern was provided to me in exchange for my pattern testing services.