Dress, FO Dress, Helen's Closet, Me-Made Wardrobe, Sewing, Sewing Failure

Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 13: York Pinafore, Take Two

Good evening. Sewing has been my jam of late and so…*throws the confetti* it’s show and tell time!

First Time Failure

The Mistake

As you’ve noticed, I have taken a second stab at the York Pinafore. The first time, I made a total beginner mistake: I cut the fabric wrong. There is half a pattern piece for the front and for the back. After tracing halves to make wholes, instead of cutting out the front as one whole piece for example, I cut it into two pieces. Doh! Same for the back. Thus, this would mean I would have to sew the two pieces together and adjust the side seam allowances which can then affect the fit.

The Fix Attempt

The plan was the sew the two, front pieces together and encase the seam allowance (SA) in bias tape. I found 1/4″, navy, bias tape on Etsy. However, it was extremely hard to sew with that tape with such a small SA. The material frayed easily and so the seam didn’t catch well.

Take Two

I bought more material but some wool blend garbadine in a navy color. This time I made sure to cut what was traced out correctly.

The Next Hump

I originally wanted to line this pinafore as I thought maybe when wearing it the fabric would cling to whatever I layered underneath. This was just way too much for my beginner thought processes.

First Try

I thought I could staystitch the front lining piece to the wool, but then it hit me that I would still need bias tape so maybe I could somehow sew the pieces together and turn them right side out? I ripped it out which was a huge mistake! The lining shredded at the edges and was a mess, especially the straps.

Second try

I thought I could cut off the some of the neckline area, including the straps and then cut out another piece that would be connected to the skirt area. This piece came out wonky (twice) and when I tried to overlock the lining’s edge, my overlocker didn’t do its job smoothly. I thought it was because I didn’t have the thread tree up.

I rethreaded it off the top of my head and it still didn’t work right. I got out the book and found my mistake. Gave it another go and nope, no winner there. I realized after looking at the threads that when I tried to put/pull to the back behind the presser foot, that there were certain ones that got caught in machine parts. So I had to guide those around to make sure when the parts started moving, the threads didn’t get entangled. However, by this time, I said, eff the lining because then I’ll never finish this pattern.

Moving On

I went back to the beginning of the York Pinafore’s sewing instructions and started there with just the wool pieces. Every day was a bit of sewing from the afternoon until the evening.

pinning the first pocket down
left: lining the second arm opening with bias tape; right: one side completed
Note About The Above Photo
  1. The first time I had started working with the bias tape, after I was finished I realized I had sewn it on the wrong side and had to rip it all out! The bias tape doesn’t show on the outside. although you could do it that way if you wanted to.
  2. I used 1/2″ single fold bias tape in black; it was all I had in stash.
Finally used the serger with success! Yep, you see several colors, what the machine had come with.


A sleepy teenager took these photos so that’s why you don’t really see my feet.

Okay, I know I look pale AF like a vampire. The way my days run, it’s work out first, shower, dishes, laundry, cooking, and then our crew eats around two in the afternoon. Photo shoots don’t happen until after four so I’m chasing light.

BTW, some of you asked about my Chinese New Year shag. I used my flat iron to curl my hair and swoop my curtain bangs. My bangs have grown out these past, three weeks; having them straight bothers my eyes. I think I would either like baby bangs again, maybe even moon bangs, or for now, I’m just going to grow them out into longer, swoopy curtain bangs. I plan to grow my ends longer to at least my armpits.


Me trying out poses influencers teach on IG, LOL.


  • pattern: York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet
  • fabric: Solid Wool Blend Garbadine Navy
  • fabric content: 50% wool, 50% polyester
  • purchased from fabric.com
  • modification: I shortened the bodice some so the side hip dips hit at my natural waist; I’m short-waisted.


  1. I would recommend this pattern.
    • I like how it can be made in a variety of fabrics.
  2. Would I made another one?
    • Yes! I just ordered some 21 Wale Corduroy last night. I’d even want one in denim.
    • I am going up a size for my second York Pinafore. I gained a few (we eat damn good in this house) and have to shimmy a teensy bit when working my arms and head up through the openings. However, when I wear the dress, I do have just enough, comfortable room.
    • I plan to use the other version that has a higher neckline and a kangaroo pocket.
  3. Advice
    • Decided upon how much ease you want in your hips area because the bias tape gives a lot of structure and so putting it on and taking it off is affected by it.

If you make a York Pinafore, let me know! I’d love to read about it. Thanks for popping by. TTYS.

16 thoughts on “Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 13: York Pinafore, Take Two”

  1. I love that pinafore. I grew up wearing them and always preferred them over a dress or skirt and blouse. The one you made is fantastic and being able to makenit in so many different fabrics is a huge plus.


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