Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Criss Cross Pinafore Tutorial

It has been about a week since I blogged and sewn anything for fun. I have been missing it but this past week has been necessary for completing outstanding projects and planning for the future, which I can't wait to share with you. For now, I figured it was about time to get this post out there. Sorry to anyone who was looking for the criss cross pinafore tutorial sooner.

I love this pinafore style. It is so cute in the warmer weather months with bloomers or in the colder months layered with long sleeves and jeans. Plus, it grows with the kids well since the open back expands to fit a wide range of sizes. 

For those who did not follow this year's summer Kid Clothing Week Challenge, I drafted this pattern using the front piece of McCalls 5416 pattern. This tutorial is to show you how to use that pattern (or another one you may have in your stash that is similar) to draft a criss cross back. 

What you will need:
McCall's Pattern 5416 (or any other similar A-Line shape top pattern)
tracing paper (I use freezer paper)
pencil, eraser & scissors
french curve (you can also wing it if you are comfortable)
1 yard of main fabric
1 yard of lining fabric (make sure this is pretty if you want it to be reversible)
4 buttons for reversible or 2 buttons and 2 sew on snaps for a no reverse faux button snap top (which is what is used for this tutorial)
all the typical sewing notions

With a low temp dry iron lightly iron the manufacture's tissue paper pattern. Trace the front & back pattern pieces (pieces #1 & #4, top length) for the size needed including the button hole markings. 

(You may have noticed I included all of the markings from the pattern on the tracings. All of these will not be needed for this project but I know I am likely to make this top again so I went ahead and did it now to save myself the effort in the future.)

Cut out the back pattern piece (#4). Trace the back piece again on another piece of paper that is large enough to accommodate the top back in its entirety. Then I slid the original tracing under the newly traced pattern so that the tracings meet to form the complete back, like shown above.

If you have a french curve it will come in very handy here. (don't you love my 60's vintage one? It was my mother's.) Create a curve from the new tracings arm pit to the shadows shoulder strap, like shown above. You can make the curve as deep as you would like just make sure that it connects to the arm pit and the strap like shown. Complete the tracing of the shadow's shoulder strap.

Repeat, by making another curve from the outside of the shoulder strap to the shirt bottom like shown above. The section between the curves and from strap to the side is the criss cross pattern piece. The you can erase the unecessary markings if you wish. Cut out the pattern piece. Mark the button hole placement on the strap.

This shows how the front piece matches up with your newly drafted criss cross piece.

We are using the manufacture's 5/8" seam allowance guideline for all the seams. The original pattern has a 1 1/4" hem at the bottom however the criss cross pinafore does not have a hem since it is reversible or fully lined. Therefore we need to remove the excess length. Match up front and back pieces and draw a line 5/8" across the bottom following the curve and taper off as shown above. Cut off this 5/8" excess. 


Cut out the front pattern piece on the fold. 1 on the main fabric and 1 on the lining.
Cut out the back criss cross pieces.  2 on main fabric (mirror image) and 2 on the lining (mirror image).

Take the main fabric pieces and match the front side seams to the two back criss cross pieces side seams fabric fronts facing each other. Pin and sew with a 5/8" seam allowance. Repeat with the lining pieces. 

Lay the main fabric piece on the lining piece, fronts facing each other. Match up the edges of the pieces best you can. Make sure there is no bumps or bubble. Pin all the way around the outline. leave an opening at the bottom. Approximately 3". Sew a 5/8" seam allowance all the way around except the opening. 

Cut notches on all of the curves. Since the thing is pretty much all curves I just used pinking shears all the way around.

Turn right side out. Make sure you take the time to check the seam all the way around. Press the seam flat. Fold in the seam allowance for the opening to be even with the rest of the pinafore. Press and pin closed. If you would like you can take the time to hand stitch the opening closed but I skip that part since I know the seam will be closed during top stitching.

Top stitch 1/8" in all the way around. 

Mark the button hole and button placement. If you would like traditional button holes now would be the time to do it. For reversible you will need to sew buttons on the front and the back of the front straps. Continue on if you would like to do hidden snaps. 

There are all sorts of snaps out there, I chose to use sew-on snaps since this is what I had on hand and they work well when wanting to add a faux button closure.  

Line up the snaps over the markings (centering over where the button hole would be) and stitch in place. I find it easier to sew the snaps on first then adding the button. Since the button hides the stitching of the snap I didn't take much care to only stitch through one layer of fabric. In hind-sight I think it would be best to add some sheer weight interfacing to the straps for extra stability. Next time. 

I hope you found this useful. Leave me any comments if you run in to any trouble. Feed back is always welcome.

Thanks for stopping by the nest!