Hey all! As you may already have noticed, we have been working with Saki from @sakijane and sakijane.com on some really cool scrap-busting projects for the blog. Saki is such an amazing maker and I am really grateful to be working with her to bring you more sewing inspiration. In addition to scrap-busting projects, we are going to showcase some pattern hacks and sewing techniques! This week, Saki has made the coolest York Pinafore hack yet, featuring a button front! Read on to see what she did.
About the author: Saki Jane has been sewing for over two decades, with a background in fashion and bridal design. Now, she finds pleasure in crafting her own wardrobe and sharing the joy of sewing with others through workshops and tutorials. You can find her work on Instagram @sakijane and at her blog at sakijane.com.
Hey everyone! Saki here. I was lucky enough to test the York Pinafore pattern for Helen before it was released, and since then I’ve been dreaming of all the different ways to hack this versatile pattern. Work apron? Tiered gathers? Winter-ized? Summer-ized? Yes please, and yes to all!
I’m sharing a special spring-time hack with you today, inspired by one of Helen’s hacks from last spring. This one uses buttons too, but in a bit of a different style with hammer-on denim buttons to create a bit of a nautical look. Plus, any reason to get out a hammer when sewing is a good reason, am I right?
For this project, we’ll only need to hack the front pattern piece into two pieces: the Center Front and the Side Front. The Center Front piece will need to be partially extended by 1.5” to create a button facing and the Side Front piece will be extended by 2.25” to create a button placket. We’ll also straighten the arm openings on the front pattern piece to create a right angle where we create the front closure.
Let’s get started!
To turn the round underarm opening of the front pattern piece into a right angle, line a straight edge up the inner-most curve of the bib opening, and mark a line from that curve all the way to the bottom of the pattern piece, running parallel to the center fold.
Then, line a straight edge up against the bottom of the underarm opening and draw a straight line from that bottom curve towards the center front fold, running perpendicular to the previous line we drew.
You should have a right angle at the underarm opening now.
We’ll be using these markings as a guide for hacking the pattern piece in the next steps.
Create the Center Front piece by tracing the center front fold, the neckline, and shoulder seams. Then, leading from the upper armhole curve straight down, follow the vertical marking, until you reach the horizontal marking. Pivot here, and add 1.5” width from the vertical line down to the hem to create the Center Front Button Facing. Finish tracing the hem from the center front fold to meet the facing line.
Create the Side Front piece by tracing the side seam and part of the underarm opening. Then lead from the bottom of the underarm curve, following the horizontal marking 2.25” past the vertical marking to create the Side Front Button Placket. Draw a straight line down to the bottom hem, running parallel to the center fold. Finish tracing hem.
Note here that the original pattern has an upward curve of the underarm that meets at the side seam. We want to preserve this curve! The straight line should start at the bottom of the underarm curve.
For the pockets, I cut a simple 7 ¼”x 6” rectangle for patch pockets sewn onto the back. I folded in and sewed 1 ¼” at the top, and folded under ¼” around the sides.
Now to put this together!
1. Construct as you would normally until the bias binding.
2. When finishing the bias binding on the Center Front piece, stop stitching 3/8” below the right angle of the Center Front Button Facing, and cut bias tape ½” below the stitching line.
3. Clip into the right angle of the facing of the Center Front Button Facing diagonally to the end of the bias tape stitching, taking care not to catch the bias tape or stitching.
4. Follow the pattern instructions on finishing the bias facing. When you get to the notched angle of the Center Front Button Facing, maneuver the facing out of the way so as to not catch the facing when sewing the bias tape.
Finishing the Button Bands:
5. Working on the Center Front piece first, fold the top of the Center Front Button Facing down ⅜”, toward the wrong side. Then fold the Center Front Button Facing along the long edge toward the wrong side 1/4” and again 1.25” so that the fold is flush with the arm opening finishing. This should enclose all of your raw edges, including the ends of the bias tape. Pin in place, and topstitch.
6. Working on the Side Front piece next, fold the Side Front Button Placket toward the wrong side 1/4” and again 1”. Pin and stitch in place. This finish should enclose your bias binding end and leave no raw edges exposed.
7. Add your buttonholes to the Center Front Button Band and install your denim buttons on the Side Front Button Placket.
What kind of warmer-weather hacks have you been dreaming up?