Today we bring you the first ever installment of a new series we’re calling The Fitting Room! This series will focus on how patterns fit on bodies… meaning a few things. Like today, you might find a few of our bloggers all making the same pattern to compare the fit on each of our very different bodies. Some of us have similar shapes but very different sizes and others have similar sizes that look very, very different. The other thing you’ll find in The Fitting Room is one blogger making multiple patterns – comparing the fit between two different designers’ similar pattern OR maybe even comparing the fit of different patterns within one designers’ catalog.
Not only is it super exciting that we’re launching a new series, but…
THERE’S A GIVEAWAY! When we discussed what pattern we wanted to sew up first and so many of us wanted to do the York Pinafore – it was an obvious choice. We reached out to Helen to ask if she would sponsor our post and she agreed! Helen’s Closet provided the pattern to some of our bloggers that didn’t already own it and they’ll be giving away a copy to one of you as well!
Designer: Helen’s Closet
Pattern Name: York Pinafore
Garment Type: Dress/Jumper
Fabric Type: Medium to heavy weight woven fabrics
Size Range: 0-30 (33-58″ hip)
Skill Level: Beginner
Format Options: Letter, A0, A4
Size You Made: I graded between size 18 for High & Full Bust, 22 for Waist & 23 for Full Hips (cut in between the 22 & 24 lines)
Adjustments: Length: I’m 5’5 so I did not adjust for height but I chopped 7″ off the bottom hem. Before adjusting, it hit below my knee, and I knew I always wanted to wear it with leggings, so I cut it to hit at mid-thigh. Instead of using bias tape (would have been nearly impossible to make my own out of the thick sweater knit), I made single fold binding. I measured the arm and neck openings and multiplied by 88%. For the binding pieces I cut 2″ wide by the calculated number for the length.
Fabric Used: Premium Alpine Sweater Fleece from Surge Fabric Shop. Woven fabric is recommended for this pattern but I used a thick knit and it worked out beautifully. Fabric Content: 80% Polyester/20% Cotton, 16oz weight, Stretch Percentage: 25% horizontal/ 50% vertical.
Type(s) of Machine(s) Used: Serger and Sewing Machine – I used the serger for basic construction and sewing machine for the neck and arm bindings, and all hemming.
Thoughts on fit? Love, love the way it fits! Since I will always wear it with leggings, it’s too long for my liking, so I will shorten the bottom hem everytime. I think next time I will only cut off 5″ inches.
Would you make it again? Definitely! It’s a lovely business casual piece that I can wear with leggings at work. I would love to have a coordinating 1/2 turtleneck with a corduroy York.
Other thoughts? I really think this garment could be made with ANY type of fabric. The View A pockets are perfection.
Size You Made: XL (16-18)
Adjustments: I mashed together Views A and B. I prefer the look of A (large patch pockets and deeper front scoop) but with the shorter length of B. From there I shortened it 2.5” (6.4 cm) at the waist and added 5/8″ (1.6 cm) at center front, blending out to 0” at hips as a weird and ill-advised FBA. The directions have a different way of doing this…don’t be like me!
Fabric Used: non-stretch pink denim, with the wrong side as the “good” side (provenance unknown)
Type(s) of Machine(s) Used: Brother Innov-ís 40e sewing machine and Brother 1034d serger for finishing seams
Thoughts on fit? This is a very easy, loose fit without feeling overwhelmingly large. I didn’t need the extra width at the center front so next time I won’t add that again but I might lengthen the front straps a little bit (the proper way to do the FBA, per the instructions). I’d also add back another inch (2.5 cm) of length.
Would you make it again? Yes, probably in a darker and stiffer fabric. Maybe black corduroy or even in denim again. I like the idea of wearing just about anything underneath!
Other thoughts? I love how large the pockets on View A are! I can fit my absurdly large iPhone in it, plus also a small child (jk). The pattern calls for finishing the neckline and armholes with bias binding, which is my go-to finish! I chose to use a pink printed binding I made out of a fat quarter of quilting cotton. I also used the thick gold thread you see in the topstitching of RTW jeans, just for an extra little oomph.
Size You Made: 20/24/28
Adjustments: I did a full bust adjustment using the included directions (which are super easy. I chose to use the lower scoop neck, the patch pockets and the shorter skirt length, technically it’s mashing “views” but they all work together. I didn’t make any other adjustments as it was my first time making a York and it’s a pretty simple shape.
Fabric Used: Soft Black Cotton/Lycra Stretch Denim from Fabric Mart Fabrics (bought on sale as-is)
Type(s) of Machine(s) Used: Janome Skyline S5, Brother 1034D
Thoughts on fit? It fits well, meaning everything hits where it should. I think I expected more of an exaggerated cocoon, which is part of why I didn’t do a full belly adjustment, so that might be pulling the shape off. I like this length for wearing without a leg covering, I never felt like I was exposed (and after taking pictures we had friends come over to grill pizza and wings and ate around the couch, I was even able to curl my legs under me on the couch comfortably.).
Would you make it again? At first, my answer was: at some point, probably. The instructions are great, so it is really well made, meaning this will last a while and won’t need replacing. It’s just not really my typical style, so I wouldn’t say I’d want a second. BUT. After seeing Darcy’s made from a thick knit – I think I’ll be making one pretty soon. Once my rib knits come in from Sincerely Rylee, I’ll be making tights and probably a shorter York to go with them.
Other thoughts? This is a super, super simple make – definitely beginner friendly. There’s a front and back, optional pockets. It can be completely made on your straight sewing machine and even with all the bias tape it was probably 2 hours from tape to finish. While it was quick, it was also nice to take time to make something with some really nice finishing. This is my first Helen’s Closet pattern and I’m excited to see some of the options being opened up to more sewists with the size expansion.
Size You Made: 26/24/30
Adjustments: I started by making an FBA and adding in length for height. Helen did a great job explaining how to do both as making Pinafore’s aren’t typically something most people do on a regular basis. However, I over compensated for my bust and height and forgot about my sway back which I don’t typically make adjustments for. So, I was not loving my York.
Thankfully, when I was ready to just throw it all away, my fellow bloggers came to the rescue and I was able to adjust from the high neck to the scoop neck and take out the extra fabric, switch to the scoop neck, try my York on, and adjust the waist and hips so it curved in more than I would have been able to get if I adjusted just the pattern.
At that point I decided I wanted to cut it right up the middle, and add a button placket. Because, why not?!
Fabric Used: Linen…I LOVE it in Linen. I’m not a heavy weight dress person, and linen is the perfect weight!
Type(s) of Machine(s) Used: Bernina 475 QE
Thoughts on fit? I like how comfortable the York is. And the pockets! I literally don’t add pockets to anything because I don’t like where they hit on my body. But these pockets are AMAZING. They are big, they are fantastic, and I want to add them to everything!
Would you make it again? Since I managed to get the fit corrected, I would absolutely make it again. I have always loved the look of Pinafores, but being tall they are always hard to find in the right length.
I’m super excited to have one in the length I want it! And, I’m a little excited to make one quite a bit longer.
Other thoughts? I’m a big fan of couture type finishes inside woven garments. I finished the inside of my York with French seams, because I love them. I appreciate Helen giving the different options on how to do the different finishes to the seams which makes the pattern beginner friendly.
*Please forgive my photos. We were having technical difficulties with our camera.
Size You Made: 28 bust graded to a 32 in the waist and hips
Adjustments: I added about 1-1.5 inches to the upper bodice for my bust, and I graded out to a 32 wherease the size range stops at a 30. I also added about 1.5″ for my height (5’9).
Fabric Used: I used a wide wale corduroy from Joann. It had a little bit of stretch but I didn’t have any fit problems or any issues sewing it up.
Type(s) of Machine(s) Used: I used my Bernina B435 sewing machine for the construction and my Brother 1034 serger for finishing the edges.
Thoughts on fit? I love the fit of the York Pinafores It’s roomy and comfortable, but I don’t feel like I’m drowning in it. I also love the huge pockets from view A because it means I don’t have to carry around a purse. The more I sew, the more I’m realizing my style preference is that of an art teacher, so the York is one of my favorites because I can throw on some clogs and feel like I’m living my best life. I think to make this a full fall York, I need a long sleeve shirt in either a cream waffle or rib knit, which I’m already planning to sew up.
Would you make it again? Absolutely. Full disclosure, this is my…7th York. I’m at the point where I have to stop myself from just having a closet full of them. It’s my go to pattern when I want to whip something up that’s quick but looks like it took more time than it actually did. I’ve made enough that I’ve found out my perfect York is the View A with a length closer to the View B.
Other thoughts? This is my favorite pattern to recommend to beginners and those sewists who haven’t worked with woven fabric before. From print to sewing, it doesn’t take too long and Helen’s directions are always my favorite because they’re very detailed and easy to follow along with. The York is also really hackable. Helen has a lot of York hacks already on her blog with step by step instructions and I highly recommend looking those up if you want something a bit different than the two views offered. My personal favorite hack is the gathered waist one.
Size You Made: 18 bust/24 waist
Fabric Used: Corduroy
Type(s) of Machine(s) Used: Brother NV1300
Thoughts on fit? I like it so much! I wouldn’t change a thing.
Would you make it again? This is my 3rd version, so at this point I’m good. but I would if one ends up retiring cause it’s worn out.
Other thoughts? I really love the huge pockets, they are incredibly handy.