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ice cream parlor pinafore

Added Apr 20, 2010

by elegantmusings

Virginia, Virgin...






Earlier this year, I finally found the perfect 1940s pinafore pattern (last image), after scouring Ebay and Etsy for months. I have admired the sweet style for years, but per usual for me, it’s taken me awhile to build up to this project. It’s one of those dresses, in my mind, that needs not only the right pattern, but I also had some pretty specific ideas about fabric choices! First, it had to be cotton (keeping with the largely “wash friendly” materials used for dresses like this in the 40s), I wanted a print that was evocative of the period (but didn’t have to be 100% perfect), and I didn’t want the final dress to be so costumey that I couldn’t wear it out and about.

I started with this darling, vintage mail order pattern (thanks to Etsy), and several yards of a pretty cotton print I picked up at Sew Mama Sew! (on sale, no less. Hurrah for sales!). The pattern itself was pretty quick and easy, despite the instructions being vague (not unusual for a mail order pattern). I also got to try out my “new” (really vintage) Dritz bound buttonhole tool on this project. Golly–how did I ever muddle through traditional bound buttonholes before?! lol. This miracle tool cut down on my time by at least half–if not more–working on perfectly formed buttonholes. No basting, no complicated marking, and less frustration! Another first is that I added rick rack to this dress (along the sleeves and pockets; which I also added–the pattern didn’t have any pockets!). I’ve never used rick rack on a dress before, despite it being one of my favorite vintage trim options.

This dress turned out t be just the sort of style that is comfortable for wearing while I’m doing housework or sprawled across the floor working on a sewing project. The sleeveless style is a plus now that it’s getting warm, although the ruffles make wearing a cardigan (in the evenings) awkward. The only thing I would change if I made this again is to raise the top edge along the side front and side back pieces. Surprisingly, they are cut lower than I would have expected on a vintage pattern, and keeping the bra hidden along the side is a bit of a pain. I’d probably also swap out all the bias binding along the neckline for a simpler facing (something I normally do, but didn’t on this project; unusual for me!).

Material Notes





Garment Type

12 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Sep 17, 2010, 07.37 PMby aluckmann

    I am new to Burda, and I happend across your page. I adore all your projects, but this dress especially. You mentioned that you found the pattern on Esty. Can you give me the name/number of the pattern, I would to recreate one myself. Seriously great work!

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    Apr 23, 2010, 05.28 PMby lizah

    I’m in love with this dress!! great job!

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    Apr 22, 2010, 08.28 AMby flowergirl22

    it is really nice, light and aire fabric,,

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    Apr 22, 2010, 01.26 AMby pcvalery

    It’s so pretty! The fabric looks super light, perfect for hot weather :D

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    Apr 21, 2010, 07.47 PMby susanne2011

    It is such a cute dress and I adore the fabric. I really like your stuff. I wish I could use vintage patterns as well. Aren’t they difficult to work with? Well, you’ve done a great job, looking forward to your next creation!

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      Apr 24, 2010, 12.07 AMby elegantmusings

      Thank you! I actually don’t find vintage patterns any more difficult to use than modern ones! :) As long as I’ve got a good sewing manual nearby, some paper to trace the pattern pieces onto, and a bit of patience, they’re a lot of fun to work this! I wrote a blog post late last year about working with vintage patterns (if you’re interested ;): http://elegantmusings.com/2009/11/the-vintage-pattern-primer/

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    Apr 21, 2010, 01.38 PMby keren

    What a cute dress!!! The fabric is great and the pattern is adorable!!! I love the ruffles!

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    Apr 21, 2010, 01.31 PMby wzrdreams

    Super cute! I love the sweet print you chose.

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    Apr 21, 2010, 09.05 AMby msgems

    I love it!!

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    Apr 21, 2010, 06.07 AMby mahaila

    Love this dress! It’s great when you find the perfect pattern and fabric.

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    Apr 21, 2010, 06.06 AMby taeco

    How cute!!!!

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    Apr 21, 2010, 01.50 AMby gdac

    This is too cute… i must have it! I’m addicted to ruffles – yes they make life difficult and chilly in the evening, but they are gorgeous and so is your dress!

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    Apr 21, 2010, 12.21 AMby thecuriouskiwi

    Oh wow, that is just the sweetest dress, I understand why you wanted to be so careful with your fabric choice, what you chose was perfect. I really love this pattern too and I would love to make a dress like it as well and I can imagine you’ll be making a few more of these :)

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