a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog


In looking through old pictures of my mother as a young woman, I stumbled upon an observation.  She’s wearing a pinafore!  And I thought, I want a pinafore.  I think it would be a hoot to have a dress just like my mama.  Then, I got to thinking about some posts that Fleur de Guerre had done on her blog here and here, discussing when and if one becomes too old to wear pinafores, ruffles, and the like.  Now, in looking at her, I think we can all agree she can wear whatever she wants, she’s gorgeous and pulls it off smashingly.  But I’ve got over a decade and a few pounds on Miss De Guerre and while one could say you can wear whatever you want, as long as you’re comfortable in it, I also don’t want to look ridiculous.  However, I still decided to make a pinafore, just so I could have my picture taken with my mama on this trip.
Vintage pinafore dress

Pinafore Pattern

I purchased Simplicity 4632 as the base for my pinafore.  The pattern was billed as a dress or pinafore that had a matching pattern for a daughter, so mother and daughter could be matchy-matchy (if you want to know, the daughter pattern is Simplicity 4636).  So see there, women did wear pinafores!  I thought I would make it red, white and blue, so I could have a fun dress to wear for 4th of July and stumbled across some striped fabric on sale that fit the bill nicely.  I bought all they had, and wished later I could have found more, as the stripe was diagonal and I wanted straight stripes.  The entire skirt is cut on the bias to get my straight stripes.  There was so much wasted, precious fabric.  I had to piece together fabric so I would scrape by with just enough to barely make the dress.  But I did it!  I couldn’t resize the sleeves so they would be gathered on the arm, as in the pattern.  Instead, they just barely covered the width of my man-arms.  But that was o.k.  I had finished it in time for the trip and that was what mattered.
Vintage pinafore dress
Vintage pinafore dress
Below is the finished product, along with my mama, the original pinafore wearer.  I didn’t put bows in my hair, to match the photo of my mama, as then I was really afraid of venturing into Baby Jane territory.  But I got my photo, and that pleased me to no end.  Though I do think, since the blue stripe is so small, I look a bit like a candy striper.
Vintage pinafore dress pattern
Reproduction pinafore dress
Vintage pinafore dress pattern

Pinafore History – From One Who Knew

I took the opportunity to ask my mama, as a card-carrying pinafore wearer, a little bit about them.  She said she didn’t call them pinafores – they were just dresses and didn’t have a special name.  For her, pinafores were the ruffles on a wide band attached to a skirt and worn over a shirt – like an apron.    She was about 18 in the photo.  I asked her if older women wore them and she said they were mostly for the young (dang it!)  And then she concluded by commenting, “Oh my goodness, the things you get in to.”  I told her she should be pleased I’m at least wearing clothes she can relate to, having worn them at one time herself.  She should be used to my dress-up by now though.  I’ve done Renaissance since college and did several different ethnic dance forms, so she should be used to it.  I think she wishes I would just join a group that wears “normal” clothes.  As if!  What is the fun of that?!
Next post? I think I need to explore the best recipe for a Tom Colllins.


1 comments so far.


  1. Aww, what a great pinafore dress! Seems like a very special way to bond with your mama!

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