York Pinafore 2.0 : : Helen’s Closet : : Part I: An Unconventional Full Bust Adjustment


York Pinafore, A Colourful Canvas, Helen's Closet, FBA Adjustment

Hallo. Hallo.

This post….{and the one following tomorrow}…has been a long time coming.

With that said, I am happy to introduce my York Pinafore 2.0….a garment that I’ve worn frequently since sewing it last autumn. Yeppers…it passed the test of time. A lot of time.

So. Who remembers my first York Pinafore, seen above, and blogged here?  Oh my goodness…I wanted to like that garment so much….but…..no matter what top I wore with it, there was…keeping it real my friends…way too much side-boob. Not a surprise really…the included FBA instructions didn’t work well for me and I ended up fitting the pattern based on my upper bust measurement, not my full bust measurement. And for someone that routinely does a 2″ FBA…well…you see the results.

After some thought I came up with a solution that I’m really pleased with and today I’m sharing my how-to with you.

First up….reviewing the fit of my original York {many moments at the mirror giving it the side eye}. Turns out I felt confident with the fit of my pinafore everywhere except that dang front bodice. My mental wheels turned and churned a bit before I had my little ah-ha moment. ‘Yep, said me. I do need to add my usual 2″ adjustment, just not in the usual way.’

York Pinafore, A Colourful Canvas, Helen's Closet, FBA Adjustment

Here’s what worked for me. I based my garment size on my upper bust measurement {typical}, keeping in mind that my usual FBA adjustment is to add 2″ in total. As we always divide the required amount by two, I added 1″ to the outside edge of the armhole beginning at the shoulder seam and tapering to the original pattern where it curves at the waist.  In order for my front and back pattern pieces to match at the shoulder, I added 1″ to the pattern back piece as well.

Okay…one more {optional} step that I did. It isn’t necessary, but I chose to carve out my neckline at the shoulder seam by about 1″ on both front and back pattern pieces. In doing so, I feel I’ve more closely retained the original vibe of Helen’s design.

My fabric choice is a soft pinwale corduroy. The grid pattern is a print, not woven into the fabric….and totally off grain…so it was a bit of a nightmare trying to match lines etc. But. It worked out well enough in the end. One thing that I find with corduroy is that it sticks to other fabrics. Know what I mean? I could totally imagine myself getting stuck, arms akimbo, as I got dressed, or getting up from a seated position to find my dress hitched up over my bum. With that lovely image forefront I knew I needed to add a full lining.

My final small pattern tweak was changing the neckline. That side eye I mentioned earlier? I was seeing circles. Everywhere. I decided that since I was doing a lining instead of a bias tape finish, why not do a V Neck.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my how-to for the lining and the V Neck. Unfortunately it was just too long to include everything in today’s post.

‘k…see you soon.  I gotta go finish the Part II that I’m promising to deliver tomorrow….

Part II {LINK} : : V Neck and Full Lining Hack

Wearing : :

York Pinafore Pattern : : Helen’s Closet, currently on sale and available here

Kalle Shirt : : Closet Case Patterns, available here


  • Reply Vancouver Barbara March 25, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Your adjustments worked well. I love the V-neck too. The proportions look better.

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Barbara! The pattern is an easy one and I think that helped me move forward with making my adjustments.

  • Reply Sew Sarah Smith March 26, 2019 at 3:27 am

    love it! I think sometimes I over complicate things in my mind re FBAs and it’s great to see such a straight forward approach like this!!
    youve created a great shape here; i know exactly what you mean re the dreaded side boob haha! xx

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      LOL…Me too! Me too! I’m really good at over complicating things Sarah. We really are bosom buddies aren’t we, haha.

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo March 26, 2019 at 5:17 am

    I agree your adjustment looks a million times better.


    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Yep…no argument with that number here, LOL.

  • Reply Melinda R Smull March 26, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Love your new adjusted pinafore. Makes me reconsider this pattern.

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks Melinda. It’s really a great pattern. A lot of patterns state they are ‘quick’ makes, but I rarely find that to be true. The York Pinafore is, for me, a quick make and a satisfying one too. I’m happy I was able to make it work for me without too much effort!

  • Reply Jeanette March 26, 2019 at 10:07 am

    How clever you were to come up with a different kind of FBA, and it worked beautifully. Enjoy your new pinafore.

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks Jeanette. I can spend a lot of time trying to do things ‘right’. Sometimes we just need to let go of the rules and make it work.

  • Reply Anne-Marie March 26, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    That is so much better, you look good in this pinafore.

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      It is isn’t it?! Thanks Anne-Marie. I would have modeled my new pinafore with the same t-shirt, but I let it go to Goodwill months ago.

  • Reply Jen March 26, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Love love love! Great fabric and the adjustment is very wise. Side boob Lol It’s a drag! ❤️

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      Jen. JEN! So lovely to hear from you! You could surely write a lovely, very funny story about side boob, LOLOLOL.

  • Reply Lesley March 26, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Oh that’s a huge improvement. I’m planning some dungarees but with my generous chesticles, the same thing could definitely happen. Thanks for the heads up, I may have missed this potential issue! Spotted a girl in a mustard pin whale cord the other day and rema led to my husband how gorgeous her dress was – he wasn’t so enthusiastic but meh, what can you do?!

    • Reply Sue March 26, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      LOL…I wonder if men in general don’t like yellow? I think it might be a ‘cool girl’ thing so good on you for that! Yellow is very in right now.

      So…I’ve made the Jenny Overalls with success. And I didn’t end up doing any sort of FBA for the bib. GAH…it’s about balance, isn’t it? I recommend a ‘rough’ fit before committing to the pattern’s bib, just to be sure it feels right. Trust me…you’ll know.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion March 27, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Perfect!. What a terrific adjustment. I love the dotted blouse underneath the checked pinafore. The left picture is sooo much better. You nailed it lady.

    • Reply Sue March 28, 2019 at 10:54 am

      Hee Hee. Thanks Greetje. I had high hopes that it was the close fitting T shirt that was emphasizing the girls, but no such luck.

  • Reply Kathryn Moore July 25, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Genius and I love the V neck. I LOVE the York (I have 4) but have the same issue with side boob. I made the higher neck version for my last one (last Autumn) and made a similar but not as elegant adjustment (mine was more a fudge LOL)to counter the side boob. I will definitely be making a V neck for this Autumn after seeing your inspiration, thank you 😀

    • Reply Sue July 30, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      Happy to share! I haven’t tried the high neck version of the York…I think it would be really nice for winter!

  • Reply Claire October 27, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Yesss! Thanks so much. I have the pattern cut out and fabric ironed ready to go but the side boob issue was bothering be a lot. I love your modification and I’m going to use it. I’m so glad I came across your post.

    • Reply Sue October 27, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      YAY! I’m happy to hear that the post is helpful to you!

      Have fun sewing, and wearing, your York Pinafore!

  • Reply kat May 28, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    I’m about to make this and I’m so glad I found your hack. I made these adjustments to the pattern after reading this and am thankful for you sharing and making it easy to follow and understand. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • Reply Sue May 28, 2021 at 10:05 pm

      Hi Kat.
      I hope it all goes as intended! This hack was a total game changer for me….I’m truly happy with how the pattern fits me now. Good luck…fingers crossed for you to have a positive outcome with yours!

  • Reply Deb M. November 19, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Glad you shared this with us. I made 3 Yorks (seemed fine at the time). The bib piece kept shifting and emphasizing the girls. You don’t know about these things until you wear it for awhile. It looked so cute on everyone who made it (full bust). My recovery plan: I removed length from the shoulder straps (gave me more a bit more coverage in the chest area), lowered the waist and the pockets, but still keep the style of the pinafore. I would still like more coverage, but at least I feel more comfortable wearing it. They are tunics now!

    I revised the bodice pattern as per your method. Thank you for sharing your experiences and being honest. You were the only one that mentioned this. Nearly called this make a fail. Now, I can see another one on the horizon. Your adjusted version is lovely.

    • Reply Sue November 19, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Deb, thank you for your comment! Totally agree…many garments seem okay the first time worn, or I at least really want them to seem okay. I don’t know if it’s partly due to the work I’ve put in to sewing it, or my enthusiasm for the new make, but I will try and ‘overlook’ a feeling of uncomfortableness thinking I’ll get used to it,.at least for the first few times. And sometimes, I don’t even quite know what it is that isn’t working. Photos generally give me really honest feedback and when I saw the photos of my pre-hacked York…well, I just knew.

      Hope the edits work well for you!

  • Reply Shandra Garvie May 7, 2022 at 1:55 am

    Hi, has anyone cut out this patter using the cross grain please, thinking denim chambray which has a floral border

    • Reply Sue July 4, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Shandra,

      I apologize for the tardy reply. Personally, I would cut it out on the cross grain if the fabric had a decent amount of stability which denim chambray generally does! I think it will look really cute with a floral border!

  • Reply York Pinafore 2.0 : : Helen's Closet : : Part II: V Neck And Full Lining Hack August 3, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    […] The link to Part I: Unconventional Full Bust Adjustment here […]

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