The criss-cross back jumper/apron/pinafore is a classic style that I remember from my childhood. I lost my vintage paper pattern for it while working on a project making art smocks for my child’s school, and then acquired this McCall’s version somewhere along the way:
..however the fit is way off. It looks like it’s falling off of the model’s shoulders! Fixing the fit on this style has been on my endless “to-do” list…along with grading it for a more extensive size range…and then this week Pickle Toes released their “Daisy” pdf pattern, in sizes Preemie through Girls 16:
I’m not familiar with Pickle Toes but I took a chance based on the photos above, and I’m happy to say that Daisy has a much more realistic across-shoulder. Compare McCall’s on the left to Pickle Toes on the right (both size 6 months):
Measured flat, McCall’s (tan tissue paper) is 6″ from shoulder-button to shoulder button, while Daisy (white pattern paper) is 5″:
That might not sound like much, but considering this is just a size 6 months, look what a difference that makes on the dressform (McCall’s on the left and Pickle Toes on the right) and it’s easy to see why the McCall’s design was falling off of the model’s shoulders:
The instructions are clear and straightforward, with just enough detailed explanations, and no cutesy fonts or lingo. I’ve been thinking about why I prefer no-nonsense instructions: it’s because I work with factories all over the world: every word of sewing directions gets translated for the workers in every country, so the language must be direct (“Stitch shoulders”..not “now we are going to stitch our shoulders”). Many home-sewists prefer more chatty “hand-holding” directions…I totally get that, but I prefer the writing kept simple.
Fun fact: in Asia, every Tech Pac that you send to the apparel factory:
…gets covered in “chops” to explain each step to the workers:
The simpler the instructions, the less chance anything will get “lost in translation”.
Back to Daisy: I’m pleased with the results. I didn’t take in enough seam allowance, so the straps are still a bit big, but the button placement is where it should be. The embroidery is just the corner of a vintage napkin that I layered on the front bodice before stitching to the lining :
Full disclosure: I did add some sweep to the sides (simple pivot of the pattern paper). Next time I will try raising the center-front neckline 1/4″. Totally personal preference, this has nothing to do with the integrity of the pattern.
The pattern itself could not be simpler, it’s a single pattern piece (an optional pocket is included), entirely lined (or reversible)…which makes it:
a good beginner pattern
perfect for when your overlock is getting a tune-up
fast, therefore good for quick gifts or for selling
great for machine-embroidery, since the scratchy insides get covered
I’d recommend this classic pattern to anybody who sews for little ones.