Helen’s Closet York pinafore – it’s all about the bias binding

The York Pinafore from Helen’s Closet: a great garment for mucking about in and layering up or down depending on the temperature.

Yay! This York Pinafore from Helen’s Closet worked out as I hoped. The fabric is linen canvas Ruby Star from http://www.craftystudio.ie I have made the York quite a few times so I didn’t need to look at the instructions. This for me is real Zen-zone sewing, when I can just get into the flow.
Because I thought this substantial fabric could take it, I serged on the pink gingham binding on the first pass. I don’t fold bias binding before applying, but I iron the folds in after under-stitching it.

After serging on the binding, I under-stitched it on the sewing machine, then top-stitched it. I put the binding on the neck in the round, but I did each underarm in one long strip, before sewing the side seams. I find that easier and neater. I then sewed down the seam allowance at the top of the seams using a very short stitch to make these few stitches less visible.

I sewed the neck binding in the round, but each arm binding in one long strip.

For the hem, I first sewed one side seam, then sewed bias binding onto the back and front hems and side under-stitched it, but didn’t fold it over or top-stitch yet. Then when sewing the side seam I treated the binding as part of the side seam. This gives a nice clean finish when you fold it over later.

I neatened the top edges of the pockets using hidden bias binding too.
I did the top stitching on my old sewing machine using two reels of thread going through the needle. This gives a nice stitch.

I used two reels of thread going through one top-stitching needle when top-stitching. This is my old machine. I sewed the pinafore on my new one.

I didn’t notice when cutting out the fabric that the logo was on the selvage, but I decided to treat it as a design element and you can see it clearly on both side seams near the bottom.

I didn’t realise when cutting out that the fabric logo would be seen: let’s call it a design element.

I’m very happy with this. I had wanted a York to muck around in during the summer and it can be layered up or down.


  1. I’m a huge fan of the York Pinafore, It feels to me like I reckon my grandma’s wrap-around pinny must have felt to her. Comfy and serviceable with pockets only I don’t keep my ‘fags’ in mine! I love how you have applied your bias binding. I’ve noticed that as my confidence increases that I’m making up my own rules and not being a slave to pattern instructions. This hasn’t been easy for me as I was brought up to ‘do as I was told’ but encouraged by many of your Instagram posts I’m getting quite daring!


    • So happy to inspire you! I’ve made about 5 York aprons too. First I thought it was a lot of work for an apron. But I really enjoy wearing them every day when cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. The more experience I get the more I like to experiment with techniques and drafting. Sewing is so great – there is always more to learn and discover.


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