As soon as Liz Haywood released the Smith Pinafore low waste pattern I knew I wanted to make it from recycled jeans. It took me a while to buy the pattern as I was busy with other things, and then I had to finish the Clair skirt, but I was impatient to get going. I bought some jeans in the Nannup op shop and took them apart whilst I was relaxing in the bush.
Unfortunately the jeans had belonged to a short, stout man and I did have to fiddle to fit the pattern (please note, the pattern is easily drafted according to your measurements) on to the jeans legs, but I got there in the end. Construction was pretty easy and I loved doing the front slot seam as I haven’t done one for a couple of years. My new Bernina decided that it would enjoy the topstitching for once so my Elna Stella was press-ganged into doing the regular sewing – a turnaround from the usual order.
I love it when I put on a new make and Mark immediately makes happy sounds of approbation! Here I am in front of our very new frog pond in my newly minted Smith Pinafore, and my ugly rubber Bogs (shoes)!
The back is very similar to the front, but without the slot seam.
The line drawing shows the similarities very clearly.
I noticed almost immediately that I was putting the pinafore on back to front, so I found a label from something I had unpicked and sewed it at the centre back.
I also sewed the jeans label on to the side of the pinafore.
I think I’m becoming worse at reading instructions as I completely missed the mark on the side pockets. I didn’t secure them with a press stud, but sewed them down instead. I’m not rectifying the situation though as I can happily get in and out of the pinafore and the pockets still work properly.
I did have a go at putting buckles on the straps, and even did a bit of seam spanking as I had to piece one of the straps, then reduce the width to fit my buckles, but it just got too hard to slide the buckles on.
So I decided to leave them off, and this worked a treat. I don’t think it looks as good as the pinafores with the buckles, but at some point common sense has to prevail I think. I did think about buttons, but in retrospect a couple of vintage buckles would have looked nice.
I wore my pinafore with my Pattern Union Lulu Tee, which seems to be the perfect thing to wear under it as the body is so nicely shaped.
This is the perfect outfit for frog hunting. I could hear them but couldn’t see them.
Alert readers will notice the pea gravel at the bottom of the pond, and if you follow me on Instagram you will know that I recently attempted stone washing denim in a cement mixer with pea gravel as the stones. it sort of worked!
One of my worries with this make is that the side pieces had a straight side and a slanted side. I’m not convinced I got my sides round the right way. Next time I shall mark them on the fabric!
Just in case you’re interested in frog ponds, here is some gratuitous information:
Mark has made these little frog habitats which he’s populated with plants and hidden with rocks and logs.
This one is sitting in a stainless steel tank my Dad had made to run his outboard engine in. He would be thrilled with this bit of recycling!
The tank now hidden. The little semi-circle in the photo above is the entrance to the frog cave. They should be safe from predators in there. There are several of these little houses dotted about the edge of the pond.
The pond is adjacent to the dam and was originally part of the overflow system. Mark has plundered rocks from elsewhere on the property and built up the bank.
A few last words on the pinafore. I really tried to get all those delicious marks that appear on unpicked jeans, but I wasn’t terribly successful. There are a few dotted around and I did think about adding some back pockets and belt loops, but I decided to keep them for another day. Here are just a couple of markings. I had to do a small amount of piecing on the side seams, which actually made me very happy.
I have plans for more of these pinafores. I really want a corduroy one for winter and I definitely want to make a tartan wool one like Liz, the designer’s version. And you never know, I might even follow the instructions properly next time!