Vintage Style Pattern 3247: DIY Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Hello There Friends,

This is the last of my unblogged projects from last year, and, I think, my first ever project sewn using a vintage pattern. The pattern used was Style 3247; you can see the (obviously aged!) pattern envelope below. (I wonder who Mrs. Clark was and which part of the world she lived in?)


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Pattern Envelope

The pattern actually has rather cleverly designed facings which mean the front buttons are fully functioning, and how the pattern intends you to get in and out of the dress. I decided that a double breasted look was not going to be the most flattering for me, and so I decided to omit the front opening and instead install an invisible zip in the centre back seam. I also ended  up adding some fish eye darts in the back to provide more shaping.


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress

Here are some inside shots. The pattern included facing pieces but as the outer fashion fabric is a wool/ cashmere blend that I purchased locally to me and is dry clean only, I opted to also add a full lining. The pattern made no mention of interfacing but I did add interfacing to all the facing pieces, as well as to the centre back seam where the zipper was being inserted. I also chose to draft hem facing pieces to finish the hems.


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress – front facings and lining


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress – hem facing

Pattern Alteration/ Sewing Notes:

  • Omitted front opening and inserted centre back invisible zip
  • Removed 2.25 inches from length and ended up taking 1 inch seam allowance when attaching hem facings
  • Drafted hem facings
  • Added full lining in addition to facings
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length being added back to lower back hem
  • Added interfacing to all facing pieces and to centre back seam
  • Added fish eye darts to back
  • Narrowed shoulder straps (removing approx. 5/8ths inch from outer edge of each strap)
  • If making again consider narrowing width at front neckline

So, anyway, after I saw the pictures….I don’t know…I just wasn’t sold on this whole look for me. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I feel like it makes me look broader somehow through the front? Is it the square neckline? Is it the lack of waist seaming? Maybe it’s one of those garments I just need time to play around with and style a few different ways? It is lovely and warm and I like the colour. But hmmm….at present it’s not a wadder, but just a bit meh.

That’s the last of my 2016 makes! Already sewn up a tunic style top and most of an Archer shirt in 2017…but this week I am doing a spot of pattern testing.

Until soon!


Vintage Style Pattern 3247 Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress






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About sewmanju

I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing everyone can get to see mine.

33 responses to “Vintage Style Pattern 3247: DIY Wool Cashmere Mini Houndstooth Pinafore Jumper Dress”

  1. Karrie says :

    Love this! I accidentally washed a gray wool dress from JCrew that I got at a thrift store. I’ve been wanting to remake it! I love the colors you picked!

  2. Silver Mom says :

    Love this on you! It has a kicky vibe and fits to perfection. You nailed the shoulder slope and princess seams. How you’ve styled it, with the black leggings and black top, is just right. I hope the garment grows beyond the meh phase, because it is a great look!

  3. Margaret Baylis says :

    I like it but can understand your reservations. I looked at the neckline on the pattern and it appears to be in line with the princess seam lines whereas yours is a bit wider. I’m also wondering if a loose belt would create some interest at the waist line. I think it has distinct possibilities though and is very flattering on you. Hope that helps.

  4. Faye says :

    Love the look but I wonder if by removing the front buttons you’ve removed visual interest in the front which leaves an expanse of fabric – which you’re interpreting as breadth? Might this be fixed by adding a little more shape at the waist in the front or maybe all you need is an interesting long necklace to break up the front area?

  5. Caitlyn says :

    The fabric and the interior finishes are lovely. I’m a bit new here, so I’m not sure if this suggestion would suit your style, but since the dress seems to flair gently from just below the bust, perhaps you could emphasize this more with a thin black belt at empire-waist height? Or for something more permanent, perhaps applying a black ribbon or thin strip of black fabric in the same place? Breaking up the print just the tiniest bit might help to counteract any illusion of broadness. I hope you’re able to fall in love in the end, because your dress seems like the perfect blend of put-together and comfortable!

    • sewmanju says :

      Thanks Caitlyn and thanks for the suggestions. I have the dress on today so I can’t feel that bad about it 🙂 I am going to have a play around with it and see what I think.

  6. Kathy says :

    Very nice. I think that is a very versatile piece.

  7. Khristina says :

    I could see this with cute black patch pockets (maybe in a fun shape?) to break up the expanse of fabric…Waist shaping shortening an inch or two might also help and a black belt is an easy fix if you like belts.

  8. CurlsnSkirls says :

    What yummy fabric!
    On the “meh” thing – have you tried pinning in that A-line until you like the proportions more? And perhaps a bit more shaping at the waist while you’re looking at the sides… You’ve done a monster job with the lining so I hate to make drastic suggestions. But a few pins initially wouldn’t be too drastic. 😉 Good luck! xx

  9. Wynn says :

    I think the back looks really great and that’s because of the darts you added so it has nice waist shaping. To me, it doesn’t look broad at the bust. But I wonder (similar to other comments) if it needs a few pins at the front to shape the waist (or empire line waist) in a bit. I’m 5′ 1/2″ tall (?) & recently bought a RTW pinafore. Loved it in the shop but only worn once cos it too is “meh” & only looks good with one particular top underneath. And I’ve pinned it in but not seen it yet. It’s summer here. Do you have black booties? I think that would streamline the look too. As well as shaping in, black boots & tights, I wonder if adding “fake” buttons as per the pattern, would help. And for a completely different suggestion, I’d be curious to see if you “pegged” the hem so it curves back in from the side seams from the hip to the hem – I wonder how that would look. You might not need as much waist shaping if the hem pegs in – strange but true (for me anyway).

  10. Mags says :

    I like it but agree think it would have looked better with a narrower neckline. The straps must have been really wide before adjustment.

  11. sewandsewherself says :

    You have constructed it beautifully the finished garment has a really professional quality. On the meh side of things, you style wonderfully so I almost don’t want to comment .. but here goes 🙂 what about changing the polo jumper is too much or the black to big a contrast, have you tried a blouse or toning colour underneath.

    Or my answer to everything long cardigan over the top!!

  12. KS Sews says :

    It’s so nicely done! I have a few suggestions…I’ve wanted a pinafore style dress myself but am considered how to make it work for me!

    -silky/flowy tie-neck top
    -button front top with collar
    -turtleneck with shorter sleeves
    -no top underneath but with a belt + jacket/cardigan
    -bringing in the A-line a tad
    -taking the hemline up a tad

    Hopefully you can make it work!!!!

    • sewmanju says :

      Thanks for all those Nakisha. Yep, I will have a play around, although I am wearing it today with the black turtle neck under it and I don’t hate it 🙂

  13. Lynne says :

    I love this, especially the fabric – and was hoping it was a on-line purchase! What a great pattern, it’s always interesting to think about what a previous owner might have made. Good idea on omitting the double-breasted bit. It got me thinking because I’ve been toying with the idea of a dress like this, but thought the extra fabric would be too bulky at the bust.

    • sewmanju says :

      Thanks Lynne. If you want me to see if there is some fabric left and post it to you I could? Let me know. I think it was around £18/ metre? If you have a paypal account….?!

  14. Tanya Maile says :

    So cute and yet luxurious, Manju! Plus, lovely sewing and finishing as always.

  15. Tomasa says :

    I do like your pinafore very much and hope you feel better about it – maybe play around with different styling…shoes, jewelry? It certainly fits you beautifully!

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