Vintage Sewing

1940’s Du Barry Pinafore for Little Girls, Babies, and Toddler’s

July 21, 2013

Hello! This is my second contribution to this blog. My first was made almost a year ago, and I have really been looking forward to adding another post! ¬†What I have made here is a pinafore from a 1940’s Du Barry vintage sewing pattern (#5847). I am an avid collector of vintage sewing patterns. My favorite decades are 1940’s-1970’s. I do love the 1920’s and 1930’s, of course, but those are a little harder to come by.

I had purchased some brown calico fabric (what you see in the pics that I have added) for another project…a dress for little girls from the early 1970’s. I thought that it had a “Brady Bunch” feel to it. The colors look as if they would be good for summer and autumn seasons (the original intention was to use it for late summer and early autumn). To me this fabric has a kind of an earthy prettiness to it. Because I had some extra fabric left over, I decided to use it to make this 1940’s Du Barry pinafore. I loved this darling pattern immediately when I saw it the first time. I decided to make only the pinafore and not the blouse. I did “tweak” the original pattern, though. Instead of using rick rick for the trim, I used orange bias tape (orange is a pretty bold color, I think). I added bias to the neckline and to the hem as well. I also lined the front and back panel of the pinafore with a coordinating green broadcloth fabric. The lining is necessary in my opinion. It not only makes the dress more opaque, but also gives it a very nice sturdy feel. The two skirt pieces on either side are not lined, of course. The original pattern also made bloomers; however, I do not care for this style of bloomers, and though you cannot see the bloomers in the pictures, I used a more modern version of bloomers from a 1970’s sewing pattern (with an elasticized waist and legs). I made the dress a little longer than the original, and for that reason the bloomers may be optional. I also updated this pinafore dress a bit by using a zipper closure in the back instead of buttons.

And here it is! I hope you like it!


Retro 1940's Du Barry Pinafore Dress for Little Girls, Toddlers, and Babies.
Retro 1940's Du Barry Pinafore Dress for Little Girls, Toddlers, and Babies.
Vintage 1940's Du Barry Sewing Pattern #5847





  1. This is adorable. What a great way to make a vintage pattern modern with your use of bright colors and fabric. Would there be anyway to purchase a copy of this pattern from you? I can’t find it for sale anywhere and I would love to make it for my little girl.

    1. Becky, thank you so much for the compliment! I also made this in another fabric. The calico fabric that you see in the pics was kind of experimental. In fact, the pattern itself was experimental for me because I changed the pattern a little (updated it, I guess), and I did not know how it would turn out. I am pleased with the result. I do like to change some patterns…change the way the garments are constructed. I would not like this without the zipper and without the lined front and back pieces. Sewing on the bias binding was not hard, really, but that was also very experimental because I did not know how it would look until it was finished. I didn’t like the way the original instructions said to construct this pinafore, and I would not bother to make it if I could not tweak the original design. The zipper makes things so much easier.

      To answer your question: I don not have this particular pattern for sale. I love this one too much to part with it. I, too, looked for other sizes, but they are hard to come by; however, one can always check from time to time. I have found patterns that I was looking for online months later. I am going to sell this garment in my shop.

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