Queue for the Zoo Pinafores

Tana Lawn from Liberty

Tana Lawn from Liberty

A friend of the Quimper Hitty human bought us a piece  of Tana Lawn from Liberty of London.  Opal and Agathe LOVE the pattern, which is called Queue for the Zoo.

Twin Pinafores - Yay!

Twin Pinafores – Yay!

Because of their impatience, the first project was a quick little pinafore each.



I like to press finished garments before they are worn. To do this for Hitty clothes, I have made two sandbags.  One is about the width of a Hitty’s shoulders, and the length to about her knees, and is shown in this picture. The other is a little wider than a pencil and longer than Hitty’s arm.  I use that one for pressing Hitty sleeves.  Both are filled with clean fine white sand.

Wrap, Press, Cool

Wrap, Press, Cool

Using one end of the sandbag as the “shoulders”, I wrap the garment around it.  Holding the other end of the sandbag, I press the edges, seams or whatever else I need to flatten (e.g. the bodice during construction). By press, I mean literally pressing down, not rubbing the iron back and forth. The most important trick during pressing is to let the garment cool while still wrapped around the sandbag in the shape you want it to be. Pressing takes a while…

Makes a difference

Makes a difference

…but it makes a big difference if  you let it cool in the shape you are aiming for – pressed on the right, not yet pressed on the left of this picture.



I have to say that Opal and Agathe could care less about whether their pinafores are pressed or wrinkly, but I like to at least start them off tidily!




26 thoughts on “Queue for the Zoo Pinafores

  1. The fabric is just delightful!! And the girls look wonderful. I like your trick for the pressing and will try this. Billie

    • The girls are very amused by the animal-ish print! They especially like the Giraffe in yellow trainers! I am happy to think you might find the press-bag useful! I really find it useful during dress-making.

  2. Those are two of the most fortunate Hittys! I wonder they even bothered with dresses when the pinafores are so cute. You must be teaching them patience.

  3. I have a person-sized sleeve roll I use for ironing Hitty skirts and for blocking some knitting. Are your rolls made with a tightly woven cotton bag and slipped inside another? The Queue for the Zoo is delightful fabric – great detail! And, of course, the Block Twins just illuminate your pinnies! Thanks for sharing cheer and knowledge!

    • The roll is unbleached linen, and actually isn’t as tightly woven as I could wish, but it was what I had on hand…I might make a “pillowcase” – that would keep it cleaner. You are welcome! I like to share!

    • These two do seem to be happiest while wearing pinafores! I did think I’d never get Agathe out of that pleated orange and red one, but the Zoo print won her over (not to mention the fact it matched her sister’s!)

  4. I LOVE the fabric! And I also really appreciate your pressing technique. My mother made herself sturdy pressing forms that she called ‘hams’ and would hammer seams on them, as well as pressing them. I was thinking about those the other day….

    • I love the fabric too – it was very cheering and amusing! I have hammered seams, but it’s not really necessary on Hitty clothing, since I don’t use heavy weight fabric. I considered making a Hitty-sized ham and clapper for their sewing room, but not for when I am making their clothes, they would be too small!

  5. Sewing dresses, shirts, slacks, aprons and pinafores for all seven of our Hittys is a joy in our household but I’m not going to show any of our Hitty’s this story. They are sweet and kind as all Hittys are but I can just picture their faces and imagine their conversations when they realize and discuss how their human doesn’t iron their clothes properly. Especially the comments from all the Hitty lovers who to my absolute astonishment not only have seen this technique but understand it and will try it or already have these clothes presses in use. Way No can they ever see this story.
    The fabric your friend sent to you is Hitty Perfect…especially for the twins.
    Humm…I know my Hittys would love to see that adorable well-loved mammoth on wheels. I’ll have to relent and show them. I can’t deprive them of anything.

    • I don’t think there is a correct way to iron! I had a room mate once who ironed her sheets and under wear…she thought she was being correct! I have learned a few techniques from working with professional seamstresses, and I just like to use them when it seems right while I am sewing.

      That pachyderm came from my grandma’s collection – My Hittys love it when he comes out – he usually resides in grandma’s old breakfront!

  6. I am going to make myself a pair of these “bags” tomorrow!! I have the sand and the fabric. THANK YOU!! I have struggled with the pressing thing and not being a very experienced seamstress I would of course never think of this on my own! And I love the pinnys!! The girls are so cute. That is some very interesting fabric. How happy that it came to your house.

  7. What a wonderful tutorial for us………… it is difficult to get some of Hitty’s garments pressed just right.
    Love those Zoo pinnys. I’m wondering if some of those crushed walnut shells (from the pet store) I bought to fill my Hitty pincushion bodies … nice for needles… will work as well as the sand…. what do you think? Judy

    • I am not sure – If the crushed shells were well bleached perhaps. I’d be slightly worried about staining, with the heat and steam but I don’t really know. Perhaps try making one, and having a little “pillowcase” of white fabric to see what happens. The other thing might be that the walnut shells would retain the heat longer, and might also swell with the humidity changes. Try it, and let me know!

  8. that is just so-o clever! charming fabric, made for Hittys, who gets the blue and the pink rickrack? Wonder what your gandma would think if she saw her wonderful elephant on the internet?

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