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Summer Sewing, Overalls #1

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

I’ve made overalls! On Oct 22nd I added the finishing touches to my first #RubyOveralls - the awesome sewing pattern by Helen's Closet.

This garment is the first of my Summer 22-23 projects and part of my first Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe collection. Many firsts accomplished!

🧡 I loved every moment of making these and feel like I performed sewing magic by somehow managing to squeeze a mid length version from just 2 metres of this lightweight denim chambray cotton.

Helen's Closet patterns must be based on a block that is very close to my proportions as they seem to fit me so well with very little alteration. This makes for uncomplicated and enjoyable projects most of the time and I think when you are lucky enough to find a pattern company where the patterns are such a great match for your body, then forget all others, make every pattern from this one designer.

So says she, with a pdf pattern collection that could easily take up an entire external hard drive all on its own and an ever growing list of 'I must make this soon'.

I cut a size 20 for the bib, grading through to a 22 at the hip and hem so there’s plenty of ease for all the dancing I do everyday in my studio. You can tell I dance all the time right?

I used the shorts version of this pattern and added 6 inches to the length so they are hemmed just below my knees. Ideal for a rainy summer (if today was any indication of the season to come).

Fit notes: I'm roughly a size 16-18-20 in most RTW clothing so for pants/overalls and other bottom fitting garments, I usually start with choosing a size to fit my waist then grade out at the hips.

My measurements (when I made these overalls) were 116cm Bust, 100cm waist, 126cm hips.

Even after loosing 5cm from my bust and waist recently, these overalls still fit great and are super comfy around the hips. The elastic back waistband allows me to easily take them off without needing to undo buttons or a zip which can sometimes be really tricky with my wrist & hand mobility issues.

The straps and overall hardware, while functional, also don't need to be undone, I just slip them off my shoulders, the pants part of the overalls stay up on their own, with the elastic just firm enough to hold them at my waist.

Fabric: From my long-term stash saved for muslins. It had several areas where sunlight had bleached horizontal lines and a diamond pattern from the storage basket so I used the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric so the stains would be less obvious. I also prefer the more subtle blue of the reverse side.

Yardage used: 2m of 150cm wide cotton lightweight denim - has been in my collection so long I’m not sure where it came from.

Lined with a printed cotton poplin from Spotlight

Notions: 48cm length of 3mm wide elastic. This piece of elastic was upcycled from an old garment my mum must have taken to with a seam ripper. It's super sturdy but the surface has a really soft 'velvet-like' feel so I'm thinking it must be one of those 100% polyester high density non roll types... the best match I could find online is >> here.

Hardware: Dungarees hardware kit from Kylie and the Machine. The tiny tag on the side is a freebie from KATM too…

However, the inner tag is one of my own custom printed soft cotton tags because I’m a sensitive skin type and can only have soft natural fibers touching my skin. Even the tiniest edge of a folded polyester tag will drive me to distraction.

So I had a yard of these 100% cotton tags printed via Spoonflower and now I have enough tags to last me several lifetimes...

Since sewing them, I've worn these overalls most days, after work, on weekends. Yes, I will wash them... when they get dirty. And time will show whether the reverse side of this lightweight denim will develop any of that lovely worn faded denim look.

These were intended to be only a 'wearable muslin' but as they turned out exactly as I hoped, I'll be keeping them in my everyday wardrobe on high rotation, I'm sure.

I am planning to make more Ruby's for my Autumn-Winter wardrobe and have already found some beautiful soft cotton corduroy fabrics in rich teal and emerald greens... For summer, I have another pair planned in 100% linen, midweight, perhaps an earthy shade or deep blue?

Read more on the original 'planning post' for my Summer wardrobe sewing here.

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