Sunday, April 3, 2011

Overalls/Shortalls Tutorial

UPDATED at the bottom to include pics of some boyish ones I made!

 Let me preface this by saying that I don't really write tutorials, so I'm sorry if I things are as clear as they could be, or if do it "wrong".  Hopefully this will at least help you in some way while making overalls for your kiddo and not just confuse you more. I also apologize for the quality of the pictures.  It was night, and I was working on the living room floor.

I wanted to make my girl some overalls and was having a hard time finding a tutorial that fit what I wanted.  I certainly didn't want to buy a pattern, so I figured I would just wing it (couldn't be too complicated, right? HA!)  This is the product of several pairs of overalls with adjustments each time.  I don't know exactly how much fabric it takes, but 1 yard was more than enough for me to make a pair for my 2 year old.  As for sewing time, also can't really give a good estimate because my sewing takes place in between my child rearing. Start to finish, (including stopping to feed/wrangle/play with/putting a kiddo to bed) is about 4 hours. 

First, you need a pair of pants that fits your kiddo.  Fold em in half.  Fold your fabric over, and place the pants on the fabric like so.  Trace them adding your preferred seam allowance and cut.  (Decide how long you want the legs to be, plus a little for hemming.)

Thank your "helper" for her assistance.

Now take the piece you just cut out, and use it as a template to cut a 2nd piece so you have 2 identical pieces. These will be the shorts part of the overalls.

Now for the bodice.

This is also on the fold of the fabric.  It is about 6.5 inches tall, and 6.5 inches wide.  The top line is 2.75 inches, and that bottom one off to the side is 1.5. These measurements fit my smallish 2 year old with room to grow. Here is what it should look like all cut out.

 Next is the back bodice piece.  This is very similar to the front bodice piece, just a little skinnier.  The measurement at the top is 4 inches (so it would be two inches cut on the fold of the fabric) I thought I had a picture of it traced on the fabric, but I guess my kiddo deleted it while playing with my camera.

Heres a comparison of the front and back bodice pieces.

Now for the straps.  There might be an easier way of doing this, but this is how I do it.  I want my straps to be about 10 inches long, with a width of 2 inches tapering off to 1 inch.  So I cut out a rectangle that measured 4x10.5 inches, then folded it in half lengthwise. At the top I use the ruler and mark at the .5 point and the 1.5 point.  Then draw a diagonal from each point to the corner.

Then cut on those lines, leaving this.  Repeat, so you have a total of 4 of these pieces.

Now we're gonna cut out the lining for the bodice.  Take the front bodice piece and place it on your coordinating fabric.

Oblige the toddler saying "Take a picture of me mom, CHEESE!"

Then do the same thing with the back bodice piece, so you have 4 pieces.  Two front, and two back.


For the waistband, put your two bodice pieces together at one end, and measure to give you the length you need.  Mine was 26 inches.  The width depends on how think you want the waistband.  I like a skinnier one, so I made mine 3.5 inches.

This is what you should have so far....
4 bodice pieces, 4 strap pieces, 1 waistband piece, 2 short pieces. (ignore those two pink squares, they were going to be pockets, but then I went and forgot to add them.)

Now to start sewing.  Take your two front bodice pieces and put them wrong sides together.  Now we are going to sew around the top of it.  Start at the black pin on the left, go up the curve, across the top, then down that curve, stopping at the other black pin.

Put two of the strap pieces right sides together, and sew them together, leaving the wide bottom open for turning.  Repeat for the other two.

Turn the straps and the bodice right side out, and iron down.

Then take the waist strap and fold it in half width wise, so you have a long skinny strip.  Iron.

Here is what we've got so far. ( I decided it needed an applique.)

Now take the two back bodice pieces and put them right sides together.  Take the two straps, and put them between the two layers like this.

Make sure a little bit of the ends of the straps are sticking out to make sure they get caught in the stitching.

Now sew it like we did the front bodice, starting at the bottom of one curve, up the curve, across the top, and down the other curve.  Turn right side out and iron.

Now we have our two bodice pieces and our waist band.

Put the two bodice pieces right sides together.  Sew at one end. (I serged, you could zig zag, or whatever your preferred method is.)

Open it up, and put the waist strap (right sides together if your coordinating fabric is patterned) on top of the bottom of the bodice pieces, lining up the edges and sew them together. (Sorry, I apparently forgot to get a picture of this step.)  Open them up and iron the seam.  This is what you have so far. (Like my pretty Little Mermaid sheet? Its what I do my ironing on, because I detest ironing boards.)

Now for the pants part. Hem the bottom however you prefer.  Then fold it in half like it was when you cut it.  Now we are going to sew the seam that goes from the cuff of the leg up to the crotch.

Do the same to both leg pieces.

Now turn one leg right side out, and place it inside the other leg, lining up the seams.

Sew along that U shaped edge.

Turn them right side out and admire your handiwork.We're almost finished!

Back to the bodice, put them right sides together again, and sew up the other short edge, so its all connected.

Put the bodice over the shorts.  The shorts should be right side out, the bodice wrong side out.  You want the shorts inside the bodice. The shorts are sandwiched in the bodice. (So sorry if I'm not explaining this clearly, I'm trying!)  Line up the edges, and sew all the way around.

Flip the bodice up. Iron.  Topstitch if you so desire.  Add your preferred closure (I like plastic snaps).  Congrats, you're finished!  Put em on your kiddo, and bask in the cute!

I would love to know if you sew any overalls with these, and would love to see pictures!  If there are any questions I will try my best to answer them.  Please link back and credit me if you blog about these at all, and please only use this tutorial for personal use.  Have fun!


Some boyish ones I sewed up!




I love this tutorial! Thanks for posting it on the crafty sewing mamas board!
hello how did you come up with the right measurements for the bodice pieces
None of the pictures appear. It tries to link to Facebook and says there is an error. I'd love to see how you did it!

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