The “Little Lumberjack” Outfit
Fabric: Crisp cotton plaid fabric found antiquing $7 for 3 yards; denim ~$1, thrifted
Patterns: Simplicity 3536, ~$1
Year: c. 1941
Notions: buttons for shirt, two bakelite buttons for skirt, invisible zipper, lace – ~$3
Time to complete: 8 hours
First worn: April 2011
Wear again? Yes and Yes!
Total Cost: ~$12
The moment that this challenge was born, I knew I'd be using this photo as my inspiration. I believe this overall/shirt outfit was a gift from my Aunt and Uncle (though I don't know how I would remember this considering I'm only two and a half when this photograph was taken in March 1980). This outfit appears in many of my childhood photos, so it was certainly well-loved and well-worn.
While I wanted to be true to the original ensemble, I was pretty confident that I wouldn't be making overall pants. I have a great 1940s overalls pattern that I briefly considered, but ultimately I went with Simplicity 3536, a 1940s jumper that would be a little more wearable and a little more derriere friendly. I like overalls and I actually would wear them, but really, how often do you hear someone say "wow, those overalls really make her butt look small."
I made two modifications to the pattern. The first, and most obvious, is that I changed the jumper bib to suspenders. I do like the bibbed jumper but for this challenge I wanted to stay true to the original inspiration. The second, less obvious, change is that I didn't add cuffs to the blouse sleeves. There wasn't anything but pure laziness behind that decision.
The skirt. I'm so proud of the skirt! Usually I have no patience for details and will omit seemingly useless things like pockets. The pockets on this pattern, however, were just too cute to skip. So I took the time to cut out the pieces, follow the instructions (even pleat them like the instructions called for!) and not rush through their construction. I think the pockets make the skirt and I love them! I even used two bakelite buttons that I've had in my stash for quite some time. You know when the bakelite buttons come out, it's quality time.
I'm quite happy with the results. I absolutely love it when I can make something from a seventy year-old pattern that doesn't end up looking costumey or incredibly out of style. And, just like the original little outfit from 1980, I can imagine that this outfit will be well-worn as well.