The “Smurftastic” Overalls

The Facts 

Fabric: Denim, thrifted $.25
Pattern: Advance 2994, $2
Year: c. 1940s
Notions: zipper, two buttons
Time to complete: ~4 hours
First worn: May 2012
Wear again? Yes, around the house.

Total Cost: ~$2.25

 

For this challenge, I felt that I couldn’t just make another 1940s dress. I mean, really, I don’t even need a 1940s-themed challenge to do that. So instead I decided to make the quintessential 1940s play and work uniform — denim overalls. Like most weeks, I started these at the last moment and omitted an important step — washing the fabric. We’ll learn more about that problem later.

For anyone who is scared of attempting slacks and overalls, they really are quite easy — or at least the construction is easy. It’s the fitting that usually is the really pain for us seamstresses. I would have to say that if I bought overalls off the rack, they probably wouldn’t fit much better than these. I have a ridiculously exaggerated hour-glass figure and finding any sort of pants that can handle my upper thighs and hips is a real challenge. Because of this, I’m glad of how these ended up fitting.

I made the shirt about two years ago and though I don’t remember many of the details of its construction, I know that it’s Simplicity 1554. Dude, I just typed that pattern number from memory. That’s how often I use that thing. I had originally planned to wear the overalls without a shirt but then felt that they looked a bit more period with one.

And now, my reference to the washing (and the post title).

Because I hadn’t wash the denim, the blue dye used rubbed off on my hands during construction. I wish I would have taken a picture, but my hands looked corpse-like. Because of this, I made sure to line the bodice and wore the thing with tights underneath. Yesterday, I wore this outfit to the Maker Faire and by the end of the day, my hands had returned to their charming Smurf-like palor. Every time I interacted with someone, I had to explain why my hands were blue. So, moral of the story: wash that fabric!

Whether or not I wear this outfit again depends on how much it shrinks when I wash it. There’s just so much of my body I’d like to highlight in a full-body jumpsuit. That said, I thought I looked fine enough wearing it out yesterday.

Author

Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.

18 Comments

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  1. Love it, very cute….I want one…..and glad I’m in good company, I’ve had blue fingertips all week too ;)

  2. I just love the whole look, sunglasses and all. Smurf-Out Baby!

  3. I’ve just received an overall pattern in the post … can’t decide what to make them out of though … hmmmm

  4. They look fantastic on you – very period and fabulously modern. I hope they don’t shrink too much, but at least you know the dye is proper indigo!

  5. You look great smurfette.

  6. Very cute. They are definitely more flattering than off the rack overalls. The color of that denim is adorable.

  7. Hehe Smurftastic overalls!! these are fantastic Mena and for only 25cents? that’s bananas, you certainly know how to thrift a bargai,n I made a pair of these about 4 years ago and still wear them. Lucky you thought about lining the bodice spoiling the blouse would of been a bummer. I think the proportions look spot on. You look great Smurfette.

  8. These look great! You have a fantastic figure and the overalls really highlight that-that’s pretty tough to do with overalls!

  9. Fabulous! I really hope they don’t shrink too much as the fit is great.

  10. These overalls are fabulous! I love the details. You pull off the whole outfit very well and look like you are off to plant a Victory Garden. Also, it’s nice to see something other than a dress.

  11. Very cute! I just found a 40s overalls pattern at an antique store recently and am thinking of marrying my favorite Smooth Sailing trousers from Wearing History with the overall bodice. Really love that you made these–I do think they’re cute! ;)

  12. oh you made me laugh – I sure hope that they don’t shrink as they make for a great casual outfit.

  13. Ohh Mena! Your overalls are amazing! I’ve been longing for an overall pattern and yours is the most perfect one I’ve seen. :)

  14. Your overalls are fabulous!! I love the way you’ve paired them with the blouse and added those great buttons – fabulous ensemble all around!

  15. This is cute! I really like the shape of the top part. Much more flattering than the contemporary ones!
    I once repaired the coat pockets of my flatmate with denim as he had worn through the original ones quite fast. He developed smurf hands, too and thought at first he was getting ill. :D

  16. So darling! They fit your style perfectly. I hope you can figure out how to keep wearing them.

  17. Love the overalls Mena! Here’s hoping that it doesn’t shrink in the wash! Or turn everything else blue. ;)

  18. Love these! And so cute with that blouse.