I got another “commission”. This time, for a pair of bib and brace overalls for a friend who works as a gardener. After some consideration they chose Simplicity 8165, which is a vintage pattern with updated photos on the packet. I felt the “vintage” part really showed in a few places… like the patch pockets at the front! But these things are soon remedied. They brought round their favourite workwear and I did my best to create pockets that match their favourite shorts. They chose a green cotton fabric, and off I went!

[Yes, that’s just a random garden image from our backyard.] I’ve never made overalls before. I just tried to assume I could, since my friend did! The pattern was clear in almost every respect–and it’s a common thing for me to hit a snag in a sewing pattern. I think it is pretty often a place where I am unaware that I have such a strong picture of what is or should be happening–that I can’t actually really see what the instructions say. Mmm. That really only happened once, in a part of the garment that regular pants don’t have. Recently I have begun to think that I should just embrace these places, and provided it will be retrievable–act on my mental model (tacking the seam if necessary to reduce the pain involved) and then, when I see it doesn’t work–ripping it out and going again. Recently I tried this when I was making a friend two “U pillow” covers and it was quite satisfying to puzzle over the detail less, and resolve it more quickly, by doing what I really wanted to believe would work. I could see it did not work very quickly, and rip it out without regret. Perhaps I have identified a new part of my sewing fantasy life?

Apologies for the poor colour. This fabric and my camera did not get on, and I do not understand why. After reconstructing every pocket in the garment and adding a few, I moved on.

Eventually I had both the front and back constructed.

Then they were ready to fit! This image does better on the actual colour. To my dismay the vintage quality of the pattern showed when I tried to get hardware. Bib and brace overalls are just not an item made at home much anymore–with corresponding limited choices in hardware and none in the size required. I was none too sure of my capacity to revise fit but we did seem to get by!

And there the story ends. Apparently I finished these overalls and handed them over without taking another picture. My friend had not been able to buy any that fit. Now they have overalls that fit, that they wear a lot… so much so that they asked for a second pair. We are swapping gardening for sewing. I love it!


Filed under Sewing

16 responses to “Overalls

  1. Perhaps there are vintage supplies to be had?
    In the past I acquired old notions, either from dedicated vintage sellers or “job lots” from people who wanted to get rid of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful job and I like the colour of fabric in the final photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Audrey

    We called those garments Dungarees!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marg

    Tandy leather supplies have a big range of fittings – all sorts of bits and pieces of metal fastenings in many sizes. Maybe look there…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Evelyn

    Bag hardware could be another option for sourcing sliding adjusters, d- rings, buckles and such. Love the overalls by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yesterday I went to a leatherworking supplier and they had everything I was looking for, plus saddlery supplies and bag supplies. And very cheaply too. I am so grateful to the folks who take time to comment here!


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