Sunday, February 21, 2016

O-oh New England

Last fall, I discovered this wide metallic elastic at JoAnn's that is not only shiny and fun, but is also quite soft (for elastic) on the back. I told Althea I was thinking of using it to make her a skirt or a dress and she declared "overalls!"
That sounded like a brilliant idea. 

So I used the silver elastic and constructed a pair of pink and white striped overalls with a navy floral print (both fabrics were part of an amazing fabric gift I've written about previously) used to line the bib and to create a bib pocket along with some side pockets. 
    The elastic forms straps that go over the shoulder, cross in back and attach to the back of the pants. So there is no need to include any type of buckle or closure, and she can put them on and take them off pretty easily.
    I encased a strip of plain elastic in a facing along the top of the back of the pants to create an easy going paper bag waist look back there. The elastic straps are also sandwiched into that facing.
    The front has a ~1 1/2" waist band necessitated by the side pockets that creates a flat front.
   They look pretty nice inside out as well: I used flat felled seams at the crotch, as well as for attaching the waistband to the front of the pants and bib to the waist; & French seams along the side of the legs.

I did have to construct the front half of the pants twice; after attaching the pocket bag and waist band the first time, I realized my measurements were no good. And after neatly enclosing the front of the elastic straps between the bib and bib lining, I realized the bib was too high and had to be folded over a couple inches and sewn down to avoid choking her. I also realized at that point that CallAjaire had just put out the paneled sunsuit, and using that pattern as a base may have saved me some aggravation.
   But once I finished them, they were adorable! She could even pull them off with no shirt underneath for a country bumpkin outfit on a hot day (the legs are wide and the fabric is very thin, so the pants work well in warm weather).

    Or she could wear a shirt underneath and sweater over and head off to school.

Or to the playground…

Then, before I knew it, she grew a few more inches, & these pants that I made at the start of school were too short by Christmas break. 
So I figured she needed a winter pair, & the others can be capris this spring. When I read the PR&P themes, & saw "metallic" among them, I went right to work. 
This time around I used the gold elastic instead of the silver. And, inspired by the theme, I decided to trim the bib pocket with gold lamé. I also used a gold thread for all the top stitching that I don't think shows up in these photos. 
For the main fabric I used my husbands old jeans (he beats them up good, so I needed two pairs to have enough fabric) and the pocket and lining is an old pair of pajama pants of mine that were covered in cats. 

You can see below that they are a little two-toned (darker in the back) due to the two different pairs of jeans. But, sometimes I feel it's more worth it to use what I have than to match perfectly. 

     They are fully lined this time, not just the bib, so that they will be nice and soft on the inside and extra warm. 
     The second time around was so much easier though, because I saved all my adjusted pattern pieces. The only thing I did different was add several inches of length.

    She put a kitty in the kitty pocket right away.

    These overalls remind me of being in college. I went to school in Burlington, VT. A style that I call "Vermont formal" remains my favorite to this day. I love the way that people in VT, along with other areas of New England and other mountain towns around the country, dress for function first, but don't hesitate to layer style over it.
    It is completely normal to see folks out for a nice dinner or at a concert in the midst of winter in clunky snow boots and wool tights paired with a nice skirt, warm sweater and a beanie. Instead of fancy hair, you find fancy earrings. This level of comfortable dressed down fancy/ dressed up outerwear (however you want to look at it) suits me to a tee.
    I definitely spent a good amount of time walking my college campus in lined carhart overalls, with said cat pajama pants on underneath, paired with gigantic hoop earrings and a sequin-trimmed long john shirt.
    This mash up of comfort and fancy fun is absolutely perfect when constructing kids clothes.
    I love how those are the two qualities that appeal most to them (instead of being on trend / fitting in, etc.)
I'm hoping that my kids will value comfort and originality in their clothes for a long time to come. 

      Thanks for stopping by!

* This was my first time posting from my phone- I will update this post with appropriate links and enlarged photos next week!  Thanks for your patience waiting for me to add all appropriate links and larger photos!


  1. First off, I love those overalls - both pairs. The elastic as straps is so great. Just like you said about dressing up something functional by adding some glitz. Very cool idea.

    1. Thanks Abgela! I don't think I would have come up with it without her initial suggestion to make overalls and they are one of my favorite projects lately.

    2. Doh, I mean Angela! Sorry about that.

  2. Very cool glittery elastic! I'm going to have to get some of that. I think the pocket is my favorite part of your sew this week!

    1. Thanks Audrey! Yes, you definitely need some of that elastic, it is very fun stuff!

  3. Super cute overalls! I really like the repurposed denim. I bet it's really soft. And I love the glittery elastic, I've used it as waistbands before.

    1. Thank you Laura! They are pretty soft and comfy- she loves them! Re-using materials always makes me happy.

  4. I am loving your use of those glittery straps! Nice job!

    1. Thank you Michelle! You were the one who drew my attention to the paneled sunsuit as a pattern that may have helped me out; I saw your post as I was in the middle of making the first pair. She hates having things be tight on her waste so this is the perfect style for us right now.

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