Helen's Closet Overalls
Hi everyone, I’m Tamlyn (known on Instagram and YouTube as ‘Sewn on the Tyne’) and I’m happy to be here on the Loubodu Fabrics blog today to share my make with you.
I’ve been a Loubodu customer for a long time and have always loved their gorgeous range of knit fabrics, but in recent months they have extended their fabric offering to include lots of varieties of wovens too. It took me a little while to choose the fabric for this blog post, but when I saw the gorgeous colours of that were available, my mind was set on a pair of ochre dungarees. I requested 2.5 metres and planned to use the pattern, as I had recently made these in denim and could just imagine myself in a cord pair.
However, not long after receiving my fabric in the post, I found out I was pregnant. Obviously this was extremely happy news, but I knew I would need a rethink on my pattern choice. The Jenny overalls have a tight fitting waistband which would not be suitable for a growing baby bump. I got my thinking cap on and opted for the – a more loose-fitting, forgiving style of dungaree.
The Yanta Overalls are described as laid-back, artist-style overalls with a comfortable fit through the waist, hips, and legs – perfect for me! They have classic features like a v-shaped back and a pointed chest pocket as well as front and back patch pockets. They are designed to fasten with button closures at the straps, however this is a feature that I changed – more on this later.
After pre-washing and drying the fabric, I was ready to cut out. This is where I encountered a little problem – I realised that I had cut straight into the pattern pieces at my pre-pregnancy size. Perhaps this is why it’s more sensible to trace off your patterns! With no time left to order another copy of the PDF, I decided to trace out the front and back pattern pieces but with an added centimetre around the necessary areas (legs/hips/waist). I hoped that this would work and decided that I would adjust the fit during the making process where needed. Another adjustment I made to the pattern pieces was to lengthen the straps. I love the style of and wanted to replicate the tie strap feature of these. To do this, I simply extended the strap pattern piece by 10 inches. I also wanted to line all of the pockets, so cut out these pieces in the main fabric as well as a lovely decorative cotton that my husband had brought back from Japan for me.
Just a word of advice if you haven’t sewn with corduroy before: You must cut all of your pattern pieces out in the same direction, as the fabric has a . As you run your hand down the fabric, it will be smooth in one direction but rough in the other. The colour of the fabric will also appear different if you were to ignore the nap and cut your pieces out in different directions. I prefer the fabric to be smooth as I run my hands down the garment, so I made sure to cut my pieces out accordingly.
Before sewing, I tested the fabric on both my sewing machine and overlocker to check which needles and stitch settings worked best. I would definitely recommend taking a few minutes to do this before starting on your actual garment. On my sewing machine I used a Universal needle, grade 90, with Gutterman all-purpose thread. For my overlocker I used four different shades of orange/brown thread and didn’t have to change any of the settings from the standard set up. I intended to use the overlocker to finish seams throughout the garment.
As I was making a few changes to the garment, I missed out many of the construction steps. The first thing I actually did was to line the pockets. To do this, I sewed each pocket piece with its lining piece, right sides together. For the seam allowance, I used the turning under measurements from the instructions (ensuring the pockets would be the same size as intended). I left a small gap on one side of each pocket, trimmed the seam allowances and snipped across the corners before turning them out. I used a point turner to ensure the corners of the pockets were sharp and then pressed the pockets carefully with an iron. I rolled the lining fabric under slightly as I pressed to ensure this wouldn’t be seen around the edges of the pockets. I didn’t sew up the gaps that I’d left earlier, as I realised this would be secured when I attached the pockets to the overalls anyway.
Lining the pockets isn’t really necessary as nobody can see them, but I like to do it and it feels nicer when putting your hands inside rather than just feeling the wrong side of the main fabric.
The only fitting alteration I made as I was sewing was to take an additional inch out at each of the back darts, which I realised was necessary after trying on the overalls to check the fit part-way through construction.
The construction process of the overalls is really well explained and they came together pretty quickly. Helen’s Closet instructions are really fantastic - I would definitely recommend them if you haven’t sewn a pattern of hers before. They also come in a wide size range and are perfect for sewists of all levels.
I am so happy with my finished garment and feel so comfortable wearing them. They are perfect for my growing baby bump and I’ve hopefully included enough room so that I’ll get a few more weeks wear out of them yet! The fabric was fantastic to work with and I love the rich ochre colour. Unfortunately, this shade is currently out of stock, but keep an eye out on the website as it may come back in.
Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope I’ve inspired you with my make. Also check out Laura’s blog post from last week, as she made not one but two garments from the petrol blue colourway of this fabric.
Love Tamlyn xx