Overalls are a classic piece of clothing for children. Whether long or short, overalls are functional and often durable, making them a practical choice for busy, active kids. Many companies sell overalls in child sizes, but you can also make your own. The structure and accessories involved in the construction of overalls can make them more challenging than other garments, but if you follow the steps below you can create your own.
Take measurements of the child who will be wearing the overalls at the hip and inseam, as well as the child's height. Compare these measurements to the back of the pattern and determine the size you should use. Cut out your pattern pieces accordingly.
Lay out the fabric on a table with the right sides together. Pin the pattern's pieces on the fabric according to the instructions. Cut out each piece and remove the pattern pieces from the fabric.
Lay out the lining fabric on a table with right sides together. Pin lining pieces in place and cut them out.
Sew the front and back of the overalls together (right sides facing) along the outer seam and inseam. Check your pattern for marks indicating where to stop sewing on the outer seam for the side button area and the pockets, if available.
Turn the overalls right-side out. Roll the hem of the trouser legs twice and sew along it.
Sew the pockets together around the outside, curved edge, not the flat edge. Sew the pockets into the side of the overalls by sewing the flat edges to the opening in the legs. Not all children's overalls patterns have pockets.
Pin the straps to the back of the overalls as indicated on the pattern with right sides facing. Sew the pieces together. Unfold them so they lay flat.
Roll the edges of the entire upper portion of the overalls twice, including the bib, straps, and areas of the legs not yet sewn. Sew along the double-rolled hem.
Set your sewing machine to the buttonhole setting. Sew four 16 mm (5/8-inch) buttonholes, two on each side, on the front piece of the trouser leg that is still open. Check your pattern for the exact placement of the buttonholes. Cut the centre of the buttonholes with a seam ripper or scissors.
Sew four 16 mm (5/8-inch) buttons onto the back piece of the leg directly opposite the buttonholes. Test the fit of the buttons in the buttonholes.
Slip the strap ends through the top slot on the buckle. Fold the strap in half over the buckle and pin it in place after fitting the overalls to the child who will wear them. Sew the strap in place.
Attach the metal buttons to the overalls where the buckles hit the bib. Attach the buttons by poking a hole through the bib with the tack piece, and then pressing the button piece and tack together by hand. Hook the buckles to the buttons to complete the overalls.
If your buttonholes are too large, sew a zigzag stitch across one end to shorten them. If your buttonholes are too small, add stitching to the buttonhole at one end and cut the centre bigger.
Be careful when cutting the centre of the buttonholes to avoid cutting the stitching.
Tips and warnings
- If your buttonholes are too large, sew a zigzag stitch across one end to shorten them.
- If your buttonholes are too small, add stitching to the buttonhole at one end and cut the centre bigger.
Things you need
- 1.5 to 2.5 metres heavyweight fabric like denim or twill
- 35 cm lightweight cotton fabric for lining
- Four 16 mm (5/8-inch) buttons
- Two 1 cm (3/8-inch) buckle set
- Pattern for children's overalls
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape