Overalls have a love hate relationship with me. Everyone seems to love them in Summer but I’ve always been a bit meh. I wore a pinafore (the dress version) for many years as a child and loved it to death but I just couldn’t make the leap as an adult because I have a fear of looking like some kind of cliche farm girl -_- BUT I am trying to branch out and try new things and as Liz Lisa has come out with a few cute sweet looking versions and I had denim left over from repairing James’ brother’s jeans last year I figured what the hell, nothing to lose!
This is what I ended up with ^_^
So here are the detailed instructions of what I did ^_^
What you need:
So first step is to cut out the pieces. Pretty much all pants are made from 4 x 1 basic shape of fabric (not including waistband) Once you get the hang of how the 4 pieces fit together you can make almost any kind pants you want. The easiest way to make pants is to copy the shape of old pants you already know fit you!
Fold your base pair of shorts in half down the center like this:
That is the shape! You need to cut out 4 of them, two facing one way and 2 facing the other. I find the easiest way to do that is to fold up the denim in half, then half again and cut. Make sure to leave a good couple of inches extra around all the sides, you can always cut them later if you leave too much but it’s a massive pain to have to start from scratch if they are too small! Also make sure you take in to account whether the fabric of your original pair of shorts had any stretch to it, if your old pair of pants was stretchy and your new fabric is not then you will need to be very carful to cut out enough!!
This is roughly what you should end up with:
Now cut two pieces to be used as a waist band, again make sure you cut these long enough that you can get them over your hips easily and include an extra inch for seam allowance.
Now let’s make some shorts!
Get two of the pieces and put them together with the nice side of the fabric inside like this:
The side that sits on the outside of the hips is on the left in the above photo. Using your overlocker/serger go down that side.
Repeat on the other two pieces.
Now overlock the diagonal parts of each fabric pair together. You can see below in white all of the areas which you should have done at this point:
Now let’s put the two pant legs together. Starting with one, fold the top layer open like this:
Fold the other in the same way and placing it on top so it makes a kind of pants sandwich XD Pin down the seam like this:
Flip the top pants leg over so you have access to the other side.
…and pin the other two loose edges together.
Now when you flatten it out at the waist again you should have something that actually looks remotely like shorts!
Again using your overlocker stitch right up that seam from one side of the pants to the other. You have officially just made a basic pair of shorts 😀 Try them on and make sure they fit and you can get them on and off easily. They should be reasonably loose around the waist (we’ll be keeping them up with elastic later).
Now this is completely optional but I decided to change the fit of the shorts and make them a little looser for easier lounging around so I added some inserts on the side:
Right! Now turn them right side out and overlock around the leg holes to prevent fraying.
Now let’s make the top section! Cut out a rectangle that is around as wide as the pants are when laid flat and as tall as you want the front section to be. Also get the waist band pieces you cut out ready, we’re going to sew them together like this:
So using your overlocker again stitch together like this:
Fold it in half to find the middle and match that with the seam down the front of the pants. With the good sides facing each other pin it in place.
Keep pinning all the way around:
On the back measure how much waist band you need and trim/overlock the seam together so it forms a continuous loop and pin it at the back too!
Now overlock all the way around the top where you just pinned!
When you fold it all up it should look something like this:
Overlock any raw seams left. Now let’s put in some darts to make the whole thing a bit form fitting!
Turn the whole thing inside out and put it on. Fold a seam along the top and side edges and pin them in place. Now pin two darts from the fullest part of the bust down to the waist. Here’s a picture of me wearing it as I pinned it in place roughly:
The darts will make it fit around your bust and waist much more nicely.
Take it off again and clean up the pins so they are all straight and completely symmetrical.
A good dart should look something like this, see how it’s a big curve?
Using your sewing machine stitch all the seams around the edges in place.
Should look something like this:
Now fold along each dart line and stitch along the line of pins:
Make sure you go completely off each edge so you don’t have odd bubbles when it’s right way out. Should look like this:
This is optional but I decided to add in two more side darts so it was more tummy flattering ^_^ So that’s the front part finished, congratulations if you made it this far!
Now it’s time to add some elastic to the back so you’re not showing everyone your underwear when you bend over XD
So measure how much elastic you need to be comfortable and stitch it in place along the waist band part. You will need to stretch the elastic while you stitch so it grabs the right amount of fabric.
Now decoration and cute making! Grab your stretchy lace and measure enough to go from the front part, cross over your shoulders and then sit at the waist at the back. I’m using pre-made stuff but you could use anything. It’s kind of similar to that stuff they use for cheap garter belts but it’s not made of ugly satin XD
Stitch in place at the front like so:
And the back! I also added a strip of it around the waist to cover the seam.
Then I added another round at the leg holes.
The leg areas can also be flipped inside for a more subtle look which I prefer.
Lastly I decorated the front with some pretty buttons…
And that’s it! Start to finish it probably took me an hour to make, and I’ve never made anything like this before so I was making it up as I went along XD I figure pretty much anyone could make them!
So there you go! Pretty massive sewing tutorial, what do you guys think? I made this pair nice and short so they would be awesome for lazing around the house in Summer but I’m thinking that next time I might make one with longer legs and cuffs on the end and maybe wear it out with stockings and a cute blouse for a casual nautical look, we’ll see if I find any cute fabric!