Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Lani Overalls

In the beginning of the week I showed you how to make the shirred appliqué on these cute overalls and today I will show you how to make the overalls. What I love about these overalls, and all you toddler mothers will probably agree, is that there are snaps at the bottom so you do not have to take them off to change a diaper. 

The pattern I have prepared for you is approximately size 2-3T. You can download it here. Seam allowance is included (half an inch unless otherwise stated). When you print make sure your printer settings are not set to "shrink to fit page" - print it as is. If you need it smaller or bigger I suggest taking a shorts pattern that fits and adjusting the top part from my pattern (making it larger or smaller).

What you will need:
·         Main lightweight cotton fabric, about 3/4 of a yard
·         Contrasting fabric for the lining and cuffs
·         10 inches of narrow elastic (approx. 1/4 inch wide)
·         Shirred appliqué strip (tutorial here)
·         Piece of the same knit fabric you used for your appliqué, approximately 2 inches by 18 inches and cord the same length (you could also use already made piping).

Cut your front and back bodice from your main and lining material
Cut each facing piece twice (on the fold) from your main material
Cut each shorts piece twice from your main material (you need to cut them out by folding your material in half, so you have a right and a left leg)
Cut four cuff strips from your lining material (9 inches/2.5 inches)
Here are all the pieces:

The shorts
We are going to start with the shorts part. Take your small strips of fabric you prepared for the cuffs and fold them on the long side. Press.

Sew the folded strip to the wrong side of each shorts piece, lining up the raw edges (use a 1/4 inch seam allowance). I serged the raw edges, or you could just zigzag them if you do not have a serger.

Fold the cuff up towards the right side of the shorts leg and press.

Sew together the two front shorts pieces and the two back shorts pieces at the crotch. Finish the seams with a serger or zigzag stich.

Now make the facing for the snaps. I learned how from Amanda at Double Stiching. You can find her tutorial here

Fold each short side of the facing in about 1/4 of an inch and press.
Pin the facing pieces right sides together and sew them along the longer side with a 1/8 inch seam allowance. Clip at the curve and flip them right side out and press. 

Now line them up with the inseams, matching up the raw edges. Make sure your cuffs are folded upwards (see picture). Now sew the facing to the inseam. Fold the facing down and topstitch across the inseam.

Sew the side seams of the shorts and finish with your serger or a zigzag stich.
You should now have a piece that looks like this:

Now comes a bit of a tricky part, I hope I can explain it correctly...
Take your narrow elastic and cut it in half. Sew the middle of the elastic piece to the inside side seam of the shorts, about half an inch from the top. 

Measure out 1.5 inches of elastic and sew that point 2.5 inches from the side seam, towards the front of the shorts, also half an inch from the top. Do the same for the other side. Then measure out 2 inches of elastic on the other side of the side seam and sew that point 3 inches from the side seam, towards the back of the shorts, also half an inch from the top (note, if you have a very thin child you might want to stretch the elastic even more). Trim the elastic to the point where you sewed it to the shorts.

I hope all that made sense!

Now fold the edge of the shorts over 3/4 of an inch all around and baste down. When you get to the part with the elastic, stretch the elastic as you are sewing, so you sew smoothly (and not over the gathers).

Yay, you finished the shorts part!

Now for the top
Make your piping. Take your strip of the knit fabric and fold it in half. Press. Place your cord into the fold of the strip of fabric. Stitch as close to the cord as possible using a zipper foot.

Now take the Shirred Appliqué piece you made and pin the piping to the top of the shape you appliquéd. Stitch across the shirred appliqué, as close to the cord as possible using a zipper foot.

Measure the short side of your Shirred Appliqué, from the piping to the bottom. Now mark that amount on your front bodice (the main material), measuring up from the bottom of the bodice. Pin your shirred appliqué (with the piping attached) right sides together to the front bodice. Pin the shirred appliqué upside down, so that the piping is on the bottom (where you marked earlier). Sew across one more time, as close to the cord as possible using a zipper foot.

Now flip down the shirred appliqué strip and press. You will see that your shirred strip is longer than the bodice. You can cut it back later, better to be safe than sorry (my first one was a bit too small).

Take the lining front bodice piece and pin it to the main fabric piece, right sides together. Make sure that your shirred appliqué strip is sandwiched in between. Sew around the entire bodice, using half an inch seam allowance. Don't stitch together the bottom of the bodice. Clip the corners, turn the bodice right sides out and press.

Pin together the back bodice pieces right sides together and stitch around, using half an inch seam allowance. Don't stitch together the bottom of the bodice. Clip the corners, turn the bodice right sides out and press.

You now have two pieces that look like this:

Finish the bottom of the bodices with a serger or a zigzag stich, or just leave them raw.

Ok, you are almost done!

Put together the overalls
Pin your shorts to the front bodice, covering about half an inch of the bodice. Stitch across the bodice, 1/8 inch from the top of the shorts.

Pin your shorts to the back bodice, covering about half an inch of the bodice. Stitch across the bodice, 1/8 inch from the top of the shorts (you will be sewing over the gathers made by the elastic. Don't stretch the elastic when you sew over the gathers or your bodice will gather).

Put three snaps on the facing of the shorts. I used a snap plier, but you could do sew on snaps too (they just might not be as strong).
Make your button holes at the top of the back bodice, and sew on your buttons at the top of your front bodice and you are done!

Wow, I know that was long and it seems complicated, but it really isn't, i whipped up this second pair in no time! My "boy model" is not old enough for these yet, so you will have to bare with Littleheart modeling the girl version. You can see my nephew wearing the baby version of these here. Maybe I will make up a pattern for those too soon...

But for is Littleheart at her best!

Note about the shirred appliqué: In this project I did not need the front bodice to be stretchy, so I sewed the shirred appliqué onto the bodice piece. This took away its stretch, and left it as pure decoration. If you want it to be stretchy, you need to keep it on its own.

I will be linking up to some of the link parties on this page . 


  1. these are gorgeous Lani! Thanks for sharing with SewSet! You are featured as one of today's top patterns. Thanks again!
    - Jess

  2. Wow...!! Fabulous idea,thanks for sharing.

  3. I really love the shirring patterns. These are so cute!

  4. Sorry this is late, but better late then never. Thanks so much for sharing with last weeks with Wednesday's Adorned From Above. The link party is open now for this week.
    Debi Bolocofsky

  5. Love these! I am featuring on my blog today!