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New shortalls project

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A few months ago I found some workmen's overalls online - bib & brace dungarees - in bright red, so I bought a pair.  Today I've started working on them to turn them into something a bit more suitable for a 2-year-old.  So far I've cut the legs down, then pinned what's left of the legs up into the right length for shorts, with big turn-ups.  And I've put an order in for some sewing supplies.  What I've got planned is:

  1. Replacing the shoulder strap clips with big yellow buttons - I've ordered a couple of 3-inch buttons.
  2. Replacing the metal hip buttons with yellow buttons - I've ordered 1 1/2-inch buttons.
  3. Unpicking the crotch stitching and replacing it with 1 1/2-inch yellow buttons - 4 should be enough.
  4. Sewing up the fly.  I've got no use for that.
  5. Adding an elastic waist band.
  6. Adding one or more Moomintroll applique badges.  I'll start with one on the pocket, but I've added a couple more to my online order just in case.

It'll be a while before I can get this finished, and I'll probably have to call on Mummy to help, as I can't use a sewing machine, and I've never made a buttonhole in my life.  I'm looking forward to wearing them!  They already look pretty good, just with the legs cut down & pinned up.  At some point I may even get my act together & post a photo.

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Sounds great. Should be fun, and rewarding, knowing you made it for yourself. Also, it’s been designed how you like it to be. I hope you can get it all together soon, and it would be nice to see the finished effort. 

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14 hours ago, puffy_bottom said:

i have a great pair of shortalls and the waist or straps are too short. what should i do for that?

If you haven't got sewing skills, or anyone who has, then not much.  Someone who can sew could replace the straps with longer ones.  Either find some fabric that's a close match, or go for something contrasting.  Not sure what you're saying about the waist,  If the waist's too tight then you'll have to choose between buying new ones or losing some weight!  You can't fix that by sewing, not realistically.


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I can sew and we have a machine. As for I suppose what I mislabeled as "waist" - I've thought about keeping the straps the same length and adding an extra panel (extending the existing straps' reach) where they attach in the back. Might be easier than finding and sewing together the two lengths of strap.

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27 minutes ago, puffy_bottom said:

I can sew and we have a machine. As for I suppose what I mislabeled as "waist" - I've thought about keeping the straps the same length and adding an extra panel (extending the existing straps' reach) where they attach in the back. Might be easier than finding and sewing together the two lengths of strap.

Sounds like it would work, as long as the top of the new panel wasn't so high it looked wrong, or meant the straps wouldn't  lie right across your shoulders.  I agree that sewing two lengths of strap together probably wouldn't look right.  I've got spare material of course, as I've cut the long legs off mine.  I'm going to use a bit of this to add a panel in the crotch, which will give a bit more room there, and make it easier to add the buttons.  I'd quite like the shoulder straps to be wider, but I probably won't do that is it would be a load more work for only a little benefit (in my head).

My sewing supplies have arrived, and the big yellow buttons look great.  They're just huge, and should work to scale really well.  Just looking at them when I opened the package made me feel a toddler again.


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36 minutes ago, puffy_bottom said:

those look great!

That's what I thought when I saw them online.  Now I've got them I still think they'll be just right.  I'm not sure about the Moomin patches though.  They good, but I'm not sure they're big enough.  I might have to look elsewhere for something else.

I'm getting an hour or two to work on them most weekday mornings.  Mostly just sewing hems so far.  I've taken off a ruler pocket that went below where I've cut the legs off.  I've sewn up the flies.  Today I started sewing on the extra section for the crotch.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My dungarees are coming along really well now.  They look much more like a toddler would wear.  I think it's adding elastic to the waist that's really made a big difference to the look of them, although I've also narrowed the bib down a bit, which also helped.  I've ironed on the Moomintroll badge as well.  I've sewn on four buttons for the hips.

Still to do:  four buttons for the crotch, and the two big ones for the bib, then the bit I really don't know how to do: making 10 buttonholes.   i may have to get to grips with buttonhole stitch, but so far I don't really understand the self-help stuff I've found online.  I'll get there though.  And I need some invisible thread to stitch round the badge, as I don't really trust iron-on.

Not far from finished now, and I'll post some photos when they're done!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...
7 hours ago, Lil Leo said:

I know "way late" but very nice job!


Thanks - I've worn them to a number of littles' events now, and they always get some kind comments.  I'm still really pleased with them.  They go well with the Lego trainers I found on Amazon a while back (that's sneakers if you're from the US)

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  • 5 months later...

Do the crotch buttons have issues with walking about ?

With multiple (oversize) diapers the crotch maybe spread far enough apart to avoid contact.

The shoulder straps and hip/waist would not have this problem of buttons clashing together.

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  • 2 months later...

Very cool job! On them Shortalls.

I am a avid fan of bib cover alls more recently.

I have had two pairs of bib cover alls for about the last 18 years, that I enjoyed wearing in the fall and winter Then about 5 years ago I bought a pair of used short alls to try, totally fell in love with them.  Now I own roughly 8 pairs of shortalls and 5 pairs of bib cover alls. I wear them almost exclusively all year around. I will wear shorts in the hottest of weather.

It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized I sorta had a "little" wardrobe vibe going on when I saw one of our churches kids in bib shortalls that was almost the same shade of green as a pair that I had worn just the day before.

I'm not actively trying to dress little but I found it funny that I sorta am subconsciously. Little at heart?

I have no plans to modify any of my shortalls with buttons or snaps, I am happy with the way they are.

I do have a pair of white ones that I am planning on tie dyeing I'll try to post a picture when they are completed.

Tip if you try shortalls I find I like them extra roomy. So buy them at least 1 to two sizes larger than your usual size.



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