Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Feb 20, 2016

The Vintage 70's Overalls Project



I've owned this vintage Seventies men's overalls pattern -- Butterick 3571 (up top) -- for a few years now.

Somehow I never managed to sew it up, don't ask me why.  But this week I wanted to sew something to accompany a new plaid flannel shirt I recently completed and I thought denim overalls might have just the right sort of Seventies vibe.

They also had, for me, a strong Kristy McNichol-as-Buddy-on-Family vibe, if that means anything to you, so I wasn't entirely surprised when I discovered that Butterick 3570 is the women's version of my pattern, nearly identical right down to the embroidered turnip.   Good God, I'd stumbled into dreaded unisex territory!





I was on the fence for an hour or so, then finally I decided to just go for it.  So far, I'm glad I did: these are fun to make.

In case you were wondering about that embroidered turnip on the bib pocket, the instructions go into great detail on how to create one.



Since I've never embroidered anything in my life, let alone a root vegetable, I explored possible alternatives today in the Garment District.  A few possibilities:







I found the hardware I needed at C&C Button on 38th St.  For the price of these, I could have picked up an old pair of overalls at the thrift store and cut off the hardware, but I do like to support my local notions stores.



Below are a few progress pics.

Here's my denim and the back pattern piece:



These overalls have four matching patch pockets.  Why there are no side pockets in this pattern is anybody's guess, since you always find them on store-bought overalls.





The fronts and backs attached -- looking like overalls sans front bib:



There's still quite a bit to do, but I do intend to have these finished for a mid-week photo shoot.  In the Nineties I actually owned a pair of overalls and wore them a lot, so I'm cautiously optimistic about these.  My denim is a little lightweight for this project, but if I like the way these turn out, I suppose I can make them again in something sturdier.

Have any of you made overalls from scratch?   Did you wear them?

Have a great day, everybody!

PS - Any Kristy McNichol fans out there?  (And let's not forget brother Jimmy, who had his own short-lived McCall's pattern line.)

19 comments:

  1. What a fun project. I know you will make fabulous overalls and you will rock them. I have never made overalls but I do remember wearing them as a little girl and loving them...

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah, i'm a child of the late '60s, so hippie back-to-the-land type overalls are definitely part of my growing-up DNA. i've been nostalgic for a pair lately, but i haven't broken down and thrifted a pair (yet). i can't wait to see what these look like when they are done. and if you get patch, PLEASE get the "have a nice day" one for authenticity's sake!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We wore these to the disco in the late 70's, along with cap-sleeved lycra muscle shirts and Kork-Ease sandals w/Hot Sox.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had this pattern as a kid and I did make them up in some wacky 70s era pseudo-Aztec stripey print. They were revolting and awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now I want a pair. I could mock up a similar print in Spoonflower. 'Revolting and awesome' sweetness indeed.

      You could not reuse the rivets from the thrifted, and that's what costs the most I'll wager.

      Delete
  5. Can totally see why you are sold on these. I so wanted a pink denim pair when I was at school. But please do the turnip!! It's just the best!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really liked Christy McNichol. Her face was full of character, not bland, and she knew how to work a facial expression. I wore coveralls but did not make them. I did have a Vogue pattern for moderate flare pants and loved it, used that pattern over and over.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I vote for the "Have a nice day" patch, for maximum 70-ies vibe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Flannel, denim, and Kristy McNichol...your card is being called into question.

    Penance: take the Scoobie van to Man's Country, and don't forget a hankie or two.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Careful, you don't want to look like one of the Osmonds!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I vote for the multi-colored sun patch. As a child of the 70s, that screams 70s to me.
    I suspect using only patch pockets made it easier for the average sewist to make these. And it was probably easier to write the pattern too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patch pockets are definitely easier for the home sewer. How about using your newly learned pattern drafting skills Peter and redraft the pattern for pockets?

      Delete
  11. I was wearing my favorite overalls and long braids when I met my husband. Those denim ones were made by Lee. But I did sew two pairs of overalls (one in brown velvet) when I was pregnant with my first child. Thereafter, I sewed a few pairs of overalls for my kids in heavy corduroy when they were under 5. It's been a couple of decades since I've worn overalls. Not sure it's such a good idea for me now. Although I might give it a go when I can rock a Grandpa Walton vibe another couple of decades from now. I loved Kristy McNichol. I think we are the same age, and I wanted her parents on that show. So calm and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Read this post with interest..as I'll go for overalls for my daughter next spring, she's in love with this garment ! For the moment I've choosen the Pauline Alice indie pattern "Turia", but I know you are more fond of vintage ones !! See U.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fun! I'm excited to see these since I love the 70s, and if you chose a patch.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh I loved that programme, although my first thought was of Lil Abner! In the 80s I wore overalls a lot but they were hideous baggy things pleated onto a yoke above the bust with straps that usually tied through a button hole. Like a great big frickin toddler. But they were very fashionable, and actually pretty damned comfortable so I can own that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My overalls were my favorite back in the day. I'd wear them now, if they didn't make me look like Walter Brennan.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hm - having trouble posting my comment, here. One last try - I'll keep this one shorter :-) (1) Overalls - yay!, (2) I'm making some too (McCall's 2244), (3) Can't wait to see how yours turn out - mine are iffy, since I'm new to sewing, but they're coming along. Love all the patches and your blog. Ok, trying again, here...

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails