Pattern Testing | Decades of Style Ophelia Overalls

I love overalls, so when Janet from Decades of Style asked if I’d be willing test an overall pattern, I jumped at the chance. Plus, pattern testing for independent designers is such an enjoyable process!

Decades of Style is a Bay Area pattern company specializing in bringing home sewists styles from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. The Ophelia Overalls are part of their microline: Decades Everyday. The line’s focus is high quality patterns, but with zippier sewing. And these did sew up pretty fast!

I’ve been wanting to make a striped pant/overall/jumpsuit for a while and thought this pattern would be perfect. Initially I had wanted to use a lighter weight striped denim, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted… and the timing just didn’t work for a trip up to Stonemountain.

So I went to Joann Fabrics hoping to find a deal. I had to venture in to its Utility Fabrics section to find the stripe I’d envisioned, and ended up buying this pillow ticking! Before washing, it was really stiff but now it’s like walking around in a soft and drapey pillow case.

Word to the wise though, if you plan on making a garment with pillow ticking it SHRINKS SO MUCH. The yardage I bought shrunk about 30%. It was insane and necessitated another trip to Joann’s.

Well, after shortening the pant pieces by 4 inches, I was going to make it work on the shrunken yardage, but then I somehow managed to cut out one pocket the wrong direction. Gah!

I made a straight size 8 (View A). View B has a “cleaner” finish and feels a little dressy. The only modification I made was to shorten the pant legs by 4 inches because I’m 5’2″. If I were to make these again I would also shorten the straps a few inches because there’s a lot of extra strap dangling behind the bib.

The pant legs are divided into four pieces so the pocket edges fit neatly into the seams. Each side has a button and snap closure, but I’ve found that at least on me, I never have to undo the snaps or bettons to get in and out. I just have to loosen the side belts and wiggle!

Both views feature side belts that allow you to cinch the waist. I’m toying with the idea of making a version without the belts for a super relaxed fit.

I’ve been wearing these at least once a week since finishing them. If you’re looking for an overall pattern that has 1940’s Land Girls vibes, these are for you!

Decades of Style is offering 20% off your entire purchase with the coupon code: OVER20 for the next two weeks!

WIP Check

When I was first learning to sew, I painstakingly made one thing at a time, from start to finish. . . very, very slowly. My skills and brain just couldn’t handle juggling more than one project. I had a big fear of making mistakes, or ruining my sewing machine (?), or I assumed I didn’t understand the instructions. Little by little, I started to realize that things didn’t need to be cut out perfectly, seam rippers are there for a reason, and that instructions don’t disappear if you start a different project.

It appears that increased confidence sometimes comes with haphazard making. There are FOUR (it’s actually more) WIPs / UFOs that I’ve been bouncing between for months. I kind of miss the extreme focus I used to dedicate to each project when I first started. So I’m doing a WIP Check and declaring a moratorium on starting anything new until these four are finished!

1. Kalle Shirt

I planned this shirt in March of 2018, cut it out in May, actually started sewing it in June, and. . . haven’t touched it since. It needs one side of the button placket, the sides, cuffs, and collar.

2. Tamarack Jacket

I don’t even know when the plan for this happened, but it was a LONG, LONG time ago. I cut it out on September 3rd and finished quilting it on October 14th, 2018. I installed one welt pocket over the weekend and plan to finish this WIP first since it’s still chilly jacket weather!

3. Wiksten Haori

The idea for this Wiksten Haori came when Stonemountain started carrying this Canyon Stripe Linen/Cotton fabric. The lining is finished, just need to cut out and assemble the exterior.

4. Peppermint Shorts Hack

I’m not sure this hack is going to work out, but I’m going to push through because I used really nice fabric. Just need to sew up one leg, the crotch, waistband, and hem.

Are you a one project at a time sewist, or do you juggle?

Persephone Pants | The Hype is Very Real

I’m late to the Persephone Pants party, but I’m glad I came – the hype is very, very real. Anna drew inspiration from 1940’s sailor pants by including a super high waist, waistband inseam pockets, a button fly, and the design element that explodes most people’s heads: no side seams.

For me, one of the most appealing things about the pattern is how similar they are to highly coveted RTW sailor pants. Instead of paying $400, I could make a pair for under $40. Don’t get me wrong – I love supporting small women-run businesses and that $400 price point makes sense, but if the option to make it myself is there, I’ll take it! Also, the instructions are so stellar I’m certain a novice sewist could make them!

Shortly after the pattern was released, I did give it a go, but they just didn’t work out. My waist measurement ranges from 26.5″ to 27.5″ and my hip measurement ranges from 37″ to 38″. Even though that put me somewhere between a size 2-ish to a 6, I settled on cutting out a size 4 (waist 27″, hip 37″). They came together really quickly, but once I put them on, I had a bad case of dumpy butt. They were just too big.

I wasn’t entirely sure what the issue was; Was it fit? Fabric choice? Both? Was it an actual dumpy butt? I suspected the cheap bull denim I bought at Joann Fabrics may have grown, but in an effort to salvage them I tried taking in the back seam and crotch. Those efforts proved unsuccessful and I ended up setting the mutilated pants and pattern aside for a while.

After reading a couple folks had some luck with sizing down, I chopped my pattern pieces down to a size 2 and cut into some 10oz Duck Canvas hoping for the best. And it worked! I didn’t need to make any adjustments after sizing down.

Although I have a lot of love for this pattern, it is making me come to terms with how my body has been changing in my 30s. Things just aren’t as firm as they used to be. The lack of side seams and rear pockets leave your booty and thighs on display. What the hell type of underwear do you wear with these? Or do you just not give a damn?

I have fabric set aside for two more pairs – more 10oz cotton duck, but in black and some Kaufman speckled denim that I’m really excited about. I thought I’d hate the button fly, but I’m warming up to it and will probably keep it on future pairs. It appears I adjusted the position of the left pocket in the wrong direction (step 30), so I’ll be careful not to do that again ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Hot tip: sew a line of stitching in between each buttonhole to connect the button fly and facing together (check out this Tessuti blog post for a visual). It definitely helps keep the fly from peaking open!