Thursday, June 18, 2015

~DIY: Denim Overall Dress (Long post)~

Oh, hello there!~
This DIY has seriously been on my mind since, maybe, middle school or so! I could never find the perfect pair of overalls that I thought fit me nicely. But today I will have my overalls! YESSS! Even though it was a bit of a long and annoying process! Hahaha~

So denim and overalls are really in style right now, I was surprised when I went shopping and saw so many of them! Although I wasn't surprised to find that they didn't look good on me T__T lol. Oh well~

Both images from Tumblr

You know what? This tutorial is good for any kind of overall dress you'd like too! Not just denim! I see  lots of pinafores and dungarees in my future <3__<3

Denim fabric: I recommend using a lightweight denim (you'll see why at the end of this tutorial) as it will be easier to handle and will have a nicer finish!
Scissors: I have separate ones that I use only for fabric~
Pencil for tracing onto your fabric
Pins- lots and LOTS of pins, seriously it will make your life a heckuva lot easier!
Sewing machine: You could try to do this whole project freehand but personally I only freehanded the smaller parts like the straps because free handing the whole things would take even longer!
Needle and thread in complementing/matching/contrasting colors to your fabric, whatever ya like!
Ruler & measuring tape
Patience<-- Lot's of this

Total time for this project: About half a day with breaks and snacks and in between blogging hahaha~ If you powered through the whole project I bet it would only take a few hours for an experienced sewer though!

Difficulty: Intermediate- I'd say you should know some things about seam allowance and a bit of maths for measurements. But other than that you just need to know how to pin, hem, and sew a straight stitch basically! ALSO: it's always good to know all the settings on your sewing machine :3

First off: Take some measurements!
Grab your sewing tape and measure your waist area where you want your skirt to be. Some might want their skirt to be up higher like a high waisted overall dress, some lower like a drop waist skirt overall dress! Here's where I measured mine:

I did mine in centimeters because I find it's just easier to use haha. So my waist ended up being about 100 cm (give or take a few centimeters). Take that number and divide it by 2*3.1415=6.28. Mine was 100/6.28=15.9 and I rounded it up to 16. So 16 cm is the radius of the inside of my circle skirt! Get it? If not click here for a perfect tutorial by the lovely

Ok so you have this first measurement for the inside of the skirt part of the dress. Now you need to figure out how long you want your skirt to be. If you have a skirt with a length you like measure that skirt and then make an outer circle in that length!

Now take your fabric and fold it up into a nice even square. My fabric was about 1.5 yards by 1.5 yards and I folded it (wrong side out) four times into a smaller square. Just to clarify, you take the one giant square, fold it in half so you have a long rectangle, then fold in half again so you have a square which is about 1/4 the size of your original square! BAM!

My square after being folded with wrong sides (insides) out. See bottom left corner? That's the closed side!

On the closed corner of this square is where you'll draw your inner circle. Then once you have that one drawn take the length you wanted your skirt to be and measure from your inner circle to the outside and draw another circle! Don't forget to add a few centimeters of seam allowance!

Make sure all your layers of fabric are lined up before you cut! And remember measure twice cut once :3

Aaand now you have a large fabric donut! Yayyy! I recommend trying it on now to see if you got the waist measurements right~ If it's too small thats better than if its too big because then you can refold it and cut away. A too long skirt is also better than one that's too short because longer ones can be fixed. Don't forget though, you will be hemming the bottom so leave a little extra length to fold it over at least twice and still get the right length!

What I did next was I pinned the bottom for hemming, set it aside to sew later, and then started on the top part of the overall dress! Some people just like a square-ish look but I wanted mine to look a little less boxy. So I used the pattern from another overall dress I have for the top part.

More measurements time! I took my same waist measurement and this time I divided it by two: 50 cm. Then I measured out a 50 cm piece of fabric, plus a few centimeters seam allowance and cutting area (so about 55 cm or so) and folded THAT piece in half. So now you're working with fabric that's your waist measurement divided by FOUR. Still with me? Then I took my overalls and laid down half of it on my fabric and traced around it, all on the WRONG side of the fabric! Now when you cut your fabric it will be symmetrical! Woo hoo!

I repeated the same thing for the back piece, ignoring the straps for now. So when you go to put your two pieces of front and back fabric together, they should add up to your waist measurement! 50 cm front, 50 cm back, 100 cm waist :D (Plus seam allowance!!)

The back and front piece together!

If you want to do these parts but you don't have an overall template you will have to make a few more measurements. Take your bust measurement and divide it by four. This is the measurement for the width of the top piece on the diagram below. Then measure where you want the top of your overall dress to be to the waist, this will be your desired length. Make sure your waist piece is the correct length and make about 7 cm waist band. Then draw a curve from the top to that waist band like in the diagram.

Measuring desired length of top front piece.

Make sure you add seam allowances! Note: The left side of this diagram where it says "Desired length of top piece" is where your fold should be! This is the closed end.

For the back you'll use the same desired length measurement and will make a longer waistband than in the front as well as a skinnier middle piece. Make sure the top part of your back piece where your straps will be attached later is wide enough to be hemmed and still attach two strap pieces!

Speaking of straps, I also just measured the straps on my overalls and cut out pieces that same length and twice the width of those straps. To do these measurements from scratch you might want a friend to help you. Position the front and back pieces on your body where you want them to be and then measure from the tops of each piece over your shoulder. Easy peasy! You really don't need to be fussy about the straps, just make sure they're too long rather than too short so they can be altered later!

Now all you have to do is SEW SEW SEW! Lots and lots of sewing! I started with hemming the circle skirt because I used up all my pins for that task. Then I went on to hem the raw edges of the front piece which included the top area and the arm areas, I didn't hem the bottom because that would be on the inside once I sew the pieces to the skirt. Then I pinned the arm and top of the waist band area on the back piece and hemmed those. The top of the back and the bottom and sides of the back I left raw because I would be sewing straps, the front piece, and the skirt to those sides. Then I did the straps last by just folding the long raw edges in twice and straight stitching down em!

I actually ended up not adding any of those red pieces :c

ASSEMBLY TIME!! This is the most stressful and fulfilling part I'd say because you get to see the final product come together! But beware! This is also the part where things can go wrong!
I started off my sewing the front and back pieces together. I laid them right (outside) faces together and sewed the raw edged waistbands on each side.
Next I sewed the top of the dress to the skirt! Carefully pin the top to the skirt with the top flipped inside out and the raw bottom pinned to the raw top of the skirt. I should've taken a picture of that. Oops! Then I did the straps last. Those are easiest, you probably don't even need an explanation for that part. But anyways I pinned the straps to the back piece, put the dress on and pinned the front pieces, took the dress off, and sewed those places too!

Finished product:

Personally I'm fine with wonky insides with some raw edges still in there. But if you aren't feel free to sew up all those extra raw edges! This is also why I recommend getting a thinner cotton denim or polyester blend, just an overall thinner fabric type because then the hems won't be as bulky and you won't get such a poofy dress! I LOVE poofy skirts, and this one is pretty darn poofy so I guess I can't complain! Hahaha ^>^ 

Now I want to make a whole bunch in all types of fabric!!! *__* kekeke

With a lil saturn pin I made :3
Thanks so much for reading you guys!! I hope you found this tutorial helpful or inspiring or something! It was hard work to make but worth it in the end :D If you have any questions please ask!! I'll answer as soon as I can and the best I can!

Hope you all have a super duper week!! 
xoxo Abby


  1. This tutorial is exactly what I was looking for thanks so much for sharing! And the pics are super helpful!

    1. Hi Holli! YAYY! So glad people are still finding my tutorials useful! Hahaha xD Lemme know if you have any questions or concerns about what I did! :^D I'll do my best to help! And if you're able to I'd love to see your results!! C: Happy sewing!!

  2. When I made mine I had to makeshift a bow closure (out of zippers). Because it didn't fit over my bust and hips when putting it on.