Railroad Striped Denim : : Jenny Overalls Inspired by Vintage Levi Overalls : : Closet Case Patterns

Hiya every buddy.

It feels as though I’ve been yearning for vintage overalls for evah. I’ve found a few pairs while out thrift shopping…but they didn’t fit well and overalls are not a garment that is easily altered.

Hankering in mind, I squeaked out loud when a photo of this 10oz railroad striped denim showed up in an email from Blackbird Fabrics. Even though I had sworn off sewing denim ever again…my machine does not love sewing heavy fabrics and I’m actually pretty lucky at finding jeans at my local thrift stores…I fell hard for this fabric. But overalls…finding overalls that fit is like finding a unicorn,  so I put aside my fears and hit buy. 

My project started over on Pinterest. I saved as many photos of vintage overalls as I could and spent a lot of time looking at various brands and silhouettes. Next up, choosing the pattern. At first I dismissed the Jenny Overalls pattern….I thought that the fitted high waistline would be too far off of the look I was going for.  I took a close look at the Yanta Overall by Helen’s Closet, but they were looking a little too relaxed for my vision. Gosh, I sound a bit like Goldilocks. I ended up coming back to the Jenny Overalls {you can see my first pair here}. And…I made surprisingly few changes to the original pattern.

A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

Can you spot what’s missing?

Yep….I had a basic Closet Case Patterns Overalls Hardware Kit in my stash, but I still need 4 extra buttons. The minute CCP is open for shipping again, I’ll be ordering those babies. In the interim, I’ve not opened the four buttonholes….and…I’m living dangerously. Seriously, there’s very little gaping so s’all good.

A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

I find one of the biggest factors in making a pattern look similar to a favourite ready-to-wear garment is observation.  Look and then look even closer. Observe how a shape relates to the shapes around it. I made three different size pockets before settling on this size and shape. It’s actually the pocket for the Morgan Jeans {also CCP} but with added height at the top.

Oh…almost forgot the legs! Jenny Overalls have a very wide leg….I narrowed them a lot…2 1/4″ on each side, front leg and back leg. Closet Case Patterns has a post on this hack if you’re interested.A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

Vintage Levi Overalls do not have a separate waistband so I combined the Jenny waistband and the bib pattern piece to be a single piece. I removed 1/2″ from the top of the pants front pattern piece so that the waist sits slightly lower than original. The bib pocket is divided. I really had fun with the top stitching on this make. The pants front pockets are tweaked ever so slightly. They’re a wee bit more curved than the original pattern.

A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

Above is a close up of the back. Jenny Overalls have back waist darts. I ignored them…I did not rotate them out. In doing so, I achieved a looser fit in comparison to the more closely fitting waist of the Jenny Pattern. I love, love, love how the diamond shape turned out. It’s not true to Levi’s…my stripes are vertical; Levi’s are on the diagonal…and I love my version even better.

A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

I did a small misstep when drafting the curved back of the overalls. I allowed for a 5/8″ SA, which wasn’t enough for turning the denim under and sewing two rows of top stitching. I ended up adding a facing and the end result is totally fine. Sure, you wouldn’t typically find a facing like this in a pair of jeans/overalls, but I’m happy with my method. It actually made sewing the back easier and for a very tidy strap insertion. You can see that I opted to line the straps with a lighter weight fabric.

A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

I had the same issue with the front bib…full facing to the rescue. The next time I will make the buttonhole facing and the bib facing as a single piece. Oh yes…I would love to make another pair in a bright blue denim. In this photo you can see both the front pocket facings and how I lined the….hmmmmm….non-waistband? I’m not sure what you would call that.

A Colourful Canvas, Jenny Overalls, Closet Case Patterns, Jenny Overalls Hack, Vancouver Blogger

Okay to wrap up…I’m wearing my fab overalls with a t-shirt made from 100% organic cotton jersey knit also from Blackbird Fabrics. I used my trusty Jeanne t-shirt pattern from Ready To Sew. I will be once again joining Sea Of Teal for #sewyourwardrobebasics. The theme for April is tops. 

That’s all for now. I hope you are in good health and feeling safe.


Wearing ::

Jenny Overalls : : Closet Case Patterns, also seen here

Jeanne T-Shirt : : Ready To Sew, also seen here


  • Reply Sheila (of Ephemera) April 27, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Sue! Look at your hair – I love it! You look fabulous as always.

    I am so impressed with your overalls – they are absolutely amazing!

    I hope you are doing well, hon!

    • Reply Sue April 28, 2020 at 7:47 am

      Hey Sheila!

      Thank you, I am well!

      I’m wondering how long before my overalls start to get a lovely lived in look, LOL.

  • Reply Vix April 28, 2020 at 1:08 am

    I hardly recognised you, Sue! I absolutely love your long hair and those dungarees are absolutely brilliant. Lockdown so suits you. x

    • Reply Sue April 28, 2020 at 7:51 am

      LOL…it is indeed me Vix.

      My overalls are everything with the tiny exception of looking soft and slightly faded. Now, more than ever, I need to be patient.

      Take good care!

  • Reply Christine Taylor April 28, 2020 at 8:34 am

    I love your overalls but my tummy is too “sticky outy”for me to wear them. Dieting is too difficult right now, with Covid isolation, so I will just enjoy looking at yours

    • Reply Sue April 28, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Thank you Christine! And I completely understand….we need comfort right now, big time! Take good care!

  • Reply Sabine Ingerl April 28, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Dear Sue,
    I love your playful outfit. You look so fabulous.

    • Reply Sue April 28, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Hi Sabine!

      So nice to hear from you! I hope you are well!

  • Reply Christine April 28, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Omg I looooove those, I might have just purchased some railroad denim( which I was totAlly tempted to buy anyway… local vendor…!) I’m totally on a Jenny overalls kick right now!

    • Reply Sue April 28, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      YAAASH! Railroad denim has such a distinctive vibe, doesn’t it? Have fun on the Jenny Overalls train, hahaha.

  • Reply Roberta April 29, 2020 at 2:32 am

    Beautiful job! They look great!

    • Reply Sue April 29, 2020 at 8:40 am

      Thank you Roberta!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion April 30, 2020 at 2:16 am

    I love love love it. It suits you so well and I think you did an amazing job Chang Ng all the things in the pattern to suit your taste and body shape. Well done dear Sue. The facings made things indeed very tidy.
    Now, although I love this outfit, how about next time wearing it with a bright pink or red or yellow T-shirt? For a pop of colour? Whichever bright colour suits you. I also love your long hair.

    • Reply No Fear of Fashion May 2, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Chang Ng= changing

      • Reply Sue May 6, 2020 at 7:40 pm


    • Reply Sue May 6, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      Hey Greetje!

      I’m so sorry not to have replied sooner to your comment. I had an issue with my email notifications….they are fixed now, hoorah!

      Thank you for the accolades! And thank you for the suggestion to wear a pop of colour in a t-shirt underneath. I have a bubblegum pink tee that I have been wearing with them quite a bit…but for the post I waffled between white and blue. White is ‘typical’ in my Pinterest saves, but it looked quite boring so I opted for the blue one. I have no idea why I didn’t consider one with a fun colour? Now you having me dreaming of bright pink and a citrus green colour…maybe coral or watermelon too. OH…I adore these tints but sometimes have difficulty finding them.

      xoxo Sue

  • Reply Flo November 30, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Hello Sue! I haven’t read your blog in a while but I was so excited to see this post. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has been wanting a pair of overalls! These turned out fantastic, love them. And FYI–back in the 90’s I had a pair of adult sized OshKosh overalls and I’m pretty sure they were faced like what you did as well.

    • Reply Sue November 30, 2020 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Flo. So very nice to hear from you! I hope you are doing well.

      That is really cool that your memory tells you your OshKosh overalls were faced. I’m actually just making another pair of these in a medium wash denim…and yup, I’m doing facings just as I did for this pair. It really did work out well for me the first time!

      Take good care, Sue

      • Reply Flo December 3, 2020 at 6:52 am

        To me it just makes sense to face them, everything would lay much nicer and be more comfortable overall. Can’t wait to see them!!!

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