The Partner overalls - guest blogger
I am delighted to share some pretty exciting news with you. Sarting from today, I will welcome paid guest bloggers on my journal !
My intention has always been to design patterns for a variety of bodies, with different fabrics, but it’s difficult for me as a one-person company to coordinate and pay more than two models, and sew multiple prototypes for each pattern launch. I know how important it is to see different versions of a pattern for my customers so I've decided to welcome paid guest bloggers for each pattern launch !
Hello! My name is Swetha Mohan (pronounced sway—tha) ;-)
I taught myself to sew during the start of lockdown in early 2020, to keep engaged and sane while being at home with 2 kids all day long. Learning to thread a machine soon led to making pillow covers and quilted placemats which very quickly turned to learning to sew garments. I was lucky to have the time to dedicate to this art. Learning to sew helped me find my style and helped my express my style. I feel so much more confident every day and I cherish every single garment in my wardrobe!
I discovered Ready to Sew during my many hours of scouring Instagram for inspirations and sewing patterns. Raphaelle’s sense of style was something that screamed out at me. I could see myself wearing almost every single one of her patterns. She has the amazing ability to design simple silhouettes that flatter all body types. I have made many of her pieces and reach to wear them constantly. So, when Raphaelle asked me if I would be willing to review her new pattern, I was delighted!! Being still new to the sewing community, I was honored to be asked to write this post.
Pattern and Sizing
The Partner overalls has all the comfort of overalls along with ready to sew’s signature style that adds the extra Oomph! For this Raphaelle has gone with exaggerated and amazing pocket designs (including one for a pencil!) and a gentle elasticated waist which adds to comfort, fit and style. The large pockets and facing give you options to play with different fabrics and even color block your pockets!
One thing I love about Ready to Sew patterns is that she has half sizes!!! I have not yet come across any other independent pattern maker to have the half sizes.
Fabric and Notions
Oh boy! I went back and forth on the fabric for this pattern. Initially I was very excited to make this in a lightweight Ikat fabric. If you follow me on Instagram (@the.hemline.eclectic), you will know my love for Ikat fabrics is immense. I thought Ikat would bring in a unique silhouette to these overalls.
When I went to find some fabric to make this pattern, I found this amazing soft cotton canvas and I was in love. This is locally sourced deadstock fabric from South India. South India is known for its cotton mills and specifically bottom weight weaves. This gorgeous deadstock screamed out at me as the next best thing to a denim overall. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to make one in denim! I chose to use a contrast light weight printed cotton fabric for the facing. I absolutely love this fabric and pattern combination.
Sourcing notions was a problem for me. In India, the home sewing culture is not very strong. Moreover, wearing overalls would be restricted to very few women who probably buy RTW clothing. I am realizing that a lot of the notions I could very easily find in the US is hard to source here. From good fusible interfacing to quality buttons or buckles for my overalls. Thankfully, I had previously purchased enough interfacing and I have a stash of buttons. I decided to go with buttons for my overalls.
Printing the pattern
Previously I used to print A4 and spend a lot of time sticking them together before cutting out my pattern. Here, printing being relatively cheap, I am able to very easily get A0 size printed. I don’t think I would ever go back to A4s and sticking!
Choosing a size
Looking through the size charts and the ease of the garment, I chose to cut out a straight size 35! The pattern is drafted for someone who is 5’6” and I am 5’3”. So, I shortened the pattern by 3 inches overall. To do this, I chose to take 1inch off the rise. I am short waisted, which means that the distance between my waist and my hips are shorter than standard block measurements. So, when I sew pants, I usually take about an inch off the front and back rise. I then shortened the legs by 2 inches to adjust for my height. I had to also do the shortening for the pockets and the facings as well! I made sure to check that the bib fit at my natural waist and went on to cutting the fabric.
Sewing the Overalls
OK! Before you start sewing, you must play the playlist!!! Raphealle gives you the perfect playlist to get into the into the mood with each of her sewing patterns! I love all her playlists! I now listen to them even when I’m not sewing! Enjoy it! If you are newish to sewing, Raphealle has a great photo sewalong for the overalls. Each step is very clearly explained and indicated in photos. You cannot go wrong. The instructions in the patterns are also very well written. I was able to make the whole garment without any glitches with just her instructions. There is a LOOOOOT of topstitching. This is not my strong suit. I spent a lot of time trying to keep my lines straight! But it is sooooo worth it in the end! I wore my overalls for 2 days straight!
I did perform a small modification for the waist. Instead of using a cord for the waist (I couldn’t find good cord near me), I chose to use this new technique I saw in the Chalk and Notch blog recently. Gabriele shows you how to make an elasticated waist look like a drawstring! https://www.chalkandnotch.com/sewing-tips-how-to-sew-drawstrings/I chose to use this same method instead of the cord and I am so happy with how comfortable this turned out. The pattern is true to size and the fit is gorgeous! I highly recommend you give this a go!
If you choose to make these overalls, you will learn to
- Top stitch all things like a pro
- Attach facings to pockets and bib
- Attach straps to bibs
- Attach multiple pockets to your garment
In conclusion, I am so happy I spent the time to make these overalls, which I know will be loved and used often. I highly recommend you make this pattern which can be worn in both warm and cold seasons! I am very excited to make a cord version of the pattern with a pinafore hack that was published in the Ready to Sew Blog recently! Check it out!